NABU has a unique internal anti-corruption system, — Roman Osypchuk

09.06.2021 00:00

Most compliance procedures within NABU are aimed at establishing a culture of integrity and zero tolerance for corruption. Such cultural elements as self-awareness, self-control, an atmosphere of condemnation are the best safeguards in the Bureau's anti-corruption management system. This was emphasized by the Head of the Internal Control Department Roman Osypchuk at the expert talk "Compliance & Ethics in practice: challenges and trends", organized by the European Business Association (EBA) on June 8, 2021.

"The basis of the risk-oriented model, which we began to implement in NABU in 2015, were corruption risks at the pre-trial investigation stage. We understood that if at least one detective was detained for bribery, it would be the end of the history of the anti-corruption agency, which had not yet begun," Roman Osypchuk said.

Some compliance procedures are stipulated by the law on the National Bureau, such as monitoring the lifestyle of employees, integrity checks, and the staff selection procedure. NABU's anti-corruption management is also based on NATO's Building Integrity Programme and the ISO 37001:2016 standard, which the Bureau confirmed in 2019.

The event saw the presentation of a brand-new expert study — International Compliance Index — intended to benchmark the development of corporate culture, compliance, and business ethics in Ukraine. It was conducted by EBA, "Vasyl Kisil and Partners" law firm, and the International Compliance Association (ICA) in April this year. Participants discussed the differences in the implementation of compliance practices and business ethics inside and outside Ukraine, in the private sector and government agencies, as well as identified the most common challenges, trends, and tendencies in compliance.

Svitlana Lutsiuk, Acting Head of the Department for Coordination of Authorized Units and Implementation of NACP Anti-Corruption Programs, spoke of challenges faced by state-owned enterprises, such as political influence, the crisis of the corporate management system, the interference in the work of supervisory boards.

"It is no secret that the biggest corruption is concentrated in the state-owned enterprises sector. If all the norms of the laws regulating the issues of ethical business conduct and anti-corruption compliance were properly implemented by them, I am sure the dynamics of corruption crimes would be much lower,” the NACP official said.

Kateryna Ryzhenko, Deputy Executive Director of Transparency International Ukraine for Legal Affairs, spoke about changes in the Corruption Perceptions Index in Ukraine from 2013 to 2020 and compliance as an important component of corruption prevention.

"Global Insight Country Risk Rating, which determines risks to the business environment, gave Ukraine +13 points in 2020. They took into account how companies dealt with corruption and how it affected receiving big contracts/orders and their daily work," Kateryna said. "Introducing transparent and accountable management of state-owned property in 2021 will help reduce corruption," she added.

The International Compliance Index study has been launched by the European Business Association in 2021. It is intended to benchmark the development of corporate culture, compliance, and business ethics in Ukraine and in the United Kingdom, determine common trends, tendencies, and differences.