Activists offer methodology for controlling declarations of government officials

The Cabinet of Ministers now requires mandatory checks of the lifestyle of government officials against their declared wealth

The Cabinet of Ministers now requires mandatory checks of the lifestyle of government officials against their declared wealth. Experts from Transparency International Ukraine are ready to provide assistance. The organization conducted the monitoring campaign “Declarations Without Decorations” to create a database of officials’ declarations and an electronic map. The campaign was supported by the Democratic Practice Program Initiative of the International Renaissance Foundation and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation in Ukraine.

Transparency International Ukraine suggests using their methodology. The organization along with civic activists from across Ukraine have looked into whether the lifestyle of government officials matches their declared wealth for more than a year. The national initiative “Declarations Without Decorations” investigated more than 400 government officials during the presidency of Viktor Yanukovych.

It was learned that more than 60 officials reported false declarations. Thirteen ministers, sixteen governors and 8 oblast center mayors were found to live lifestyles incompatible with their declared incomes.

According to Oleksiy Khmara, Executive Director of Transparency International Ukraine, this type of monitoring is not easy. “We felt firsthand how closed the declarations are and faced great resistance to making them public. Our organization even took four ministers to court because they didn’t want to give us information, even though they were required to by law. We won the case, but it dragged out for the length of the Revolution of Dignity. To facilitate access to public information, we would advise the government and parliament to make the next logical step the adoption of a law on creating a unified electronic system for all government employee declarations. This bill has already been drafted by experts of the anti-corruption group of the Reanimation Package of Reforms together with Transparency International Ukraine and the Anticorruption Action Center in partnership with the Ministry of Justice. This is necessary so that declarations of all civil servants of Ukraine and MPs are available online for viewing and analysis. By the way, the bill already passed the government review and was recommended for immediate adoption by parliament.”

Transparency International Ukraine
Olha Tymchenko
+380 50 352 96 18
(+380 44) 360 52 42

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