KIEV Aug 15 Ukrainian efforts to stamp out tax
evasion and corruption among public officials in line with
commitments to the IMF hit a setback on Monday when a new online
income declaration system flopped at launch.
Under the new system, some 50,000 senior civil servants will
initially have to declare all their earnings online profit and list property
and other assets electronically - an attempt to root out
entrenched corruption in state institutions.
In theory, the new system would make the revenue and
property holdings of officials, such as villas, open to scrutiny
The IMF, whose credit programmes are vitally needed to
support Ukraine's debt-laden economy, has been delaying
disbursement of $17.5 billion until Ukraine cleans up its act.
But when launch moment arrived it was announced that the
system had failed to get security certification from Ukraine's
communications oversight body, indicating it was flawed.
"The electronic declaration system worked today, but sadly
so far only in a testing mode," Prime Minister Volodymyr
Groysman said, promising it would be launched in full as soon as
Anti-corruption watchdogs were quick.
to point out that
officials could register any figures they liked with impunity in
the new system since it had no valid status until it had been
This "effectively allows further illegal lies in
declarations from officials," the head of Transparency
International Ukraine, Yaroslav Yurchishin, was quoted as saying
in a statement.
Ukraine's hopes for a visa-free regime with the European
Union also hinge on the success of its efforts to eliminate
(Reporting by Alexei Kalmykov; Writing by Alessandra Prentice;
Editing by Richard Balmforth)