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Corruption risks in "Planning and Development" - the first draft of the public building norms (PBN) project – have to be eliminated

Wednesday, 02 December 2015 1072
A group of independent urban development experts addressed the OSF regarding the violations in Public Building Norms (PBN). OSF included their expertese in the assessment and comments to the "Planning and Development" draft of public building norms. We also prepared and distributed the appropriate statement. The joint address is focused on three groups of corruption risks in the Draft PBN, related with the gaps of legal regulation, the broad discretionary powers and the conflict of interest. In experts’ opinion, these can lead to the large-scale corruption practices worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

The typical corruption abuses include:

- Uncontrolled increase in land use intensity. Within three months the extra income from corruption schemes can amount to USD 10-40 million;

- Violations of the existing norms by urban design companies in their detailed plans for areas (this abuse is already widespread in Kyiv);

- Inconsistency with upper-level planning documents, arbitrarily borders of the planning areas that do not correspond with current Kyiv General Plan;

- Failure to comply with the existing population density indicators in the residential area (neighborhood) and discrepancy with current regulations on some other indicators.

 The proposed PBN project includes the following corruption risks:

- Values of the housing density are significantly higher than the current ones;

- No clear requirements to justify increase in population density;

- No clear definitions and restrictions in housing density for neighborhood - the basic level in the city planning hierarchy;

- Lack of wording that allows determining the extent of reconstruction and provides grounds for reducing the size of land;

- This draft binding regulation mostly contains formulations that are not mandatory (e.g. "allowed", "banned", "required"). As a result, in practice the non-complaints will face no sanctions and penalties for violations of construction codes provided by law;

- The lack of provisions to prevent and eliminate the conflict of interest when considering projects in architectural and urban planning council.

Open Society Foundation facilitates the organization of public discussions on the “Planning and Development" draft PBN and invites all interested parties to participate. 

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