Hennadii Zubko, Vice Prime Minister – Minister of Regional Development, Construction and Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine, believes that the current decentralisation reform is the biggest anti-corruption step in our country’s history.
He stated this during his working visit to the Chernivtsi Oblast, as Ukrinform reports.
Hennadii Zubko delivered a lecture on the decentralisation reform in Ukraine for the Chernivtsi University students. Answering a student’s question on what prevented all previous authorities in Ukraine from implementing the decentralisation reform and transferring powers to the ground, the official said:
“They were lacking political will. Back in 1996, Ukraine signed the European Charter of Local Self-Government. And since that time, every president, every Verkhovna Rada, that came to power, said that powers would be transferred to the ground. Then they looked at those resources to be transferred, and changed their mind. They thought, “It would be better if people from the village, where a school or a kindergarten need to be built, come to us and offer 30% kickback, and then we will give money from the budget.” Therefore, I believe that the current decentralisation reform is the biggest anti-corruption step in the history of the state, since the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine, Specialised Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, National Agency on Corruption Prevention, anticorruption court are the so-called “catch-ups”, that is, when somebody has stolen something, he must be caught up and punished. But the issue number 1 is to create conditions with no possibility to steal,” said Hennadii Zubko.
“Did corruption go down with resources to the lower level? I think it did, since it always follows the funds. But where is there more transparency and where is it easier to control? Of course, at the local level. Therefore, this way of transferring powers and resources to the regions is preventive, it prevents corruption,” the official said.
At the same time, Hennadii Zubko does not diminish the importance of the work of anti-corruption bodies in Ukraine.
“Our entire anti-corruption structure, which is currently operating, will prove its effectiveness. Its main merit will be seen, when officials start to really fear to steal. This is also a rather efficient way to fight corruption in the country,” added the official.
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