In 2016, Ukraine launched an electronic asset declaration system, requiring public officials to disclose earnings and assets, in an effort to combat corruption and enhance accountability of public figures. With support from international partners, the e-register system hosts a global database of assets of public officials and has over 1,450,000 registered users.
In response to public demand for corruption prevention, accountability of public authorities, and the continuation of the integrity reform in Ukraine, new mechanisms of monitoring and providing transparency related to the assets and earnings of public figures was implemented.
The innovation consists of an electronic asset declaration system, capable of automatically reviewing and verifying data consistency (logic and arithmetic control) of data provided by declarants. European and international best practices and standards were taken into account during the development, with the goal preventing corruption and demonstrating genuine institutional changes.
The main beneficiaries of the project are Ukrainian citizens. By lowering corruption levels, increased transparency and accountability can be achieved.
Areas of development for the e-declaration register are:
• Increasing the number of integrated state registers (for automatic verification of submitted data);
• Improving performance indicators for declarants' comfort;
• Developing an automatic prefilling mechanisms to prevent mistakes when filling out and speeding up the declaration submission procedure.
The system was supported through actions with international partners, in particular UNDP and the World Bank, as well as through the help of Ukrainian NGO experts.
Key methods of implementation include the creation of a legislative framework at the state level, which further includes the implementation of the provisions of the UN Convention against Corruption, the creation of the infrastructure of state anti-corruption bodies, in particular the National Anti-Corruption Agency, political will and public demand.
Approximately 1 million civil servants submit their declarations annually, making the Ukrainian register quite unique in its kind.
What Makes Your Project Innovative?
The innovation behind the E-Register of Asset Declarations of Public Officials stems from:
1. Its status as a digital integrity tool (paperless) which allows you to collect and analyze large amounts of data automatically.
2. Its coverage of both asset management and conflicts of interest.
3. Logic and arithmetic control. All data is checked automatically based on preset rules. According to the results of the analysis, each declarant is assigned a risk level for the subsequent check by authorized specialists.
4. Implemented interoperability with 18 state registers for L-A control.
5. All IT infrastructure developed with open source and proprietary software which makes it easier and more flexible to refine and improve as well as exchanging experience with other countries.
6. The systems' capability to work with high loads: more than 1,000,000 declarations are submitted annually, over a short period of time.
What is the current status of your innovation?
The system is fully operational. Planned activities are being carried out to maintain the work and refine the automation modules. However, the public part of the registry is currently closed due to the crisis in Ukraine.
Collaborations & Partnerships
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in collaboration with World Bank were the initiators and partners in the formation of the main tasks of the project as well as its implementation. Representatives of civil society advised experts and developers, in the digital roll-out of the platform.
Users, Stakeholders & Beneficiaries
Сitizens were given access to information about the incomes and assets of government officials. This led to the establishment of NGOs and a strengthened civil society in Ukraine.
Results, Outcomes & Impacts
The registry is supporting the reinforcing of trust in public institutions in the minds of the Ukrainian population. In 2016 ‘Declaration’ was the most popular search result in Ukraine. More than 1 000 000 declarations are filed annually and over 7 000 000 documents have been created. A full check was conducted in 2020, which revealed unreliable information and led to the prosecution of 5 131 servants for corruption.
Challenges and Failures
The development of this registry was a big political undertaking. It required the creation of a coalition in Verkhovna Rada and pass laws to make it work in practice. In addition, there was only an extremely short timeframe (since the launch of the declaration system was associated with a visa-free regime for Ukraine). Therefore, the system was put in place within a matter of months. Another challenge was the difficulty of calculating the exact power and computing equipment requirements during peak loads.
Conditions for Success
The creation and implementation of the register of declarations was a necessity, both because of the internal democratic process of the country and the demand from international partners. The harmonious unity of a clearly defined anti-corruption legislative framework, together with the correct technical implementation of the system, ensures the reliable functioning of the system and its efficiency.
The complete system, as well as its individual modules can be replicated by other countries, including the:
• Declarant's interface
• Officer check system
• Logical and arithmetic control for data
• Public interface for society
• Interoperability with state registries
• Business processes of the system
Іn view of the expertise of the National Agency on Corruption Prevention in the development and implementation of accountability IT products, such as the asset management declaration system,
it would be very useful to exchange experiences between countries to develop worldwide integrity platform using progressive IT instruments.
At an early stage of product implementation it is neccessary to understand technical limitations in order to be able to process data efficiently and quickly. It is also extremely important to create a flexible and scalable system that can be improved over time and be interoperable in the context of interaction with other state registries. It is also important to take into account the political situation in the country and the government's aspirations for a democratic path of development.
- Diffusing Lessons - using what was learnt to inform other projects and understanding how the innovation can be applied in other ways
29 March 2023