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HOT ANTICORRUPTION NEWS / Issue #175
April 26, 2021
  
Today's issue:
 
- CSOs call to halt appointments to the Constitutional Court until a new competitive procedure;
- Judges want to hide information about their property from the public;
- High Anti-corruption Court gets ownership rights over its premises; 
- Audit reveals multimillion-dollar misspending of COVID-19 fund;
 
- recommended reading
CSOs call to halt appointments to the Constitutional Court until a new competitive procedure

On April 20, President Zelenskyi issued a decree which dissolved the Commission for the selection of judges of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine under presidential quota. He also instructed the head of his Office to nominate candidates for the new composition of the Commission. Leading CSOs called on President and the Parliament not to appoint new CCU judges until the introduction of a new competitive procedure for the selection of judges. They believe that appointing new judges without a change of selection procedure will only deepen the crisis around the Constitutional Court.

Judges want to hide information about their property from the public
Council of Judges demanded from the Ministry of Justice to hide the information about the real estate owned by the judges from public access. The head of the Council substantiates the request with the alleged need to protect the privacy of the judges. However, Ukrainian legislation does not foresee a separate regime of disclosing ownership information bases on the official position of an owner. Moreover, judges have to disclose their real estate in their annual asset declarations. For instance, the overwhelming assets of the judges of questionable ownership have been exposed by the Prosud project.
High Anti-corruption Court gets ownership rights over its premises
On April 21, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the transfer of ownership of premises to the High Anti-corruption Court. Previously, the Court leased the buildings from the state-owned company and was limited in the management of its own premises. This action will strengthen the operational independence and security of the Court. Also, it fulfils one of the commitments made by Ukraine under the IMF Programme. 
Audit reveals multimillion-dollar misspending of COVID-19 fund
The State Audit Service of Ukraine analyzed spendings of the $3-billion special budgetary fund aimed at fighting COVID-19 pandemics. The COVID-19 fund spent approximately $2.3 billion in 2020. Auditors checked contracts worth $1.6 billion. They revealed violations totalling $15 million which led to $4 million losses. Among the revealed violations, the auditors named weak procurement planning and preparation of tender documents. 
 
Recommended Reading 
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Should you have any questions or comments please contact Tetiana Shevchuk at tshevchuk@antac.org.ua

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