We, civil society organizations and journalists, call on the authorities to restore electronic declaration and public access to the declarations of officials.
Without manipulations and gaps. Without concealing the data from society that for years allowed us to exposecorruption links.
We welcome the adoption of draft law No.9534 on the restoration of e-declaration in the first reading.
However, we must note that currently, the draft law contains risks that will not allow making the declaration process effective and transparent. Consequently, they will not allow exposing those who use public funds and positions for personal enrichment during the war. Both our victory today and the world’s confidence in Ukraine depend on the latter.
The public demand for the openness of declarations of the authorities remains too high. 97.1% of Ukrainians are in favor of open declarations of “wartime income of officials.”
In our opinion, MPs should make the following changes to the draft law before the second reading in order to meet the public demand and maintain the trust of international partners:
- Ensure the publicity of officials’ declarations to the same extent as before the invasion — including data on third parties with whom officials are associated. Currently, the draft law proposes to close all the names of third parties in the declarations from public access. We are talking about both relatives of declarants who often have assets registered to their name, and third parties from whom declarants buy property, to whom they can register it, persons who lend money to the declarant or lease property. It is the publicity of these data that helps the public and journalists expose corruption links in the government.
- Exclude non-transparent thresholds of the market value of the object use from the draft law. Thus, the draft law provides that one of the conditions for declaring property used by an official is the “market value of such use,” which should exceed 50 subsistence minimums (UAH 134,000) for the entire time of use. Officials will be able to easily manipulate such a provision. For example, they will be able to conclude lease agreements with an understated cost of use or hide behind a fictitious cost assessment. It will be even easier to avoid declaring assets registered to relatives or friends because in this case, if an official purchased a Lexus and registered it to a relative, so as not to declare a car, they would be able to simply conclude a “convenient” contract with themselves.
Given the above, we call on members of the Parliament of Ukraine:
- To correct the indicated shortcomings of the draft law on the restoration of declaration before voting in the second reading;
- Not to delay the consideration of the draft law and restore mandatory electronic declaration as soon as possible.
The draft law contains risks that will not allow making the declaration process effective and transparent. Consequently, they will not allow exposing those who use public funds and positions for personal enrichment during the war.
Anti-Corruption Action Centre
All-Ukrainian Union “Automaidan”
NACP Public Council
Open Data Association
Institute of Legislative Ideas
Center for Public Monitoring and Research
Centre for Economic Strategy
Transparency International Ukraine
Kryvyi Rih Investigation Center
Advocacy Advisory Panel
Centre of Policy and Legal Reform