UNDP helps unlock stalemate surrounding the establishment of the National Agency for Prevention of Corruption

Kyiv, 12 August 2015 – The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine adopted a resolution amending rules that steer the Selection Panel for picking 5 heads of the new anti-corruption watchdog – the National Agency for Prevention of Corruption (NAPC). The decision came after protracted but fruitful negotiations between the Government of Ukraine (including first and foremost the Ministry of Justice and the Cabinet's Secretariat) and the representatives of civil society, which were facilitated by UNDP and the EU Delegation to Ukraine.

Four members of the Selection Panel were nominated on 17 May by civil society organizations through a process that was later on contested by other members of the civil society as allegedly marred with irregularities and collusion.
Along with the National Anti-Corruption Bureau and Anti-Corruption Prosecution, NAPC is one of the new anti-corruption institutions to be stablished as part of the 2014 Law on Preventing Corruption. NAPC Commissioners are to be selected on the competitive basis by the independent selection panel comprised of three representatives nominated by the President, Verkhovna Rada and the Cabinet of Ministers respectively, the Head of the National Civil Service Agency and four representatives of the civil society organisations.
NAPC was formally created on 18 March 2015 by the decree of the Cabinet of Ministers, and the process for determining four civil society members of the selection panel was started in May 2015. On 17 May, four CSO representatives were nominated at the meeting organised by the Secretariat of the Cabinet of Ministers. The nomination process was contested by some anti-corruption CSOs, including Transparency International Ukraine and the anti-corruption wing of the Reanimation Reform Package due to alleged irregularities. Later, two court cases were launched by Transparency International against the Cabinet of Ministers for concealing information on CSOs participating in the nomination process and for failing to filter out those ones that had no relevant experience.
The negotiations between the Ministry of Justice and the civil society representatives facilitated by UNDP and EU delegation in Ukraine resulted in a decision that broke the deadlock: 4 civic members nominated as a result of the alleged fraud process decided to step down at their own will; the Cabinet of Ministers – to re-launch the new civic nomination process.
As noted by the Minister of Justice at the press-briefing at the Cabinet of Ministers, the decision to re-launch the Panel and to re-run the civic nomination procedure was made in order to leave all prior doubts and accusations behind, and to guarantee impeccable reputation for the Selection Panel that is to nominate 5 top officials steering NAPC. Updated regulations with additional safeguards for transparency and openness of the process were adopted by the Cabinet. In order to conduct all required procedures promptly and in good faith, an action plan was drafted with assistance of UNDP, and a new Government Focal Point for assisting the civic nomination procedure was appointed – the current first deputy Minister of Justice. "We have made everything possible for a re-load to take place, and the Government of Ukraine will do anything to ensure open and transparent civic nomination meeting", noted the Minster.
UNDP Deputy Country Director, Stefan Liller, encouraged civil society organizations that have solid experience of anti-corruption activity to seize the opportunity and apply to participate in the nomination process. This, nonetheless, should be done with full responsibility and in good faith, with the eye and the heart set not only to the letter of the law, but also to the spirit of integrity and goodwill. Mr. Liller, responding to the Government's request to ensure full transparency and integrity of nomination process, emphasized UNDP's readiness to provide support to all stakeholders to make the election procedure free and fair. This, he noted, would be the best guarantee for selecting, down the road, the best 5 individuals to spearhead the new institution: a guardian of integrity and transparency of civil service.
The preliminary date for the meeting is set at 28th August with details to be noted in a special advertisement on the website of the Cabinet of Ministers.