Ukraine's Defence Ministry creates department to fight corruption
The Ministry of Defence of Ukraine has created the Department for Corruption Prevention; they ask citizens to report all violations there and are currently hiring staff.
Source: the press service of the Defence Ministry, quoting Serhii Stepanian, acting director of the Department
Quote: "We are overloading and enhancing the anti-corruption unit of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine at the moment. Its status is already raised from Management to Department, therefore, we have expanded the staff. We will soon start looking for candidates for vacant positions at this unit. My task is to implement a principle of zero corruption tolerance. One of the elements of working at a systematic level is, as we can see, tighter cooperation with the public. The Defence Minister deploys a defence procurement reform; a decision on ensuring transparency in procurement has been approved."
Details: The Defence Ministry has urged the public to turn to the newly-created department if they notice abuse or corruption risks in defence procurement.
On 21 January, ZN.ua publication reported that the Ministry of Defence bought food for Ukrainian servicemen two to three times more expensive than these in Kyiv stores. The December agreement with Actyv Company was signed on behalf of the ministry by Bohdan Khmelnytskyi, who appeared in the case of embezzlement of 580,000 dollars during the purchase of military ammunition.
The information about "chicken eggs for 17 hryvnias" gained particular publicity: in a journalist investigation, it was about the price per piece, although the price for 100 grams appeared in the document.
The Ministry of Defence called the information on overpriced food misleading and manipulative, and promised to contact the Security Service of Ukraine, while Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov rejected the accusations against the Ministry of Defence. Later, in an interview with Ukrainska Pravda, Reznikov admitted that he was too emotional and promised to carefully check all the facts revealed by the journalists.
Viacheslav Shapovalov, Deputy Minister of Defence, resigned and was dismissed due to the scandal over food procurement for the Ukrainian military at inflated prices. Bohdan Khmelnytskyi, the head of the state procurement department at the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, who is involved in a food procurement scandal, was also dismissed from his position.
Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal instructed to update the public procurement system for the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which would provide for the publication of prices for products and goods.
In late February, the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine published updated contracts for the procurement of food products for the army; the food supply service now ranges from UAH 137 to UAH 144 [approximately USD 3.71-3.9], the terms of the contracts have been shortened, and food prices have decreased. In particular, eggs cost UAH 8-9 [equiv. to approx USD 0.22-0.24] per unit.
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