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On the Concept of struggle against corruption for the years 1998-2005

In order to improve the legal and institutional preconditions for the struggle against cor­ruption, I hereby decree:

1. The concept of struggle against corruption for the years 1998-2005 (annexed), passed by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, shall be approved.

2. The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine shall, as per the provisions of this Concept, elabo­rate the program of priority measures aimed at the struggle against corruption, also the annual plans of implementation if this program.

L.KUCHMA President of Ukraine


24 April 1998

No 367/98


by Enactment of the President of Ukraine

No. 367/98

dated April 24, 1998


of struggle against corruption for the years 1998-2005


Corruption is a basic factor generating a threat to the national security and democratic de­velopment of a state, negatively affecting such vital spheres of public life as economy, politics, management, law, public awareness, social and international relations.

Regardless of the hitherto taken institutional and legal anti-corruption measures, the scope of corrupt practices has not been cut down. This happened inasmuch as a number of measures specified by the national anti-corruption program had not been duly implemented.

Such state of affairs is a result of the fact that social preconditions of corruption have not been properly defined yet, that the activity on corruption control and neutralization was not con­ducted in a purposeful way. The spread of corruption is encouraged by impediment of demo­cratic and economic transformations. So far, the fundamentals of administrative reform have not been worked out. The strategy of corruption prevention and control has not been shaped even at the conceptual level. The corruption combating activity has not become a priority for quite a few state bodies. Such activity is carried out without proper systemic approach, proper exactness, adequate information support, observance of the principle of division of functions and responsi­bilities.

The activity of law-enforcement bodies on prevention of corrupt practices, their exposure and investigation lacks proper normative regulation, scientific and methodological support. The information and research work aimed at exposure of corrupt practices does not involve both the spheres of the most frequent occurrence of such practices and the highest echelons of executive power. The measures on improving the anti-corruption legislation are inconsistent. As a rule, anti-corruption actions are taken to combat individual cases of corrupt practices but not t6 elimi­nate the causes and conditions that encourage such practices.

It is only a comprehensive and scientifically grounded concept that will make it possible to provide a systemic approach and efficient organization of activity in the domain of corruption prevention and control.

^ Part 1. General provisions

Corruption is an extremely negative phenomenon, it is dangerous for a society, since cor­ruption:

- undermines the prestige of a state, inflicts damage to establishment of democratic prin­ciples of state management, to creation and functioning of the state apparatus;

- considerably limits the constitutional human rights and freedoms, particularly those of the ordinary citizens who suffer most from corruption and are not able to get rid of the corruption burden, who loose their confidence in democratic principles of society and state;

- violates the principle of the rule of law;

- hinders and distorts the process of economic reforms, blocks the development of market relations, first and foremost, the promotion of small and medium businesses, prevents the attrac­tion of foreign investments;

- grossly violates the fixed procedure for execution of duties on the part of officials of the state and local self-government bodies, also the private sector managers;

- grants illegal privileges to corrupt groups and clans, subjugates the state power to their interests;

- encourages illicit business relations and money laundering;

- supports the organized crime, first and foremost, the economic crimes, becomes an es­sential part of their existence;

- violates the principles of social justice and inevitability of punishment;

- ruins the spiritual, moral and social values;

- complicates the relations with other countries and the world community as a whole, makes it impossible to receive foreign aid,

As far as legal aspects are concerned, corruption is a totality of wrongdoing which differ in types and degree of social threat but whose essence is similar. It also involves other offenses (criminal, administrative, civil law, disciplinary) and misconduct by public officials connected with corrupt practices.

Corrupt practices have the following forms (types):

- abuse of power or office, excess of power or official duties and other types of malfea­sance committed in order to meet the self-benefiting or other personal interests or the interests of other persons;

-jobbery accompanied by embezzlement of the state, joint or private property;

- illegal obtaining of material possessions, incentives, privileges and other advantages;

- obtaining of credits, loans, aid, acquisition of securities, real estate or other types of property with the use of privileges or advantages not specified by the law or the ones to which a person has no rights;

- bribery;

- business activity performed directly, through intermediaries or men of straw with the help of power or official duties and the opportunities provided thereof;

- abuse of office with the aim of assisting the physical and legal entities in performing the business and other activities by them in order to illegally obtain the material possessions, other benefits, incentives and advantages;

- jobbery accompanied by illegitimate interference into the activity of other state bodies or officials to prevent them from performance of their official duties or illegal canvassing;

- the use of information, received during performance of official duties, in self-benefiting or other personal interests, groundless denial to provide the required information or untimely furnishing of such information, or furnishing of unreliable or insufficient information;

- granting of groundless benefits to physical or legal entities through elaboration and adoption of normative and legal acts or management decisions;

- protectionism in self-benefiting or other personal interests in appointing a person to a post, whose business and professional skills are in no way superior to those of other candidates for this post.

Corrupt practices may have other forms including those that require further interpretation by the law.

The struggle against corrupt practices shall be based on a combination of preventive, law-enforcement and coercive measures. In doing so, the priority must be given to the preventive measures of general social and special criminological nature.

The corruption prevention and combating measures are classified as the urgent short-term measures, the extraordinary ones included, the longer-term measures and the permanent ones.

The chief aim of the state anti-corruption policy is to set up an efficient corruption pre­vention and combating system, to reveal and eliminate social preconditions and consequences of corruption, to expose corrupt practices, to punish the persons guilty of such practices.

The corruption combating subjects are divided into the following main groups:

- the subjects, engaged in direct law-enforcement activities, including the ones specially set up to prevent corrupt practices, to expose and investigate them;

- the subjects that, within the framework of fulfilling other functions vested in them, sup­ply the law-enforcement bodies with the information about corrupt practices;

- the subjects, whose activity is specially (or due to fulfillment of other functions) in­tended for making a preventive and limiting effect upon social preconditions of corruption, for precluding the reasons and conditions that directly encourage corrupt practices;

- the subjects that coordinate the struggle against corruption. Pursuant to the general provisions and goals, the anti-corruption activity should be based on the following main principles:

- democratization of state management, proper organization of the work of state apparatus and local authorities in order to ensure the transparency for the public with regard to the activities of civil servants;

- the rule of law;

- protection of human rights;

- strengthening of decent and honest relations between the state apparatus and public offi­cials of all ranks with population;

- systemic approach;

- inclusiveness, which implies taking the urgent short-term, longer-term and permanent measures of economic, sociopolitical, institutional-managerial, legal, socio-psychological nature and the like;

- interaction of state bodies with social institutions and population;

- improvement of procedures and normative regulation of the work of public officials;

- practical orientation and radical nature of corruption-combating measures;

- scientific validation;

- joining the international anti-corruption system, development of comprehensive coopera­tion with other countries in this field.

Anti-corruption activity must be carried out in the following directions:

- preclusion of social preconditions of corruption, elimination of the reasons and condi­tions which encourage corrupt practices;

- improvement of the legislation on amenability for corrupt practices;

- control and supervision over observance of the anti-corruption laws;

- enhancement of activity of the state bodies on exposure and investigation of corrupt practices, taking legal steps against the persons guilty of such practices.

^ Part II. Social prerequisites of corruption.

Causes and conditions of corrupt practices

Corruption has historical roots and social prerequisites. Corrupt practices have always been part and parcel of public bureaucracy.

In the countries that embarked on the road to democracy, recognition of the principles of protection of human rights and freedoms, introduction of other fundamentals of democnicy helped gradually impart transparency to the state management system. -Thus, the foundation of omnipotence and corruption of public bureaucrats was undermined. However, not a single socio­political and economic system is immune to corruption: the latter's scope, capacities and manifes­tations keep changing while the degree of such changes depends on the attitude of state and soci­ety towards corruption.

During the transition of our country from the totalitarian to democratic market oriented economy, there appeared other prerequisites that encourage corruption. Among them are the pre­requisites similar to those in other transitional economies, also the ones brought about by mis­takes and other drawbacks characteristic of the process of social transformations in Ukraine proper.

Prerequisites of the first group:

- absence for a long period of time of political and economic strategy for establishment of a new social system, underestimation of the role of state regulation in such transformations, in particular, the activity of state apparatus, considerable weakening of control over the latter's work;

- presence of legal and hidden political forces that try to restore the former state-management system and resist introduction of democratic principles in all social spheres, includ­ing the management of society;

- presence of large remnants of the former command and administrative system in the form of excessively big state management and administrative apparatus with excessively big pow­ers, particularly of instructive and authorization nature, complicated red tape and non-controlled procedures for meeting the urgent needs of men in the street;

- changes in the forms of ownership, privatization and accumulation of large amount of values which, mostly unofficially or half legally, occurred in the first period of independence, encouraged the emergence and expansion of corporate groups, clans and corrupt ties, served as a good example for jobbery, made it possible to easily switch from civil service to commercial ac­tivity;

- mass-scale drive of the newly emerged businesses, criminal ones included, for solving their problems with the aid of the state apparatus;

- considerable amendments and changes in laws and by-laws, relaxation of control over observance of legislation;

- considerable increase in the number of foreign businessmen and investors almost igno­rant of the national legislation and regulations who fell an easy prey to corrupt persons.

Prerequisites of the second group:

- declarative nature of quite a few reformatory intentions and decisions of the state authorities; limitations, delays and inconsistency in implementation of the reforms in such fields as democratization of social management, activities of the state apparatus, deregulation and lib­eralization of economy, support of mass media;

- unchecked establishment of business entities on the state property basis, transformation of the state property into the private one in the interests of certain groups, criminal organizations and clans;

- criminalization of economic and other social relations as a result of inadequate monetary and tax policy which encourages shadow economy, barter operations, hinders the development of civilized entrepreneurship, reorients the latter from production activities to the trade and financial ones;

- passivity of the law-enforcement and other state bodies in making answerable those guilty of corruption and other illegal practices which, in addition to other negative phenomena, made public bureaucrats feel free of punishment when resorting to corrupt practices, led to moral degradation and the spread of office abuses;

- a widely spread public opinion about corruptness of civil servants, about acceptance, ef­ficiency and necessity of corrupt ties and practices, about the unwillingness of the state authori­ties to combat such ties and practices, even the attempts of the authorities to promote them, and thus such opinion generates quite an opposite effect, that is, the readiness and habits among the men in the street to use the corrupt relations; it is a priority for the citizens ready to combat cor­ruption rather to punish more severely the persons guilty of corrupt practices than to eradicate the causes and conditions for existence of such practices; given the absence of efficient anti-corruption policy, the media also help shape said attitudes in the public.

The aforementioned classification of corruption prerequisites is arbitrary inasmuch as at the general social level they are interconnected and bring about other negative social phenomena. At this level said prerequisites in their interconnected and somewhat changed form play either a major role or are transformed into direct reasons and conditions which, according to their nature, may be classified as political, economic, legal, institutional-managerial, socio-psychological and other factors. . Besides, it is also worth mentioning:

political factors:

- absence of program-based and clear approach to introduction of democratic principles into different spheres of social life, in particular, into the social management system and as a re­sult, this system is not transparent, it does not properly serve the people and is not accountable to the latter;

- inadmissibly slow development of political structure and public consciousness, public institutions, first and foremost, inability of such institutions to take part on equal terms with the state bodes in solution of social problems including introduction of fair relations with population and the struggle against corruption;

- absence of the system for inculcating in civil servants the patriotic sentiments, high morality and professional skills, due understanding of the fact that corruption undermines the prestige and strength of a state, ethical principles of society;

- inadequate definition of anti-corruption policy, its inconsistency and superficiality which create the feeling of impunity in the civil servants addicted to corruption;

- lack of the state initiative and institutional efforts for establishment of public associations and independent non-governmental institutions aimed at enhancement of the role of population in combating corruption;

economic factors :

- absence of favorable conditions for the work of enterprises and entrepreneurs in such fields as taxation, budget deductions, state support, crediting etc.;

- lack of transparency in denationalization of property, solution of economic issues, evaluation of profits, determination of tax rates, granting benefits etc., which create conditions for office abuses;

- great difference between big profits of the growing number of rich people and small salaries of the civil servants responsible for providing adequate conditions for profit-making ac­tivities;

legal factors:

- imperfect legislation on regulating the solution of political, economic, social, institu­tional-managerial problems of preventing corruption and corruption practices and, as a result, the legislative framework is inadequate for efficient struggle against office abuses on the part of pub­lic officials, it keeps intact their arrogance and separation from population, it is not conducive to establishment of proper system of control over the activities of civil servants, it does not provide a reliable administrative and legal protection of people from arbitrary actions of the state bodies and officials;

- absence, at the normative level, of the integral system of preventive measures against the causes and conditions encouraging corrupt practices;

- lack of regulations on the responsibility for corrupt practices along qualification lines, for other offenses that encourage corruption;

- formal nature of the system for declaration of incomes by civil servants;

- ambiguity and gaps in the legislation regulating the state bodies combating corruption, in particular, inadequate specification of corrupt subjects;

- passivity and lack of determination of the law-enforcement bodies in implementation of legal requirements concerning the exposure of corrupt practices the persons guilty of them;

institutional and managerial factors:

- lack of the rules regulating the performance of duties by civil servants, their decision-making and document issuance procedures; excessively broad regulative and permit-issue powers of public officials enabling them to take arbitrary decisions thus making it possible for them to indulge in red tape and exaggerate their role in handling the requests of citizens;

- a great number of cases in personnel policy when public servants are appointed to their posts not in terms of their business and moral qualities but due to the long-standing friendly rela­tions with their superiors, personal devotion or similar political views; absence of special check­ing procedures, the tests of professional and moral qualities, periodical rotation, single-level transfer of employees; poor observance of the rules and formal attitude concerning the contests for a vacancy and employee ranking;

- lack of mechanisms making it impossible for the leaders and members of criminal groups to be employed and climb up the ladder;

- delays in legal and practical settlement of the issues on introduction of special checks of the candidates for official posts or the persons occupying such posts, in implementation of a more efficient procedure for keeping record of personal history of such persons;

- lack in the most ministries and other central executive bodies of special departments or employees dealing with prevention of corruption practices and other kinds of office abuses;

socio-psychological factors:

- underdeveloped public consciousness in quite a few sections of population that still fail to properly understand the new status of the individual in the state being built on democratic principles; relatively strong influence of traditional stereotypes pertaining to the leading role of the state and the inferior role of the public institutions in solution of social problems, including the struggle against corruption;

- spread of self-benefiting practices among civil servants, their misconduct involving the violation of law, moral norms and professional honor;

- professional and moral degradation of some officials occupying important posts who re­sort to corruption practices and violations of official etiquette or voluntarily overlook them;

- passive attitude of employees towards the corruption practices exposed in their midst with the aim of combating such practices and their prevention in the future.

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