Analysis. Anticorruption. Articles.

Ukraine stuck in the process of fighting corruption

Friday, 15 May 2015 1383
Author: Ivan Sikora
Open Society Foundation Director Ivan Sikora commented on the new National Anti-Corruption Risks Program adopted by the Government on April 29, 2015 in the newspaper Dzerkalo Tyshnya.

The government offers the exciting fight against corruption at the cost of the state budget, international organizations and donors. They focus on the process instead of evaluating the results in solving specific problems generally referred to as ‘corruption’. Billions of public funds and resources remain ‘in the shadow’ and are ineffectively spent. This recalls Lewis Carroll’s quote from the "Alice in the Wonderland": "If you do not know where you are going, does it matter which path to follow ?!" .

Despite the expectations for drastic changes a new government anti-corruption program will not measure Ukraine’s progress in fighting corruption. It is unlikely that the average Ukrainian will soon ‘taste the fruits’ of this never-ending struggle. The wording of the new anti-corruption program will interpret even the minimal efforts of the officials as a great success. It seems that the ‘corruption fighters’ in the government, and especially in the Ministry of Justice, live in their own reality. They are unaware of the President's strategy for sustainable development "Ukraine-2020", and have never heard about legislative requirements to develop strategic documents.

It turns out that the new anti-corruption program will be focused primarily on measuring the process of fighting corruption instead of clear results. The criteria of the success of anti-corruption policy will be developed part-way through the evaluation. This will give wide scope for interpretation of minimal success as a great victory.

What about the efficiency of spending of the state budget and the money of the foreign taxpayers? The violation of the applicable laws and the indicators declared in the newly approved Presidential strategy for sustainable development "Ukraine 2020" are obvious.

Reporting on the never-ending process of fighting corruption is easier, especially when talking to the international donors. Perhaps the government anti-corruption program and designed to comfort them? What about the benefits for the citizens of Ukraine? After all, the anti-corruption policy is there to meet people’s needs and interests, and solve their problems.

Ukrainian politicians still consider the anti-corruption measures primarily as a beautiful accessory in own political ‘wardrobe’. Just as the reminder - the imitation of the fight against corruption had led their political "predecessors" to the sad finale and brought the country and its economy to the miserable state.

The full article in Ukrainian is available in Dzerkalo Tyzhnya, issue 16-17.

Top news