On November 7, 2019, NAKO in cooperation with NATO Representation in Ukraine and Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance held the training on parliamentary control and secrecy in security and defence sector for the MPs and their assistants. MPs from the Verkhovna Rada Committee on National Security, Defence and Intelligence, Anticorruption Committee and Law Enforcement Committee partook in the event.
Secrecy and Parliamentary Control were defined as the key topics to be covered by the training at the request of the very MPs. NATO Head of Representation in Ukraine Alexander Vinnikov in his introductory word spoke on support of Ukraine by the international community, in particular, within Ukraine’s defence and security sector. Vinnikov said that the International Advisory Group which includes NATO, EU and the US, provided substantial expert advise to Ukraine while developing the Law on National Security and now supports the work on the secondary legislation in the key areas, in particular, on the Law on Security Service of Ukraine.
DCAF Project Coordinator for Europe and Central Asia Dr. Teodora Fuior shared her practical recommendations how the Members of Parliament can enhance the efficiency of control over defence and security sector. She said that ‘it possible to define the political regime in a particular country by assessing the number of institutions engaged in democratic control: the fewer institutions there are, the more authoritarian the state is’.
Search for balance between secrecy and transparency was covered by Dr. Karolina MacLachlan, Program Manager for Europe at Transparency International Defence and Security and former Vice Chief of Staff at NATO Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, Lt Gen (ret.) Michel Yakovleff. They spoke about the best international practices and recommended to review the secrecy system in Ukraine. All of them stressed that declassification should not be related to operations plans or brand-new technologies but secrecy in budgeting and procurement should be considerably reviewed. NAKO Advocacy Manager talked to the training participants about the existing system of secrecy in Ukraine, risks and after-effects of overclassification and shared NAKOs recommendations on solving issues in this area. Meanwhile, training participant and Deputy Head of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security, Defence and Intelligence Maryana Bezugla informed that the draft law on defence procurement had been registered and assured that the Parliament would consider it very soon. The training was organized with the generous support of the UK Department for International Development and the International Renaissance Foundation.