AntAC Returned 3 Billion UAH to the State Budget From Corrupt Public Procurement Contracts
Activists from the Anti-Corruption Action Center managed to return 3 billion UAH to the Ukrainian budget after appealing suspicious tenders in the public procurement process through their UKRAW program – www.ukr.aw.
In order to accomplish this feat, AntAC’s civil society activists sent more than 1,000 applications to regulatory and law enforcement bodies.
“Unfortunately, civil society activists are forced to do what the prosecutors, police, and regulatory bodies should be doing,” says Vitaliy Shabunin, the Head of the Board of the Anti-Corruption Action Center. “Namely, they should be monitoring tenders, identifying overpaid contracts, forcing public officials to do their monitoring tasks properly, terminating suspicious agreements, and bringing corrupt individuals to criminal responsibility.”
The activists have already collected enough documents regarding the corrupt actions of 322 officials and their closest associates, who either tried to reap illicit financial benefits in the public procurement process or refused to notice the violations.
“Even after submitting our documents regarding instances of corruption, the prosecutors and the police often refuse to initiate criminal cases against individuals who use their public offices for personal gain,” says Oleksandra Ustinova, a member of the Board of the Anti-Corruption Action Center.
“In reality, we have to force them to open criminal proceedings regarding cases they would rather cover up. This is especially true of high-profile cases, the kinds which involve high-ranking officials and the oligarchs. So, for example, we had to force the Prosecutor General’s Office to institute criminal proceedings regarding fraud at Privatbank for the withdrawal of $1.8 billion abroad to banks in the form of refinancing.”
On the project’s website, the AntAC Team records evidence regarding particular officials that have taken state funds and makes the law enforcement and regulatory bodies bring them to justice.
The corruption battlers also document the attempts of the law enforcement or regulatory bodies to cover up for those responsible. In the event of such a situation, the punishment of public officials who attempt to cover up corruption will become a key task for the Anti-Corruption Action Center Team.