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June 01, 2009

Chamber of Commerce Members Join Anti-Corruption Discussion

June 2009 

In cooperation with the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) hosted a discussion on combating business and corporate sector corruption. The April 28 discussion, which was attended by chamber members, was held during ABA ROLI’s monthly anti-corruption coordination initiative (ACCI) meeting.

Oleksandra Kuzhel, the keynote speaker at the event and the head of Ukraine’s Committee for Regulatory Policy and Entrepreneurship, addressed corruption in the business permit system and in administrative services and emphasized cooperation between the business sector and law enforcement bodies.

“It is sometimes difficult to conduct solid anti-corruption reforms,” she said, “due to the fact that it is easier for a businessman to give bribes than to participate in reforms in the country, where corruption starts at the moment when a person meets a government official.”

Kuzhel called on anti-corruption stakeholders to unite their efforts for better results. She said, “I would like to invite all those providing grants in the sphere of combating corruption to coordinate their work and select the most problematic areas for further assistance.”

In addition to reporting on her committee’s efforts, Kuzhel also discussed issues including raider attacks, electronic encryption, permit system changes, public service, subsidiary enterprises working off of governmental institutions and the creation of a unified register-for-land resources. Emphasizing the seriousness of the problem, she said corruption exists in the “very governmental bodies and law enforcement agencies supposedly combating it.”

She called on international donors to assist her committee in assessing the situation and in drafting legislation to help alleviate the problem.

The meeting exposed chamber members to various anti-corruption projects underway in Ukraine and ways in which they can contribute. The monthly ACCI meetings are intended to ensure increased coordination and cooperation among anti-corruption stakeholders including governmental institutions, donor organizations, and civil society non-governmental organizations.

To learn more about our work in Ukraine, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at <[email protected]>.