After the long saga, National Corruption Prevention Agency (NCPA or Agency) has finally became operational and is hiring staff (check more in one of our previous posts). Obviously, the key focus of the Agency is establishing and operating of Asset and Income Declaration system. However, NCPA has broader functionality and it will play an important role in setting tone in the anti-corruption compliance. To facilitate collective action, I prepared a checklist for business on anticipated steps of NCPA that might influence compliance environment in Ukraine.
For this analysis I made an assumption that allocation of 155 vacancies at NCPA (in Ukrainian only) among various departments reflects, to a certain extent, the degree of priority of the Agency’s respective activity. Significant amount of tasks for NCPA was entrenched in Anti-Corruption Strategy 2015-2017 adopted in April 2015. Many of these tasks are overdue now because of significant delay in establishing NCPA; however, I assume, that the Agency will follow the plan outlined in the Strategy. The Law “On Corruption Prevention” and the Strategy served as the basis for my analysis of expectations from the Agency.
Planned staff: 8 officers (Department of developing and monitoring of anti-corruption programs & Department of cooperation with compliance officers)
Developing sample compliance program and guidelines on corruption prevention in private sector;
Conducting info-campaign about anti-corruption requirements among business community;
Establishing “advice” service to address common issues in implementation of programs;
Conducting semiannual trainings for compliance officers.
What business can do: participate in drafting of sample program and guidelines; seek for clarification how new regulations will affect participation of business in procurement process; participate in creating and delivering trainings and info-campaign; request that “advice” service would be open for private companies, not only for state institutions or state enterprises.
Planned staff: 6 officers (Department of policy on protection of whistleblowers & Department of processing of reports on corruption)
Establishing of hotlines;
Developing guidelines on work with whistleblowers;
Conducting info-campaign to encourage reporting;
Arranging research regarding implementation of incentives for whistleblowers and enhancing protection.
What business can do: work with NCPA to ensure that regulations would not adversely affect internal whistleblowing; participate in info-campaign and research.
Conflict of Interest
Planned staff: 17 officers (Department of monitoring of conflict of interest and other restrictions)
Developing guidelines on identifying and prevention of conflict of interest;
Establishing “advice” service on official web page.
What business can do: seek for opinion of NCPA on gifts and hospitality regulations and limits on employment of former government officials; request that “advice” service would be open for private companies.
Planned staff: 15 officers (Department of anti-corruption policy)
Signing memorandum on cooperation in anti-corruption work with society;
Implementing practice of using “Integrity Pacts” between government, business, and civil society to oversight large projects;
Drafting Law “On Lobbying” (jointly with Ministry of Justice);
Arranging annual surveys on perception of corruption;
Drafting new Anti-Corruption strategy by September 2017.
What business can do: join “Integrity Pacts” and memorandum; make sure that corruption prevention in private sector would be part of surveys and would be reflected in Strategy; share accumulated experience on conducting perception surveys; coordinate work on the draft Law “On Lobbying”, that is already ongoing.
As a general comment for all above points, my suggestion for business is to be proactive, discuss respective issues within business associations, share expertise, and collaborate with NCPA to ensure incorporation of the best practices in new regulations.
Orest Stasyuk is a Trace International Scholar at LL.M. program of University of Washington School of Law (USA). Prior to his temporary relocation to Seattle Orest worked as an attorney at criminal law practice of leading CIS law firm with focus on white collar crimes, anti-bribery compliance, and conducting anti-corruption investigations in the CIS.