The Independent Defence Anti-Corruption Committee (NAKO) is a joint initiative established by Ukrainian activists and international experts to fight corruption in Ukraine’s defence sector. NAKO is independent from the Ukrainian government.
NAKO is a joint initiative co-founded by Transparency International Defence & Security and Transparency International Ukraine. It is currently supported by the Department for International Development of Great Britain (DFID) and the International Renaissance Foundation. Previously the project has been also supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden.
NAKO analyzes corruption risks within Ukraine’s defence sector and provides recommendations to the state authorities as to reducing the level of corruption. The organization helps promote transparency and strengthen accountability to the society in the state defence institutions, assists the reform process and performs public control.
In 2019 Ukraine’s President Zelensky, together with the other 15 presidential candidates, has publicly promised to implement NAKO’s recommendations in defence and security sector due to efficient coordination at the election campaign period.
NAKO actively collaborates with the key participants of Ukraine’s defence and security sector– the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine and state defence industry enterprises, predominantly Ukroboronprom. The organization has signed Memorandum of Understanding with Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence and currently participates in a number of working groups at the Ministry. NAKO helps the Ministry to raise the Government Defence Integritiy Index (GDI), envisaged in the Strategic Defence Bulletin of Ukraine.
NAKO produced recommendations which were included in the Annual National Programme of Ukraine-NATO cooperation for 2017 and 2018. NAKO’s recommendations were also included in technical specifications for MoD procurement of thousands of emergency kits. NAKO’s expertise also helped introduce changes aimed at efficient decentralisation of medical procurement in the Armes Forces of Ukraine, the reform process continues.
NAKO has actively promoted the reform process at the state defence concern Ukroboronprom. Due to the NAKO’s involvement, the effective Supervisory Board was renewed, and unprecedentedly, the independent international financial audit was announced. The Independent Defence Anti-Corruption Committee continues to monitor the independent audit and support the defence enterprise on its way of implementing the OECD standards. This will help to bring light to inefficiencies, corruption risks and structural deficits at the state-owned defence establishment.
In 2017 NAKO’s research threw light on MoD procurement of 100 Bohdan-Motors military ambulances through classified non-competitive procedure. The identified potential conflict of interest in that procurement made the headlines, and the second party of procurement has been postponed. Since that time NAKO focused on reducing corruption risks in defence and security sector and the overall level of secrecy in the sector. In 2019 the analysts of the organization were actively involved in the development of the draft law on defence procurement which aims at minimizing corruption risks in defence procurement, increasing the level of transparency and ensuring competitiveness in the area. The draft law has been already recommended by the specilized Committee for voting at the Parliament. Now our experts are also participating in the working group at the National Security, Defence and Intelligence Committee of the Verkhovna Rada that is reforming the State Secret.
Since the launch of the project NAKO has undertaken a number of studies on corruption risks in different areas of defence and security sector. According to their results, 5 reports (on international security assistance, medical supplies, illegal trade with the occupied Donbass, and the defence housing system), 3 briefs (on secrecy, Ukroboronprom’s corruption schemes, and the State Defence Order) and a Compendium of recommendations have been published. Currently we also prepare for publication the research on corruption risks in the MoD real estate management system.
NAKO’s research-based advocacy efforts are related to the findings of our previous reports. We will continue to work in cooperation with the governmental institutions, civil society partners and the international community. Namely, we focus on reducing corruption risks within defence housing and real estate, defence procurement, illegal trade with the occupied territories, MoD medical supplies and the enhancement of security assistance to Ukraine.