Eradicating the corruption
Systematic anti-corruption strategy
Under the guidance of Oleksandr Klymenko, it was worked out and implemented systematic anti-corruption strategy in tax and customs authorities. It combines the measures of the detection of the corruption and to eradicating its causes. Anti-corruption practices, which were worked out by Klymenko, would be effective not only within a single state authority, but also in the country generally.
During the constant communicating with business and investors, Oleksandr Klymenko understood that corruption is one of the most fundamental and systematic problem of tax field and state system of governance in Ukraine in general. If there is the same level of old corrupt practices, any reform, which is expounded on the paper, will remain there.
In order to refract the situation, Oleksandr Klymenko invited a number of generally recognized world experts from PricewaterhouseCoopers, the EBRD, the World Bank. Together they developed a comprehensive anti-corruption strategy, which was implemented in the work of tax and customs authorities in 2012-2013.
Anti-corruption strategy, which was worked out by Klymenko, was based on the peremptory principle of “zero tolerance”: any employee at any level, whose participation in acts of corruption has been proven, had no chance to remain among his colleagues, in spite of all contacts and past achievements.
Automatic evaluation system of corruption risks with the help of the numerical coefficients was implemented under the leadership of Oleksandr Klymenko.
First of all, it allowed, not to use strength of anti-corruption units, but to focus their activities on areas, which are potentially exposed to risks, namely: forming of inspection plan, the function of post-customs audit, VAT refund, fictitious invoices, cash registers.
Secondly, the task of anti-corruption strategy was not only to create effective methods of detection of whose, who made a slip, but also to eliminate the algorithms of work, which made it possible to commit acts of corruption.
As a result, corrupt dangerous functions of the departments of Ministry were replaced by automated processes, where control was carried out by IT-technologies. Information, which was filled by staff in database, was crosschecked.
Oleksandr Klymenko believed that the main “recipe” to fight corruption was a large-scale electronization and automation of all tax and customs procedures. In order to remove the risks of corruption and reduce the incidences of personal communication between inspector and the taxpayer, he implemented an electronic format of tax declarations for the first tome in Ukraine. He was also ready to launch an electronic account of the taxpayer and the electronic desk audits.
Work with the staff had also important role in the anti-corruption strategy. Department of service ethics, which obeyed the Minister, was created in the Ministry. It was devoted to data collection, risk analysis and detection of acts of corruption in the Ministry, as well as training on preventing and resistance to the corruption for employees of other departments.
It was introduced the practice of passing the polygraph tests in case of hiring new employees (primarily in leadership positions).
Oleksandr Klymenko also worked out a Code of Professional Ethics for the employees of tax and customs authorities. Transparent quality evaluation criteria of the specialists from the Central Office and regional offices were approved in order to estimate objectively the employees according to the results of their work.
There was also tightened control over the completeness and timeliness of filling the declarations on property, incomes, expenses and financial obligations of all employees of the Ministry, including top executives. Among the planned steps, which, unfortunately, have not been implemented due to the lack of time – was the adoption of the policy, which regulates conflict of interest of officials in the Ministry.
Oleksandr Klymenko in 2013 initiated the introduction of a number of technological and organizational innovations into the work of customs authorities in order to improve the effectiveness of the struggling against smuggling at the border and increasing the transparency of customs operations. Thus, Odessa customs services began to use electronic locks with the GPS-GSM navigation function (as a pilot project). It allowed to track remotely the movement of transit and import cargos through the Ukrainian territory and actually stop the so-called “Interrupted transit” scheme. Since 2014 this innovation was planned to extend to other customs, including Western regions.
Oleksandr Klymenko ordered to repair 11 mobile scanning systems in Lviv, South, Chernivtsi, Chop and Jagodina customs services, which have been located on their balance since 2009. August 5, 2013, these systems were launched. Checking of cargo via scanner was free and did not require loading and unloading of cargo. It saved time and money of cargo owners.
The usage of automated tools in customs services caused a wave of discontent among those, who used to make a corrupt rent during customs clearance of goods and cargo for years. It raised the tide of negativity in the media, which was supported by many specialized organizations (due to the influence of manipulations of dishonest dealers and smugglers). It was necessary to work with relevant organizations, to explain the benefits of automation of all customs processes. After long discussions, the work in the Investment Council, meetings and clarifications, business supported the initiatives of Oleksandr Klymenko.
Close cooperation with international organizations was also established – Transparency International, World Bank, EBRD. In June 2013, during the visit of Oleksandr Klymenko in Brussels, they signed an administrative agreement with OLAF on cooperation in struggling with illegal transporting of tobacco products. In September 2013, during the visit of Giovanni Kessler – Director General of OLAF – in Kiev, it was agreed to expand cooperation in the fight against fraud and economic crime.
After the first few months of implementing of anti-corruption strategy (which was created by Oleksandr Klymenko), it was fixed the reduction of the significance of the corruption problem in taxes and customs services.
Implementation of the strategy has been suspended after a change of government in February 2014.
Corruption and the opacity of public administration – this is a serious, long-term and systematic problem. Its resolving is not in radical measures or lustration demonstration activities, but in the long and painstaking work of elimination of its premises. A comprehensive system of anti-corruption practices, which was worked out by Oleksandr Klymenko, applies not only in the individual authorities of state power, but in general on a national scale.
Project management in public administration Listening to business
Tax reforms through the dialogue and partnership Eradicating the corruption
Systematic anti-corruption strategy Restoring justice
"The point of profit" - in Ukraine Searching for balance
Struggling with the shadow economy Removing the barriers
Support of small and medium business Implementing innovations
Electronic services for business and citizens Creating the future
Forming of tax culture Connecting the civilizations
Development of the international partnership