Anti-corruption reform failed-conclusions of experts
The round table on “anti-corruption policy Reform: cost, institutions, results” was held in the news Agency “UNN”, during which the presentation of the eponymous research of the Ukrainian Institute of policy analysis and management” №3 from the cycle “price of reforms”was held. The round table was attended by: Daniel Bogatyrev – expert WIAMP, research associate, Ruslan Bortnik – Director WIAMP, Anatoliy Peshko – doctor of economic Sciences, Academician and Vice-President of the Academy of economic Sciences of Ukraine, Kirill Molchanov – expert, Valentine Gaidai – political expert Nikolay Spiridonov – the political scientist Vasyl Makarov is an expert on anti-corruption policy, Vladislav Dzividzinska – political expert, Denis Gaevsky – political analyst, Alexander teplyuk – analyst, Nazar, Crackalack – economic expert and Igor Pechenkin – the head of the Center of anticorruption researches, writes WIAMP.
The event discussed the results of large – scale anti-corruption reforms carried out in Ukraine, the creation and funding of anti-corruption structures, as well as the results of their activities for the period from 2015 to 2017; assessment of the reform by the international community.
Opening the roundtable, the Director WIAMP Ruslan Bortnik said that the country is at the end of the political cycle. “The government was replaced 4 years ago and today there is really reason to talk about the successes and defeats received by Ukraine in this four – year period” – said the expert. He stressed that the Ukrainian Institute of policy analysis and management has taken up this task and the round table will present the study №3 “Reform of anti-corruption policy: cost, institutions, results”.
After joining, R. Bortnik gave the floor to the expert WIAMP Daniel Bogatyrev, who presented the study, accompanying his presentation with a review. In particular, he noted that for the period from 2015 to 2019, 5.1 billion hryvnias will be spent on the activities of the National anti-corruption Bureau, the Specialized anti-corruption Prosecutor’s office and the National Agency for prevention of corruption. 2.2 billion of them are the costs budgeted for this year. At the same time, for the period from 2015 to 2017, the amount of losses compensated to the state of NABU and SAP amounted to 250 million UAH. Besides, according to statements of heads of departments, plundering of nearly 2 billion more hryvnias was prevented. However, even taking into account the funds prevented from plundering, the result of the activities of anti-corruption structures does not cover UAH 2.9 billion. spent on it from 2015 to 2017 inclusive. “As of September 2017, NABU and SAP have submitted 86 cases to the court. Of these, the decisions were made only in 23 cases, and only 17 convictions entered into legal force,” the expert said. D. Bogatyrev also noted that the claims on inefficiencies apply to NACP, who, during the whole period of its existence, has tested only 11 declarations of people’s deputies for 2015 and 2016 (from 846 declarations). In addition to the above, the expert said that the anti-corruption court is unlikely to be established until 2020.
Following the presentation of the study, reviews were made by experts WIAMP and invited guests.
The first shared his expert opinion doctor of economic Sciences, Academician and Vice-President of the Academy of economic Sciences of Ukraine Anatolii Peshko.
“In order for our people to make the right decisions during the voting, it is extremely important that they possess objective information that is not provided by the media of Ukraine today. And our today’s forum allows us to convey to people at least the edges of the hidden information that they do not own” – he said. The academician stressed that corruption in the agricultural sector is becoming enormous. According to him, the government survives and resists pressure from Western partners at the expense of the funds received from the deprivation of the preferential tax system, which took place in everyday life. Yatsenyuk Prime Minister. According to the estimates of A. Pesko: – “every year the Authorities are stealing from the agricultural sector, more than 160 billion. Without taking into account the agro-processing industry, food industry, etc.” The expert noted that this should be added to the enormous amount of corruption in the field of tariff. In addition to the above-mentioned areas, summing up, Mr. Peshko focused on the problems of corruption in the field of medicine related to the ongoing reforms.
Then the anti-corruption expert Vasily Vakarov took the baton of comments. He began his speech with a reminder that the discussion on how to fight corruption in Ukraine, was from 2014 to 2015, and eventually won “the worst concept of all discussed at the negotiating table.” According to him, the anti-corruption strategy adopted by the Parliament and approved by the President in 2014, operated until 2017 inclusive and, at the moment, does not work, as well as the anti-corruption program of the government. “Even the state Executive authorities do not comply with the requirements of the current legislation and do not approve anti – corruption programs,” the expert said and added that the anti-corruption reform in Ukraine has failed. Vladimir Makarov also noted that the study WIAMP is almost the only one that pays attention to the comparison spent on anti-corruption bodies of funds with their activities. “In Ukraine, there is no real systematic study of the level of corruption in the country,” he concluded.
Political expert Vladislav Zwizanski his speech he devoted to the influence of corrupt processes in small and medium business. “Even corruption has a certain responsibility abroad. That is, when someone gives a bribe to an official, he usually fulfills the promise. And we, unfortunately, even these conditions are erased” – the expert drew attention to the comprehensive nature of Ukrainian corruption. According to him, this indicates the absence of the rules of the game necessary for doing business at any level. “A small private entrepreneur, unable to adapt to the rules of the game, is forced to act in conditions of “great expectation”, in the language of the economy called recession,” the political scientist said. V. Dzvidzinsky noted that unprofitable enterprises, which, in fact, are the anti-corruption authorities of Ukraine, in business it is customary to close and re-establish on new terms with new concepts of work. Summing up, he said that corruption leads to the closure of small and medium-sized enterprises, which, in turn, entails a reduction in the number of jobs, the growth of labor migration, and the impoverishment of the population.
Political strategist Sergey Nuzhdin presented the sociology of society’s attitude to the problems of corruption. “The society does not see significant changes and significant fight against corruption over the past four years, instead noticing an increase in the volume of corruption,” the expert began his speech. According to the data Presented by S. Nuzhdin, Ukrainians do not see real changes in the sphere of combating corruption due to the small number of persons brought to criminal responsibility and the low efficiency of the specialized anti-corruption bodies. According to the political strategist, a third of respondents noted that they resort to corruption due to the fact that they can not solve certain issues by legal methods. “Over the past year, 25% of respondents personally gave a bribe,” S. Nuzhdin cited the survey data. Summing up, he noted that our society sees corruption and its growth, but is not ready to fight this phenomenon “here and now”.
Political scientist Kirill Molchanov believes that we can talk endlessly about the problems with corruption in Ukraine, because we do not see any tangible progress in this direction. “I do not agree that corruption is one of the factors that threaten our statehood,” the expert continued. According to K. Molchanov, in economically developed countries the problem of corruption is solved at the grassroots level, so that it does not interfere with citizens in their daily lives, and the elites agree among themselves, adopting laws on lobbying and legalizing part of corruption flows. “The whole fight against corruption in Ukraine boils down to distracting the attention of external partners, requiring changes in this area, and demonstrating that there are some political changes in the country”, K. Molchanov said. According to him, the President is likely to be “pressed” on the issue of creating an anti-corruption court, but this is unlikely to change the situation.
The head of the center for anti-corruption research I. Pechenkin began his speech with the statement that the emotional attitude of society to the problem of corruption is caused by the General impoverishment of the population and the anemia of law. Then the expert drew attention to the difference in the amount of financing of “old” and new power anti-corruption structures with a clear advantage in the direction of the first. “I do not agree with the fact that we can conduct some experiments, because we must have a strategic vision of what and how we will do, as well as-to control these processes” – said the expert. In conclusion I. Pechenkin said that the main problem in the discussed area is the government’s disregard for the opportunities of civil society. This, in turn, contributes to the lack of control of public administration.
Political scientist Nikolai Spiridonov considers the issue of corruption paradoxical. On the one hand, everyone understands the need to fight it, and on the other – overcoming corruption in the highest echelons of power can strike a blow to the international political subjectivity of the country. “In the face of NABU, SAP and Vasu, our Western partners are trying to create a three – stage system of control over the representatives of the Ukrainian authorities,” the political scientist said. Speaking about the prospects of creating an anti-corruption court, the expert noted that it is unlikely to work until 2019-2020. Besides, according to N. Spiridonov, in view of long-term negative selection in bodies of Prosecutor’s office, in Ukraine there was a situation when the bar is always stronger than representatives of the prosecution.