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People’s deputies suggest limiting access to the declarations of the part of law enforcement officers and making their verification ineffective
1. CPLR expert opinion:
On October 1, a group of people’s deputies submitted to the Verkhovna Rada a draft law proposing to establish a special declaration procedure for persons who work in law enforcement agencies and carry out operative and search activities, as well as officers of intelligence and counter-intelligence agencies and units.
2. Respective authorities counter-point/argument:
The authors of the draft law believe that the establishment of such a special declaration procedure and other financial control measures will allow avoiding the disclosure of the place of employment of these persons in the units conducting operative and search, intelligence and counter-intelligence activities.
3. CPLR assessment of the authorities counter-point:
The Law of Ukraine “On the Prevention of Corruption” contains a provision allowing to establish a special procedure for the implementation of financial control measures in relation to persons whose employment constitutes a state secret. This procedure can not be implemented in practice, since the NACP has not yet approved it due to the lack of agreement from intelligence, counterintelligence and law enforcement agencies. Currently, each relevant authority determines independently the procedure of filing and verification of the declarations of these categories of officials.
The proposed provisions also create preconditions for the ineffectiveness of financial control, since the heads of law enforcement, intelligence and counterintelligence agencies upon agreement with the NACP will determine the procedure for its implementation. Only the authorized agents of the Agency will be provided access to the declarations upon the decision of the head of the body where the relevant person is working. The heads of these bodies at their discretion will be able to decline access to relevant information for an unlimited number of reasons. Consequently, these conditions create additional corruption risks and neutralize the efficiency of financial control measures.
Establishing these exceptions for quite a wide range of persons may lead to the fact that other categories of reportable persons will also refer to certain peculiarities of their activities (for example, having access to state secrets) in order to return to the paper form of declaration of assets and property, as well as avoid effective financial control.
4. Related legislation/instructions which require the authorities act in a certain manner:
Articles 45-52-1 of the Law “On the Prevention of Corruption”; paragraph 4 of part 1 of Article 8 “On State Secrets”; a list of information constituting state secrets.
5. CPLR expert suggestions on how to fix the problem using the legal instruments available in Ukraine:
The draft law should be rejected as containing significant corruption-related factors. Article 52-1 of the Law “On the Prevention of Corruption” allows establishing a special procedure for the implementation of financial control measures for intelligence officers, counterintelligence officers and other persons whose employment constitutes a state secret, which is currently a sufficient measure. The key task is to approve the procedure for carrying out financial control measures of these persons by the National Agency for the Corruption Prevention, in consultation with the relevant authorities.