According to experts, over two years, the score of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office improved by only 0.2 — from 3.3 to 3.5 points.
This was published by Transparency International Ukraine in the Study of Capacity, Governance, and Interaction of Agencies That Make Up Ukraine’s Anti-Corruption Infrastructure 2023, conducted with the support of the USAID project “Supporting Anti-Corruption Champion Institutions” (SACCI).
This is the second study of the SAPO’s capacity by TI Ukraine’s analysts. In a similar evaluation in 2020, the institution received one of the lowest scores — 3.3 points, but despite the insignificant dynamics of only 0.2 points in two years, this situation could potentially change in the near future.
SAPO prosecutors have additional institutional guarantees of independence from interference in their work, undue influence and other factors that may hinder the investigation of grand corruption offenses compared to other prosecution agencies. However, there are ways to make the SAPO’s work more effective, particularly by guaranteeing its autonomous status while preserving the overall structure of prosecution.
“These issues may well be resolved in the near future, since, for example, draft law No. 10060, aimed at the long-awaited improvement of the SAPO’s independence, improvement of the competitive recruitment procedure for SAPO prosecutors and administrative staff, has already been registered in the Parliament. But, unfortunately, we do have some comments on this draft law as well,” says legal advisor of Transparency International Ukraine Pavlo Demchuk. — To make the work of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office more effective, other problems should also be taken into account, and the draft law in question should be amended to eliminate the existing risks it contains.”
In the previous study, we provided the SAPO with 17 recommendations, of which 3 were completely implemented, 5 partially implemented, and 9 recommendations — not implemented at all. This year, TI Ukraine provided 14 recommendations, of which 5 are priority:
- Change the organizational and legal status of the SAPO
- Amend the legislation to establish the interdependence of the minimum number of SAPO prosecutors, NABU detectives, and HACC judges
- Introduce a system of performance assessment for prosecutors, including SAPO prosecutors Develop predetermined criteria for the performance of the SAPO and its every prosecutor in relation to all the stages of a criminal proceeding
- Develop and approve the SAPO’s own communication strategy, and make efforts to develop communication platforms in English
- Provide for the option of conducting an independent institutional audit of the SAPO, separately from the Prosecutor General’s Office
In general, the HACC obtained the best score in the study at 4.6 points, while the ARMA had the worst result of 3.4 points. Of the 103 recommendations made in the 2020 study, the agencies implemented 23, partially implemented 36, and did not implement 41.
The study covers the period from August 2020 to June 2023.
Anti-corruption agencies, namely the NACP, the NABU, the SAPO, the ARMA, and the HACC, were assessed on a scale from 1 to 5.
The research methodology has been developed taking into account the main approaches of the National Integrity System (NIS), developed and implemented by the international anti-corruption network Transparency International.
The draft study was provided to anti-corruption infrastructure agencies for preliminary perusal, comments, and corrections.
These issues may well be resolved in the near future, since, for example, draft law No. 10060, aimed at the long-awaited improvement of the SAPO’s independence, improvement of the competitive recruitment procedure for SAPO prosecutors and administrative staff, has already been registered in the Parliament. But, unfortunately, we do have some comments on this draft law as well.
Pavlo Demchuk, legal advisor of Transparency International Ukraine
This research was made possible by the support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) within the SACCI project. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of Transparency International Ukraine and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.
For reference: The Support to Anti-Corruption Champion Institutions (SACCI) Program in Ukraine is a six-year USAID initiative that has an objective to assist Ukraine to reduce corruption and increase the accountability and transparency of governance in Ukraine. The program seeks to empower key government institutions to fight corruption, build public support for and engagement in anti-corruption efforts, and reduce citizen tolerance to corruption, as well as ensure maximum transparency and accountability of Ukraine’s post-war recovery and reconstruction.