At a meeting on March 4, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine approved the State Anti-Corruption Program (SAP) for 2023-2025. Adopting this strategic document is an important step in strengthening the capacity of democratic institutions through an effective anti-corruption policy.
At the same time, the approval of the SAP was preceded by the following process:
On March 2, the Cabinet of Ministers sent the SAP for finalization to The National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NACP) and issued several instructions, one of which was to make changes to Appendix 1 to the SAP - Expected strategic results from the implementation of the SAP. This application is very important because, due to the indicators defined in it, it is possible to monitor and control the implementation of program activities effectively. Instead, the Cabinet of Ministers instructed to remove percentages of achievement indicators, remove the column with percentages, and exclude the division of measures into stages (protocol No. 26 dated 02.03.2023, published on the NACP website). Thus, after removing these indicators from the SAP, it will be impossible to objectively assess the achievement of strategic results.
On March 3, NACP finalized the SAP, fulfilling the mandate of the Cabinet of Ministers and preparing an alternative version of the application. At the same time, the agency retained the opportunity to evaluate the achievement of strategic indicators (a project of the application - via the link). In addition, NACP emphasizes the impossibility of completely excluding these indicators (letter No. 10-05/4586-23 dated 03.03.2023).
On March 4, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the SAP, according to our information - without changes. At the same time, in the protocol of the Secretariat of the Cabinet of Ministers, it was instructed to finalize the SAP within a week following the instructions given on March 2 (protocol No. 28 dated 03/04/2023, published on the NACP website), i.e., still exclude critical indicators. Thus, in practice, a situation is possible when the Secretariat of the Cabinet of Ministers, upon finalization, will exclude from the SAP the indicators by which progress in its implementation can be monitored. At the same time, taking into account the fact that NACP finalized the SAP, we consider it possible to approve the application in the version dated March 3 without changes.
Changes that can significantly change the essence, principles, and approaches of the State Anti-corruption Program can negatively affect its implementation and effectiveness. Such a step creates the risk of depriving Ukrainian civil society and international partners of the opportunity to monitor and evaluate progress in the implementation of the Program's activities, as well as the achievement of strategic results defined by the Anti-Corruption Strategy.
RISE Ukraine Coalition urges the Prime Minister of Ukraine and the State Secretary of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine to refrain from making significant changes to the text of the SAP, the draft of which was submitted by the National Agency on Corruption Prevention on March 3 and approved by the Government during the meeting on March 4, to issue and publish the approved document following regulatory requirements.