On Tuesday, 21 August, the Independent Defence Anti-Corruption Committee (NAKO) welcomed representatives of Ukraine’s Security Services, NATO, the European Union Advisory Mission and civil society members to consider its brief, “Secrecy and Transparency: Striking the right balance in the defence sector”. The brief considers the need to strike the right balance between securitization and transparency; particularly in light of Russia’s aggression and the freedom of information. It describes the current system in Ukraine, with a special focus on defence procurement and contains recommendations based on international best practices.
The event, facilitated by the Reanimation Package of Reforms, was organized to present the brief and engage stakeholders in NAKOs upcoming research. Experts considered caveats in Ukraine’s legislation that may facilitate the abuse of power and corruption risks associated with over-classification. The criteria for classification, are often too broad and badly defined. In practice, this results in subjective decision-making and lower levels of transparency.
Representatives of state authorities and experts on state secrets also joined the discussion. Members of Parliament shared their experience and concerns regarding access to classified information. International partners called on Ukraine to follow the Euro-Atlantic standards of transparency and accented the need for integrity within the intelligence sector.
The value of event itself is difficult to overestimate; it indicates that state bodies are open to change and cooperation with civil society. Recalling that the publication of the Brief on Secrecy and Transparency NAKO marked the launch of NAKOs deep research into the legal framework that regulates the State Secret, NAKO expresses its gratitude to all the participants and looks forward to future cooperation.
21 August, 2018