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Open registers of declarations and corrupt officials are the key to the transparent recovery of Ukraine

On September 5, The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine failed to vote for the amendment to the draft law on amendments to certain laws of Ukraine on determining the procedure for submitting declarations of persons authorised to perform the functions of the state or local self-government under martial law No. 9534, which provided for the immediate opening of declarations of public officials. Despite all the calls from the public, the lawmakers lacked 27 votes to open the Register of Declarations now, not in a year. The necessary amendment to the main draft law No. 9534, initiated by the Head of the Committee on Anti-Corruption Policy, Anastasiia Radina, received only 199 votes. Today, on 12.09.2023, the President has vetoed draft law No. 9534. We are waiting for the text of the proposed changes from the President.

On September 4, the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Law Enforcement took a step backwards in the anti-corruption reform by supporting several controversial provisions in the draft law on amendments to the Code of Ukraine on Administrative Offenses and other laws of Ukraine on improving the procedure for bringing to justice persons authorised to perform the functions of the state or local self-government No. 9587-d. 

The amendments to Article 39 of the Code of Ukraine on Administrative Offenses envisaged by this draft law effectively eliminate administrative liability for late submission of declarations and falsehoods contained therein. It is planned to consider an untimely declarant or a declarant who "forgot" to declare property worth 1.3 million UAH as NOT HAVING BEEN SUBJECT TO administrative penalties at all if they pay the relevant fine of 850-1700 UAH for the automatically recorded untimely submitted declaration or 17,000-42,500 UAH for undeclared property up to 1.3 million UAH. Thus, the draft law provides that such a person will not even be included in the Unified State Register of Persons Who Have Committed Acts of Corruption or Corruption-Related Offenses. 

Thus, in just two days, the Ukrainian parliament has deviated from the path of democratic development, compromising the principles of accountability and transparency of the government to the Ukrainian people and international partners. That, in turn, exacerbates political instability during the war, undermines the confidence of Ukrainian society in the reconstruction process and contributes to a decrease in international assistance.

At the same time, we urge you, dear partners, to contribute to the process of democratic development of Ukraine by demanding that the President of Ukraine immediately open the register of declarations and veto draft law #9587-d. Information about the authorities must be open and accessible. That is the key to a virtuous reconstruction.

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