- Grant Total: $44,970,000
- Signed: December 4, 2006
- Completed: December 31, 2009
Ukraine’s two-year, $48.1 million Threshold Program aims to reduce corruption in the public sector by strengthening civil society’s monitoring and exposure of corruption, judicial reform, increased government monitoring and enforcement of ethical and administrative standards, streamlining and enforcing regulations, and combating corruption in higher education.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) oversaw implementation of the Ukraine threshold program on behalf of MCC. USAID partnered with the U.S. Department of Justice to implement several of the threshold program’s activities.
Recognizing the importance of reducing corruption within the educational system, a national testing center, the Ukrainian Center of Evaluation of Education (UCEE), has been established. Assistance is required, however, to fully implement the external testing system as well as to ensure its integrity. The goal of this component is to reduce corruption in higher education by establishing a legal framework requiring a minimum test score for admission to universities; developing a functioning security system for test results; and ensuring that 100 percent of students are tested and the test centers are fully operational.
Despite substantial progress in recent years, Ukrainian civil society and media are not meeting their full potential as effective monitors of government and advocates for reform. This program component aims to reduce opportunities for corruption by enabling civil society to be more effective monitors of government and advocates for reform
Ukraine currently has no general conflict of interest legislation for government officials except for certain provisions that limit business opportunities for family members of officials. Although there are requirements that candidates for public office and civil servants declare their assets, the methodology has flaws and omissions; submitted declarations are rarely checked, and even more rarely are sanctions imposed for falsification. This component will create systems to strengthen accountability for government officials.
Critical to efforts to fight corruption is increasing the level of transparency in the delivery of justice by introducing permanent improvements in key legislation, procedures and institutions. The proposed activities will also contribute to fostering a more professional cadre of administrative judges, court personnel, and notaries.
Complicated and overlapping systems for providing construction permits, delivery of municipal services, land and property ownership, and customs clearance at borders are sources of significant corruption. The process is not transparent, and there is clear evidence of corruption at all steps. This component will change the legislative and regulatory framework for property transactions, reform the permit system, and streamline lines of responsibilities and procedures in order to reduce corruption.