The NACP – National Agency on Corruption Prevention – has found itself in a deadlock. Selective review of e-declarations, another failed meeting of the Agency or groundless persecutions of certain аctivists and MPs can hardly surprise anyone. Over the past year, the leadership structure of the NACP has proven to be completely ineffective, while the leaders of the Agency have wilfully sabotaged the work of the register of civil servants’ declarations and blocked the key functions entrusted to this newly established body.
The incident with NACP member Ruslan Riaboshapka further stirred the situation up. On 9 June, Mr. Riaboshapka announced his resignation from the office, which was further approved by the Government. After Mr. Riaboshapka’s resignation, any NACP decision has to be supported by all three members of the NACP. As the last meetings of the Agency showcase, the internal confrontation has remained unchanged – two members (Ms. Korchak and Mr. Skopych) tend to oppose the third member (Mr. Radetskyi).
With this being said, experts of the Reanimation Package of Reforms and their partners have drafted a Roadmap for the NACP to exit the crisis. It was announced at a meeting of a respective Parliamentary Committee. The Roadmap is focused on four goals that could be further elaborated by specific narrow tasks.
Therefore, Ukrainian authorities should focus on:
Goal 1. Finalization of the processes to ensure the proper functioning of the NACP:
1. A new law should be adopted to allow re-election of the leadership of the currently inert NACP. Such re-election should be based on the following principles:
2. Formation of the NACP Secretariat should be completed, all the necessary procedural regulations should be developed and approved.
3. The NACP Development Strategy should be approved.
Goal 2. Administrator of the Unified Registry of Declarations of Persons Authorized to Perform the Functions of State or Local Self-Government should be changed– the NACP should take over the functions of the information system administrator immediately, however, the equipment should not be relocated. All further administration of the system should be conducted independently.
Goal 3. The e-declaration system should undergo independent testing with the involvement of international auditing companies – the key challenges in the operation of the platform and software support of the registry should be identified by conducting the following tests: review of architecture, code review, penetration (+DDOS) testing, load & stress testing, functional testing.
Importantly, the requirements specification for such testing should be developed by a team that includes experts with international expertise. The testing itself may be funded by international partners. The audit should be conducted by an internationally reputable independent company that has necessary experts. The findings should be made public after the detected vulnerabilities have been fixed.
Goal 4. The modules of automatic verification of declarations should be used for complete verifications of declarations; declarations should also be verified in automatic mode by accessing key state registries:
Finalization of modules and obtaining automatic access to state registries are closely inter-connected and should not be addressed separately. Software should be designed and put into operation with a technical capacity to receive data from other registries (it should be taken into account that different registries can have different data sharing modalities).
Nevertheless, not only the political will is necessary for successful implementation of the Roadmap for the NACP to exit the crisis, but also a steady commitment to make this newly created anti-corruption institution finally operational. Otherwise, the NACP will become just another formal body serving solely the interests of Ukrainian political establishment.