Commissioner calls on Ukrainian authorities to revise the anti-corruption legislation that might negatively affect NGOs and journalists
In a letter addressed to the Deputy Head of the Administration of the President of Ukraine published today, the Commissioner recommends removing the recently-enacted provisions in the legislation on corruption prevention requiring civil society representatives or other persons working on anti-corruption issues to declare their assets in the same way as state officials or public servants.
“I am concerned that the amendments enacted in March 2017 may single out anti-corruption NGOs, their staff and others working against corruption – including investigative journalists – by making them subject to additional and unnecessary filing requirements. NGOs are in fact already subject to financial reporting rules, and media outlets must pay taxes and submit reports to the relevant tax authorities. Only those persons or organisations who receive public funding can be subjected to the more rigorous reporting requirements which apply to any other recipient of public budgetary resources. I therefore welcome the reply of the Deputy Head of the Administration of the President of Ukraine and the plan to review this legislation in light of the Council of Europe standards and assessment.”
Meanwhile, journalists found out that despite announced promises the President of Ukraine didn’t establish a working group, which should develop legislative changes to resolve the problem of the e-declarations for NGOs.