Over the last 27 years of Independence the defence and security sector of Ukraine has been characterized by a high level of corruption, inadequate reaction to the needs of military and society, non-transparency, and absence of accountability and control.
In the context of the Crimea annexation and armed conflict in the East, which poses a serious risk of escalation and armed confrontation between Ukraine and the Russian Federation, the primary task of the Government is to strengthen defence capabilities of Ukraine. Lack of accountability in the defence sector and a high level of secrecy in defence expenditures are among the main risks for corruption and the national security.
A need for an independent external body has emerged, which could control the progress in the anti-corruption reforms implementation, have an opportunity to address the requests to the leaders of the country responsible for reforms and provide donors, international representatives and civil society with objective assessment of the Government’s actions in terms of fighting against corruption in defence and security sector.
Ukrainian civil activists and international experts created the Independent Defence Anti-Corruption Committee (NAKO). It consists of three Ukrainian and three international experts.
The Committee met with Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze. They agreed to provide expert recommendations of the Committee to the the Annual National Programme of NATO-Ukraine cooperation for 2017.
November – December
The Committee agreed on regular communication with key anti-corruption authorities and defence institutions. For example, with the Minister of Defence Stepan Poltorak, the Deputy Defence Minister for European Integration Ihor Dolhov and Yehor Sobolev, the Head of the Committee on Corruption Prevention and Counteraction at the Verkhovna Rada.
NAKO delegation met with the Minister of Defence Stepan Poltorak, and it was agreed that the Committee will be involved in anti-corruption reforms in the defence sector. The following areas of cooperation were determined: reducing corruption risks in providing military personnel with the housing and health-related services.
NAKO delegation met for the first time with the state-owned defence enterprise Ukroboronprom. They agreed to start cooperation in reforming and reducing the corruption level within the defence enterprise and to implement OECD Principles of Corporate Governance for its member companies.
NAKO also met with the representatives of anti-corruption authorities: the National Anti-corruption Bureau, the Specialized Anti-corruption Prosecutor Office, and Parliamentary Committee on Combating Corruption.
NAKO and Transparency International Ukraine defined the ways of cooperation with the state-owned defence enterprise Ukroboronprom. It was agreed that the Committee would act as an independent expert to Ukroboronprom’s reforms. In paticular, would participate in the preliminary selection of consultant companies and help attract funding for the Consortium’s independent audit and its further reforms.
Transparency International Ukraine signed the Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation with the Ministry of Defence. The Ministry and TI Ukraine will collaborate to decrease corruption risks and increase the transparency of the entire defence sector. By the document, TI Ukraine and NAKO will provide expert assistance during the development and implementation of new anti-corruption policies at the Ministry of Defence, and give advice on how to prevent corruption. The Ministry will support the examination and provide reliable information to NAKO experts.
NAKO published its research, ‘Making the system work: enhancing security assistance to Ukraine’. The report reveals that international security assistance to Ukraine is not always used effectively. The paper calls for the improved regulation and oversight of security assistance, as well as greater transparency of key strategic planning documents like the State Defence Order and defence budget.
NAKO presented its report on corruption risks in the system of medical supply in Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence. The research brings to light a number of obscure mechanisms in defence medical supply which can lead to corrupt practices in procurement of medicines and medical products, purchase of low-quality products for the frontline and military clinical centers.
NAKO presented its research, ‘Crossing the line: How the illegal trade with occupied Donbas has undermined defence integrity’. It reveals that illegal trade between government-controlled Ukraine and the occupied territories in the East takes place systematically and is facilitated by Ukrainian defence and security institutions.
Due to NAKO’s active involvement, state-owned defence enterprise Ukroboronprom announces the tender for the independent international audit and strategic analysis.
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