The Government of Ukraine failed to secure independent and effective composition of the NACP
On Friday, 11 December, the Cabinet of Minister of Ukraine appointed three members of the National Agency for Corruption Prevention (NACP).
Just hours after the vote of the selection panel and without properly drawing up the panel meeting’s minutes and receiving the consent of all candidates for appointment.
The selection was marred by procedural violations and failed to secure the selection of an independent and effective composition of the agency that is supposed to control compliance with anti-corruption restrictions, in particular by the Government members.
When voting for one of the candidates (O.Skopych), the National Civil Service Agency Head K.Vashchenko had a conflict of interests. The RPR has previously made a statement on this. Mr. Skopych is a Deputy Head of the National Civil Service Agency and an indirect subordinate of the Prime Minister. Another candidate (N.Korchak) was related to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice (she was their teacher in the university) and, as such, may not be seen as an impartial and independent NACP member. Therefore, two out of three appointed members of the NACP could be considered, at least, loyal to the head and members of the Government. This undermines trust in this new anti-corruption institution even before it started its work.
Appointment of only three out of five members makes the agency ineffective, as for any decision the NACP requires, at the minimum, three votes. Moreover, the NACP in such composition will not be able to elect its chairperson, as it will be a vote where one of the members has a conflict of interests (since they will have to vote for oneself). Without chairperson, the NACP will not be able to appoint its staff, approve its budget, enact decisions, in particular with regard to the launch of the new electronic declarations system, etc. Accordingly, the NACP is still unable to operate.
No civil society representatives have been selected to the NACP composition. In particular, despite the compromise, which was announced and reached publicly, with regard to the vote for the anti-corruption and “lustration” expert, ATO participant F.Venislavskyi, his candidacy did not obtain necessary votes. Moreover, the positive vote for another candidate (N.Korchak) was made possible only due to overt manipulation and deceiving of part of the selection panel.
The Reanimation Package of Reforms civic coalition is outraged by these decisions of the Government and selection panel, procedural violations and decisions made under the conflict of interests, manipulations committed by some panel members appointed by the authorities. The vote for at least two out of three NACP members was taken in an illegitimate and dubious manner.
We call on the selection panel to return to the voting for the candidates in order to select a balanced and functional composition of the NACP in a way that does not undermine the voting results or to announce a new selection for the NACP members.
We believe that the launch of the NACP should not be secured at the price of loss of trust in this essential anti-corruption agency and decisions that lack integrity.