7 February 2019

On 5 -7 February, 2019, the Independent Defence Anti-Corruption Committee (NAKO) has partook in the MoD IV International Anti-Corruption Week. The event highlighted the challenges of fighting corruption in the defence ministry.

NAKO was presented there by the Committee Member Oleh Rybachuk. He lectured on the need to search for the right balance between secrecy and transparency. The high officials of the MoD and the General Staff of the Armed Forces, MPs and MoD international advisors (including those from the Great Britain, the US, Canada and Germany) also joined the discussion.

In 2017 the global losses due to corruption in defence sector reached 400 bln dollars. This is what Jacqueline Davies, Director Building Integrity at the UK MoD said. She elaborated on SIPRI data by saying:

“Global defence expenditures reach more than 1.7 trillion US dollars. 20 per cent of this sum is lost to corruption”.

NAKO Committee Member Oleh Rybachuk says that it is possible to reduce corruption, namely in Ukraine, by reducing the level of secrecy. In particular, one needs to reduce the share of secret procurement. Rybachuk said,

‘Now it’s possible to declassify about 90 per cent of the State Defence Order (DOZ) without any risk to national security. This is what I was previously told by Ukraine’s Minister of Defence Stepan Poltorak’.

Implementing the Law on National Security would also help reducing corruption in defence sector, says Yaroslav Yurchyshyn, Transparency International Ukraine Head of Supervisory Board:

‘The Law on National Security is the key element for civilian control and democratic oversight over the armed forces and security services’.

As a result of the Anti-Corruption Week the participants elaborated some recommendations which would promote reforms at Ukraine’s MoD. For example, in the areas of defence procurement, transparency in providing the servicemen/women with the housing and military education.

The IV International Anti-Corruption Week was organized by the Chernyakhovsky National Defence University with the support of the UK government.

NAKO continues to support the National Defence University by providing anti-corruption lectures to Ukrainian servicemen/women.