Corruption in army kills! Report cases of abusing power!

May 15, 2017

The Good: first declared “zero tolerance to corruption” in 2015, the Anti-Corruption Program of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine for 2015-2017 is rightly seen as an immensely important step in accelerating of the Ukrainian government in its efforts to combat corruption. It provided the first systematic attempt to create an institutionalized system to prevent and detect corruption in the defence establishment on the level on prevention rather than reaction to the corrupt behaviour.

In 2015-2016, the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine has been focused on establishing a single integrated system to prevent corruption on all levels of military command — from the military unit to the state enterprise within the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces of Ukraine, on establishing five regional territorial units (local groups) for the prevention and detection of corruption as well as defining and appointing Authorized persons to be responsible for training, maintenance and monitoring of actions to prevent corruption. 

Notably, the defence establishment jointly with the international partners stimulated much important academic research on mitigating corruption risks in the defence. Thus, the Building Integrity Centre conducted a range of building integrity trainings engaging more than 3k civil and military representatives of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine and the Armed Forces of Ukraine.  

Check the latest MoD Ukraine anti-corruption report for 2016

The Bad: despite its prominence on the way to combat corruption in the defence establishment, the Anti-Corruption Program for 2015-2017 is increasingly controversial. First, it has process character focusing on mostly tactical issues without capturing long-term trends. 

Another problem is that current Anti-Corruption Program of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine has been created without considering the major corruption risks. It is of theoretical nature with no clear and comprehensive key performance indicators to assess declared anti-corruption measures. For instance, there are no spheres with the major corruption risks, such as housing for military, purchases of equipment, service promotions and privileges for services, etc.

Also of note is that the Program fails to specify the responsible departments/bureaus in the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine to accomplish tasks on preventing and detecting corruption. In this case the lack of relevant assessment criteria and the absence of responsible devisions to meet the Anti-Corruption Program goals, the Program itself, mostly, losses its practical value — leaving aside the question of what it actually tells us.

The Ugly: due to the process character and institutional approach to drafting and accomplishing of the Anti-Corruption Program, it creates the feeling of tokenism or lack of action in the sphere of preventing and combating corruption in MoD Ukraine. Despite building integrity and counter-corruption efforts, Ukrainians perceive defence establishment as corrupt and non-transparent in terms of budget policy and ongoing operations.

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