Anti Corruption Action Centre – a team of people who are fed up with corruption and those who undauntedly engage in corruption of all types and levels.
During the process of working in various areas – international organizations, foreign companies, youth movements and public institutions – we have reached a consensus: the lack of effective punishment for corruption crimes generates impunity and fearlessness.
media manager, board member
Daryna Kalenyuk, board member
financial manager, board member
media manager, board member
head of the board
chief lawyer, board member
AntAC – much more than social activities; it’s working for our better, day-to-day life.
For some, working in AntAC is the most courageous act in life they’ve made. Therefore, we highly appreciate everyone who joins our team: analysts, lawyers, media people, journalists, financiers and advocates of change.
The lack of effective punishment for corrupt crimes generates impunity. And still we live in a country where corruption was and is – a way of life.
- We founded our Centre and began working so that corruption in our country will become an exception.
- Our job is to create a toxic environment for officials and politicians where corruption will not be profitable because of the high price of punishment – both materially and through reputation.
- We choose freely, therefore we are easy to work with and our opponents and enemies have a hard time antagonizing or discrediting us.
- We do not support any politician or political party, but openly advocate the punishment of specific persons engaged in corruption.
For us, corruption always has a name
and we are not afraid to identify it.
Back in 2011 we did not have clear goals and a vision as to where the “corruption” phenomenon was most painful.
We started at a simple place – control over the spending of our money.
We began to study how the state buys medicine for the seriously ill of Ukraine. We studied the process down to the smallest details of public procurement in this field and understood and voiced the key schemes through which patients didn’t receive their medications, the state spent the money for the medications in vain and individuals received the profits.
We continue to fight to ensure that the perpetrators of these schemes and their henchmen in the government are held responsible.
Most importantly, we realized two things:
In Ukraine law enforcement and judges do not work together – who do not decrease but rather generate impunity of corrupt officials
Many schemes and fraud in public procurement – gaps in legislation, which no one is in a hurry to fix. Anti-corruption legislation is the same – weak and ineffective
Therefore, we wanted to create new, independent anti-corruption bodies to investigate corruption and to shamelessly interfere in the legislative process, to prepare and propose draft laws for MPs to close the possibility of abuse during the public procurement process, embezzling funds from the budget and the avoidance of punishment for corruption crimes.
We also wanted the organs to put pressure on MPs so that they are not delaying the adoption of necessary laws.
Over three years the AntAC activists, its partners in Parliament and community experts developed and advocated
laws that closed legislation holes, which used to allow corrupt officials, through various means, to siphon funds from the state budget.
LAWS THAT WE INITIATED
Creation of new law enforcement agencies, to ensure their independence and institutional development
“About the National Anti-Corruption Bureau” Creation of a new specialized, compact and independent law enforcement body with authority to deal with exceptionally high officials and political corruption.
This same law was introduced with new wording under statute 3642, “Illegal Enrichment”, of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, which now allows for an official to be held criminally responsible for wealth that does not line up with his/her official earnings and property declaration.
Law of Ukraine
“On the formulation of the selection committee for the selection of the National Director of the Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine” Of three candidates the two chosen by the committee – Giovanni Keslera and Viktor Muciyak – were selected by civil society (at that time, our team).
In favor of the adoption of the resolution
Verkhovna Rada Ukraine
“On the approval of the committee members of the selection committee for the position of Director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine” Two of the three candidates selected by the committee – Yuri Butusov and Oleksandr Yanovsk – were chosen by civil society (at that time, our team)
Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine
“On the formation of the selection committee for the choosing of a candidate for the Director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine” Two of the three candidates selected by the committee – Yaroslav Gritsak and Yevgen Zakharov – were chosen by civil society (at that time, our team).
President of Ukraine
“On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine regarding the activities of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine and the National Agency for prevention of corruption” Created the Specialized Anti-corruption Prosecutor with special guarantees of independence, prosecutors which carry out procedural management of all criminal proceedings of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau and provide the public prosecution the results of these proceedings.
This same law was returned with the guarantee that the National Anti-Corruption Bureau would be independent, which at first the MP’s threw out. For example, the highest salaries of NABU employees, (from 22,000 UAH) the Special Prosecutor (from 35,000 UAH) and also introduced special procedural tools for effectiveness.
“On the determination of members of the Parliament of Ukraine for the selection committee for the selection of administrative positions in the anti-corruption prosecutor’s office” Of the seven members selected by the committee, three – Mary K. Butler, Viktor Shishkin and Vitaliy Shabunin – were chosen by civil society (at that time, our team).
Parliament of Ukraine
“On corruption prevention” Among other laws in the Criminal Code of Ukraine a statute was inserted, №3661, “Declaring false information”, which includes up to two years in prison for lying in the declaration. Introduce a system of online declaration and a new, much broader form of declaration of wealth of public servants. These two changes were the main focus of our team in this campaign.
“On Prosecution” The new version of the profile law the President proposed to significantly limit the independence of anti-corruption prosecutors, including changing the selection procedure of its head and making it completely controlled by the Attorney General. The exclusion of these proposals was the main achievement of our team in this campaign.
Law of Ukraine
“On Amendments to the Law of Ukraine” “On Prosecution” to ensure transparency in the organization of anti-corruption prosecutors and to implement the recommendations of the International Monetary Fund” Strengthened safeguards against political influence in the selection of the head of anti-corruption prosecutors by the Parliament and the general prosecutor’s office, as well as enhanced the independence of the elected leader.
For example, the Attorney General lost the right of the final selection of the head of the CAP, as the selection committee submits only one candidate now (previously – two), moreover, now, members of the selection committee may not be employees of state. Additionally, the SAP head acquired the right to independently (without the approval of the Prosecutor General) form the structure and staff list of institutions.
“On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine in state anti-corruption policy in connection with the Action Plan to liberalize the EU visa regime for Ukraine” Among other things, for all corruption offenses one was introduced as sanctions of imprisonment and criminalized promise and offering a bribe. These two changes were the main focus of our team in this campaign.
“On the National Agency of Ukraine for detection, investigation and management of assets derived from corruption and other crimes,” Created a new executive body with exclusive authority to search and manage criminal assets identified as part of the criminal process. Specific guarantees of independence, transparent and public contest to head the agency ensures its effectiveness.
Agency at the request of the prosecutor, investigator or detective provide information on all, including the foreign assets of defendants in criminal proceedings. In addition, it will manage and implement the arrest and confiscation of assets. Also introduced the possibility of public control over the order of seized and confiscated property.
“On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine on the recommendations contained in the sixth report of the European Commission on the implementation by Ukraine of the Action Plan to liberalize the EU visa regime for Ukraine, concerning the improvement of the foundations of the National Agency of Ukraine for identifying, tracing and asset management derived from corruption and other crimes ” Re-implemented important guarantees for the efficiency of the newly created agencies that Parliament had excluded during the vote of the previous law. For example, the right to a rent control campaign to preserve the value of assets detained as, say, corporate law or industrial complexes.
“On Amendments to the Criminal Code of Ukraine on improving the institution of special confiscation to address corruption risks in its application” From the foreseen sale of confiscated property from corruption crimes worth UAH 1.5 billion to the budget in 2015, only 21.3 million UAH was returned. To solve this problem, this law simplified the procedure and the extended the possibility of special forfeiture.
“On Amendments to the Criminal and Criminal Procedural Codes of Ukraine to implement the recommendations contained in the sixth report of the European Commission on the implementation by Ukraine of the Action Plan to liberalize the EU visa regime for Ukraine regarding improving procedures for seizure of property and institute special confiscation of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine” Re-implemented guarantees of the efficiency of the procedure for the arrest and special confiscation, that Parliament had excluded in the vote the of the previous law. For example, the ability to adjust special confiscation to extend it to third parties, and nearly all intentional crimes.
Law of Ukraine
Creation of the world’s first open state registry of owners of legal entities and open access to state registers of movable and immovable property
“On amendments to some legislative acts of Ukraine concerning the definition of final beneficiaries of legal entities and public figures” Created the world’s first public registry (online accessible) of beneficiary owners (real owners or controllers) who are legal persons registered in Ukraine. In addition, open public (including online) access to the register of real rights on real estate.
Expanded the opportunities for investigative journalism, since it is now possible with a few clicks to find out to whom belongs a legal entity or a luxury property.
Law of Ukraine
“Some questions provide information about the registered property rights to immovable property and their encumbrances” Regulatory support of Law of Ukraine № 1701-VII.
Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, Order
“On amendments to some legislative acts of Ukraine to enhance transparency in property relations to prevent corruption” Awarded to search (access online) the objective by name or title (for legal entity) of the owner in the register of real rights to real estate, the register of vehicles and to get information about the owner of the land inventory on the online cadastral map of Ukraine.
Significantly expanded access to information on immovable property and vehicles, opening opportunities to all citizens to have control over the lifestyles of public servants.
“On State Registration of Rights to Real Estate and Their Encumbrances” Regulatory support of the effective implementation of Law of Ukraine № 597-VIII.
Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, Order, Enumeration
“On the open use of public funds” Created the only Web-portal using public funds, which online (including open data format) published the vast majority of payments made by the budget and not just the cost. Our team is the co-author of the concept and the basic version of this law.
Law of Ukraine
Combating corruption in state procurement
“On public procurement” to strengthen the transparency of the procurement business” In July 2012 the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted one of the most corrupt laws in the history of Ukraine: officials were able in the shadows and with no procedures, to annually spend more than 300 bln. UAH for the purchase of state enterprises. According to the SBU’s data, this scheme plundered 50 billion annually. The adoption of this law closed this scheme. These changes were the main focus of our team during the adoption of this law.
“On public procurement” Among others, 37 exceptions were made, which allowed officials to avoid public, competitive tenders. Also, the customer was obliged to publish more documents, such as a report on the performance of the contract, which greatly reduced the chances to hide the theft. These changes were the main focus of our team in making this law.
“On Amendments to some laws of Ukraine on public procurement to bring them into line with international standards and measures to combat corruption” Among other things, a ban on participation in state procurement entities that do not specify their beneficial owner. State Financial Inspection is entitled to act proactively, preventing corruption of the procurement, not just react to violations of post-factum, in fact, after damages have already been caused to the state. These changes were the main focus of our team in making this law.
“On public procurement” Our team worked on the actual text, and its adoption by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. Among other things, our focus was not only to transfer all government procurement to an electronic format, but also to create opportunities to appeal electronically to violations.
Combating corruption in state procurement of medicines
“On amendments to some laws of Ukraine to provide timely patient access to vital medicines and medical products through public procurement involving specialized organizations that purchase” For three years our team monitored the state procurement of medicines used against AIDS, tuberculosis, hepatitis C, cancerous diseases, and fought against obvious facts of corruption. As the result of this work, we concluded that the only way to stop corruption in this area is to – pass purchasing power into other hands.
The Ministry of Health granted the right to pass the budget for public procurement of drugs for the central program of specialized international organizations – the United Nations, the International Association of medicinal provisions (International Dispensary Association), Royal British Agency (Crown Agents), the Global Mechanism to ensure drugs (Global Drug Facility), the Partnership in the field of procurement and supply management (Partnership for supply Chain management).
The first purchases through these organizations showed much better prices than the ones before the Ministry of Health purchased the same drugs. For example, thanks to achieving savings on medicines against tuberculosis, Ukraine can treat an additional 28,000 patients.
“Some issues of public procurement of medicines and medical devices involving specialized organizations that purchase” Regulatory support for the effective implementation of Law of Ukraine № 269-VIII.
Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine
“On approving the list of medicines and medical devices that are purchased under agreements (contracts) by specialized organizations engaged in procurement” Regulatory support for the effective implementation of Law of Ukraine № 269-VIII.
Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine
“On Amendments to the Tax Code of Ukraine concerning the exemption of some drugs and medical devices” Medicines purchased from specialized, international organizations under public procurement (as prescribed in the previous law) are to be exempt from taxation, which enables them to buy more.
- Made changes to the law on procurement, closing opportunities to steal until a completely new, European law was adopted
- Exposed information about the fortunes of officials, which previously was carefully concealed
- Built an amendment in the law of criminal responsibility for lying in a declaration with punishment of up to 2 years in prison
- Helped the National Anti-Corruption Bureau and the Specialized Prosecutor stand on it’s own feet and become independent
- Created a Asset Management Agency, selected unto corrupt officials
- Released and forced the adoption of a procedure for the seizure and confiscation of assets derived from corruption
- Achieved the liberation of Vitaliy Yarema from the General Prosecutor position for dumping the investigations of officials on the ““sanctions list”
- Achieved the liberation of Shokin from the General Prosecutor position – for corruption and incompetence
- Took the Ministry of Health’s drug procurement function and gave it to international organization’s that have world renowned reputations
How it happened
Parallely, we watched public tenders and challenged all illegal procurement that we were made aware of by our partners – Nashi Groshi (Our Money) publications and journalists. We continue this effort to this day: ukr.aw.
As of today, we have fractured ten contracts for goods and services that are disadvantageous to the state, but would be very beneficial to the corrupt.
We try to bring justice to the perpetrators of the schemes and those who cover such corruption through direct applications of the crimes to the proper law enforcement agency.
Appeals we sent
4 126 333 330
Hryvnias we did not let to embezzle
Officials we demand to be punished
The new government, the viper for whom activists spilled rivers of blood in February of 2014, has not learned anything from its citizens.
Political strife, backdoor agreements, redistribution of selected predecessors, and an unwillingness and inability to decipher between private and commercial interests of the state led us to closely monitor the behavior of the post-Maidan power.
Thus, those, who were in no hurry to fight corruption, unfortunately headed it.
- Nashi Groshi with Denis Bihus and bihus.info
We continue to chastise all investigations of journalists, authors of whom we trust, identify facts and add documents that we refer to the law enforcement with an application of the crime.
It’s not treason and it’s not a win, but rather the diagnosis of the law enforcement system that only worsens by the day: not one person who is under criminal proceedings, instituted by our applications, has sat in prison.
Of course we count the dismissals, fines and broken contracts…but incarceration and confiscation of property is the ultimate goal we are working on, it is the only one, because in our opinion it is the principle of the inevitability of punishment for corruption.
in all our hours of work we wrote applications of crimes
took control of criminal investigations
criminal proceedings were started because of our applications
officials were served a notice of suspicion, most of them escaped
As a result of our applications of crimes, criminal proceedings enabled the arrest of houses, automobiles, valuable papers, companies and millions on the accounts of corrupt officials in Ukraine and internationally.
For many Ukrainians this is astronomical wealth, so we do everything we can not to lose this property; to find it all and return it to Ukraine in a manner so that they are not stolen once again.
Two years in a row the Anti Corruption Action Centre held a special forum on asset recovery, which gathered experts, journalists, and government officials to discuss the problems and find solutions in the search and return of stolen assets derived from crimes of corruption.
Journalists from abroad often ask us: What do you do to protect yourself?
We always answer: our publicity and transparency in our work is our greatest defense.
We are friends with most foreign ambassadors and politicians working in Ukraine, engage in constant communication with international organizations and cooperate with international technical assistance projects.
The citizens of Ukraine, the U.S. and the EU finance us. This is very valuable. We are grateful for every donation and project that we were able to implement thanks to your support.
The establishment of the Centre. The team worked for a year on a volunteer basis.
Starting form 2013 we are getting permanent financing which allowed to bring a full-time lawyers and media professionals to the team
From the date of Centre’s establishment, we are receiving support from citizens – compatriots and foreign nationals
Donations of Ukrainians
6 years of AnTAC work = projects for $1.7 million
Увесь 2012 рік команда Центру працює на волонтерських засадах
- All years
Declaration of the AntAC for 2017: declarations.com.ua