President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy held a meeting of the National Council on Anticorruption Policy, at which the draft Anticorruption Strategy for 2020-2024 was discussed.
At the beginning of the meeting, the participants honored the memory of the victims of the An-26 plane crash near Chuhuiv, Kharkiv region, with a moment of silence. The proposed strategy was then discussed.
"The anticorruption strategy should become the foundation of combating corruption. The anticorruption strategy is a system of measures, the implementation of which can ensure the coordination of the work of law enforcement and anticorruption state bodies at the national and local levels,” the President said.
He noted that this strategy provides for specific measures to ensure the inevitability of punishment for corruption.
According to the Head of State, starting from 2018, Ukraine lacks a basic strategic document in the field of fighting corruption, which is one of the reasons for the low efficiency of anticorruption bodies.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy reminded that during his presidency the National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption was reset, criminal liability for illegal enrichment was restored, a mechanism of civil confiscation of property was introduced and the work of the Supreme Anticorruption Court was launched.
"However, this is not enough. The society expects systematic and coordinated actions in preventing corruption and effective results of the activity of anticorruption bodies of Ukraine,” the President emphasized.
Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal reported that on September 21, the Cabinet of Ministers approved and submitted to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine the draft law "On the Principles of State Anticorruption Policy for 2020-2024", which should approve the Anticorruption Strategy for 2020-2024. Bill № 4135 has already been registered in parliament.
"Conceptual approaches to the formation of anticorruption policy are a combination of principles of further improvement of the general system of preventing and combating corruption and minimizing corruption in the most priority areas in terms of overcoming corruption, including through reforms in economic, social, medical, educational, law enforcement spheres. Virtually every area is covered by this strategy," the Prime Minister stressed.
According to him, the main priorities of the project are a balanced combination of these approaches, which will not only reduce corruption, but also increase public confidence in government and significantly accelerate the pace of socio-economic development, including the improvement of investment attractiveness and business development.
Presenting the draft Anticorruption Strategy for 2020-2024, Head of the National Agency of Ukraine for Prevention of Corruption Oleksandr Novikov noted that the creation of such a document is an absolutely necessary step, as 91% of Ukrainians consider corruption a serious or very serious problem.
The strategy contains five main principles: optimizing the functions of public bodies and eliminating their duplication, digital transformation and open data, convenient and legal services, intolerance of corruption among the population, and ensuring the inevitability of punishment.
The strategy identifies eight main areas where changes are needed: the court, the prosecutor's office, the police; state regulation of economy; public and private sectors of economy; taxes and customs; construction, land, infrastructure; defense sector; healthcare sphere, social protection; the system of preventing and combating corruption in general.
Oleksandr Novikov noted that the people’s deputies must approve the relevant bill by the beginning of October, and within three months the NAPC will work with the government to develop an action plan to implement the strategy.
After the implementation of the document, the losses from corruption will be reduced by UAH 200 billion a year. This, in turn, will help attract more investment.
"In a year or two, every citizen of Ukraine will feel noticeable results from its implementation, i.e. in December 2021. In total, its term is five years. A final assessment of the Anticorruption Strategy is planned for 2025,” Oleksandr Novikov said.
Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova noted that the strategy provides for many effective tools for combating corruption, and stressed that the Office of the Prosecutor General is working to determine the competition procedure for the position of Head of the Specialized Anticorruption Prosecutor's Office.
"We are working very closely on the competition for the Head of the SAP, we are creating all the possibilities for a transparent, clear competition so that Ukrainian society, international partners and law enforcement officers understand that this competition is held fair, within the statutory timeframe and with a certain purpose," Iryna Venediktova noted.
Following the meeting of the National Council on Anticorruption Policy, the President called on MPs to consider the bill "On the Principles of State Anticorruption Policy for 2020-2024" as soon as possible.