If you encounter corruption, you must act. Here we explain what actions are considered corrupt and how you can report such crimes correctly.
What is considered corruption according to the Law of Ukraine “On Corruption Prevention?”
Corruption is the use by a public officer of official powers or opportunities granted to him or her for the purpose of obtaining an unlawful benefit or accepting such benefit or a promise / offer of such benefit for him/herself or other persons, or, accordingly, a promise / offer or granting an unlawful benefit to an official, or at his or her request to other natural or legal persons in order to induce this person to unlawfully use the official powers or opportunities granted to him or her.
Unfortunately, this definition does not cover the entire spectrum of corruption. Corrupt actions occur when a person:
- receives illegal benefits in any form. This can be money, benefits, certain privileges, or any kind of items. This action is bilaterally illegal for those who give a promise/verbal consent/receive this benefit, as well as for those who carry out or intend to perform a bribe. Gifts for services connected with official duties are considered corruption as well.
- uses national or municipal property in one’s personal interest;
- hires their relatives or loved ones to various positions;
- makes biased decisions based on personal interest or benefits;
- delivers illegal orders or instructions;
- abuses power and uses the official authority for personal purposes;
- declares false information;
- illegally influences decisions on competitive or other selection.
Where do you go next?
Depending on the case of corruption, you should understand the specifics of the authorities that have the right to punish the criminal.
The National Agency for Corruption Prevention (the NACP) verifies, controls, monitors and identifies corruption connected with discrepancies in declarations, conflict of interest and transparency of political party funding. You can alert the NACP through a special telephone line or a protected email.
Reporting: special telephone line, protected email, personal meeting to report the situation.
The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (the NABU) searches and arrests property or funds derived from corruption and takes relevant action in such cases. It conducts investigations of grand corruption. That includes corruption performed by high-ranking officials or for amounts of times 500 or more minimum living standard.
The National Police of Ukraine investigates offenses connected with bribing individuals, abuse of power of office or misappropriation of funds or property.
Reporting: you can call, visit a precinct personally or fill out a form on the Unified Portal of MIA Agencies of Ukraine.
The State Investigation Bureau or authorized departments for prevention and identification of corruption in public authorities solves corruption cases in the public domain other than the cases under the investigative jurisdiction of the NABU.
Reporting: personal visit or a written report.
Anti-corruption NGOs and investigative journalists provide expert assistance if a corruption case is identified, but they do not have the authority to punish the perpetrator.
- Written form: a statement, preferably with proof. You have to indicate your name, place of residence and contact information.
- Spoken form: personal visit or phone call to a hotline. This report still needs to include contact information.
- There are trust lines and protected email addresses on law enforcement agencies’ websites.
Most importantly, don’t keep silent and don’t let corruption poison your world.