NAKO (the Independent Anti-Corruption Commission) is an independent civil society organization whose function is to reduce the level of corruption and advance good governance in the areas critical for Ukraine’s national security.
NAKO’s goal is to reduce corruption risks by ensuring high-quality research, effective advocacy and raising awareness to enhance Ukraine’s national security in the areas of politics, economy, defence and security, science and technology, etc.
NAKO analyzes corruption risks and other challenges for good governance in Ukraine’s national security and provides relevant recommenations to the state bodies. We help increase transparency and accountability of the state bodies before the society and advance reforms in Ukraine’s national security. Also, we ensure civilian oversight over anti-corruption transformation of the state defence and security institutions.
NAKO was founded in 2016 as the Independent Defence Anti-Corruption Committee. It was a joint initiative by Transparency International Defence & Security and Transparency International Ukraine. Then, NAKO was a project which focused on Ukraine’s defence sector exclusively. In 2019 with the support of its founders NAKO grew into an independent civil society organization which works to reduce corruption risks and promote good governance in the areas critical for national security. To reflect the broadening of its mandate, NAKO received a new name: the Independent Anti-Corruption Commission. Currenlty, NAKO keeps strategic partnership with the Transparency International movement. Relations between NAKO, Transparency International Ukraine and Transparency International Defence and Security are regulated by a trilateral Memorandum of Understanding.
NAKO’s key governing body is the Conference of Members which includes highly reputable experts in governance, anti-corruption, and media. The Conference has both Ukrainian and international members. In between the meetings of the Conference of Members NAKO is governed by the independent professional Board. Executive Director is responsible for NAKO’s operating management.
In 2021 NAKO’s work is kindly supported by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of Great Britain and the Embassy of France to Ukraine. Previously, NAKO’s work has also been supported by the International Renaissance Foundation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden and the EU Anti-Corruption Initiative (EUACI).
In 2019 Ukraine’s President Zelensky, together with the other 15 presidential candidates, publicly promised to implement NAKO’s recommendations in defence and security sector due to efficient coordination at the election campaign period. Currently, NAKO is monitoring how the President’s commitments are being implemented.
NAKO actively collaborates with the key stakeholders in Ukraine’s defence and security sector: the Parliament of Ukraine, namely the Committee on National Security, Defence and Intelligence, the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine and state defence enterprise Ukroboronprom. We currently participate in a number of working groups and commissions both under the umbrella of the Parliament and the MoD. Also, NAKO helps the Ministry of Defence to raise the Government Defence Integritiy Index (GDI), envisaged in the Strategic Defence Bulletin of Ukraine.
NAKO has effectively promoted the reform process at state defence enterprise Ukroboronprom. Due to NAKO’s involvement, unprecedentedly, the independent international financial audit took place, and some of the results were publicly presented. NAKO continues to 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.
NAKO produced recommendations which were included in the Annual National Programme of Ukraine-NATO cooperation for several years in a row. NAKO’s recommendations were also included in technical specifications for MoD procurement of thousands of emergency kits. NAKO’s expertise helped introduce changes aimed at efficient decentralisation of medical procurement in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the reform process continues.
In 2017 NAKO’s research threw light on MoD procurement of 100 Bohdan-Motors military ambulances through the classified non-competitive procedure. The identified potential conflict of interest in that procurement made the headlines, and the second party of procurement was postponed. Since that time NAKO focused on reducing corruption risks in defence and security sector and the overall level of secrecy in the sector. NAKO’s analysts were actively involved in drafting the law on defence procurement which aims at minimizing corruption risks in defence procurement, increasing the level of transparency and ensuring competitiveness in the area. Now when the Law has been adopted, we are monitoring its implementation. Also, our experts take part in the parliamentary working group which focuses on the State Secret reform.
Since the launch of the project NAKO has undertaken a number of studies on corruption risks in different areas of defence and security sector. So far, more than 15 reports and briefs have been published as well as a Compendium of Recommendations.
NAKO’s key method of advancing the change is research-based advocacy. We continue to work in cooperation with the governmental institutions, civil society partners and the international community to ensure implementation of our recommendations.