Fighting Corruption in Transition Economies: Ukraine

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PACE - Doc. () - Promoting integrity in governance to tackle political corruption

Administrative procedures and approaches in providing such services are inefficient, not transparent, not client oriented and sometimes costly therefore customers often provide bad feedback and use shadow ways to obtain services quicker that leads to corruption and strengthening of bureaucracy. ASO project team works to improve the framework and principles of administrative services, optimize its total number, revise and make more efficient methods of providing such services, ensure that services are customer-oriented and do not feed bureaucracy.

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During the number of services available to customers at these centers has grown significantly bringing positive feedback from citizens. ASO will coordinate expansion of Administrative Services Centers and assist in policy development and implementation that delivers easy access to citizens across all country.

Ukrainian health care system and its chances for successful transition from Soviet legacies

Establishing a balanced regulatory business operating environment will free SMEs to grow; leading to a stronger, more diverse Ukrainian economy. Ukraine struggles with an overabundance of regulations and procedures that are required to conduct business. This creates a regulatory burden that impedes investment and is particularly limiting for business growth.

Ukraine’s Economic Reform: Not Learning the Lessons of History

Traditionally, unnecessary regulations caused many businesses to resort to paying bribes in order to circumvent lengthy and burdensome procedures, thereby generating opportunities for corruption and increasing the risks of doing business. Furthermore, the BRDO is building infrastructure and the functional and technical capacities within the government to permanently manage regulatory reform once the backlog of current reforms is cleared. EDGE organized a large team of professionals including 70 lawyers, other sectorial business analysts, and communications and IT personnel to establish and support the initial operations of the BRDO.

Work of the Office remains focused on the sectors that are critical to SME functioning and development including agriculture; construction; electricity and market surveillance; and transport and communications.

Ukraine: Pigs literally fly at huge anti-corruption protest in Kiev

EDGE Response: set up project team to simplify service delivery and expand accessibility. Drawing on his extensive experience in transition economies, Christopher A. Hartwell explains the current economic divergence between Ukraine and Poland. While much of the reforms promised by the Ukrainian government focuses on education or pensions, there is also a realization that anti-corruption efforts need to be front and center.

However, even with the government claiming that political will exists to tackle the pervasive corruption in the country, the new emphasis on fighting corruption fails to address the root cause of the problem.

Promoting integrity in governance to tackle political corruption

Simply put, corruption persists in the country mainly because there are far too many opportunities for corruption, too much government involvement in the economy, and subsequently too many chances for rent-seeking. Without vitiating the power of the government across all sectors except perhaps defense, the opportunities for corruption will remain. As detailed in my new book from Cambridge University Press , the development of Ukrainian institutions over the past seven centuries, unlike Poland, has been predicated on few checks on the executive and a cavalier disregard for property rights.

Both the broader treatment of Ukraine in my book and the more specific treatment in the journal article find that the key constraint in property rights development in Ukraine was the continual meddling of politicians.

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In particular, as Douglass North predicted, broad-based property rights in Ukraine were never seen as more desirable than the alternative, namely narrowly-circumscribed rights accruing to the elite via the apparatus of government. While property rights are the most egregious area where Ukrainian politicians have failed the populace, one may find many such examples throughout the past years. Even the right to trade across borders, a right which has expanded throughout Europe with the EU lowering barriers, has never been assured in Ukraine.

At various times in just the past ten years, the Ukrainian government has played with export quotas, licenses, and a number of other restrictions; such mechanisms increase the frequency of interactions between the private sector and the public sector, transferring decision-making from the market to politicians. Under such an eventuality, the opportunities for corruption grow exponentially and only lead to more distortionary economic outcomes which then, naturally, necessitate more intervention. With a low-level conflict still ongoing in the east, aided and actively participated in by Russia, Ukraine cannot afford to waste its precious energies on issues peripheral to its national interest.