Deputies of the Verkhovna Rada adopted the law on electronic declarations (No. 9534), taking into account the previously vetoed by President Vladimir Zelensky. People’s Deputy Yaroslav Zheleznyak reported this on his Telegram channel.
The adopted law, according to Zheleznyak, obliges Ukrainian officials and deputies to immediately open their tax returns, and not after a year, as provided for in the document approved by parliament earlier.
Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Ruslan Stefanchuk added that declarations of military personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and members of their families, captured and wounded soldiers, as well as those individuals and legal entities who are in the war zone or in the territories of Ukraine occupied by Russian troops will remain closed during the period of martial law.
On September 12, Vladimir Zelensky vetoed the law on electronic declarations adopted a week earlier by Ukrainian parliamentarians.
“I think everyone understands perfectly well the reason for this veto. Declarations should be opened immediately. Not in a year, but now, the register must be opened. Actually, with this main amendment, the law must be voted on. Preferably quickly,” the president explained his decision.
On September 5, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine voted in the second reading for bills on the resumption of electronic declarations and liability for late submission of declarations.
However, the document on the renewal of declarations provided for the closure of the register of declarations for another year, and the bill on liability for late submission of declarations provided for avoidance of liability if an official “forgot” to declare property worth UAH 1.3 million. The amendment about the “year” was adopted, among other things, thanks to the deputies of Zelensky’s Servant of the People party, who, when elected, declared a desire to fight corruption.
The next evening after the adoption of the law, on September 6, the president was asked to veto the document and return it to parliament to restore public access to the register of declarations. The corresponding electronic petition received an unprecedented number of votes within 24 hours – more than 78 thousand. A total of 83.4 thousand people voted for this initiative.
The bills on declarations caused a wide resonance not only in Ukrainian society. Zelensky and members of the European Parliament called on Zelensky and members of the European Parliament to veto the law on opening declarations adopted by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. The open appeal of European politicians was published on Twitter from MEP Michael Gahler.
In March 2022, given the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, filing declarations of any kind was made optional during martial law. After the end of the war, officials have three more months to submit declarations without violating the deadline, Hromadske explains.
Despite this, the National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption made it possible to submit declarations and check for errors the information specified in last year’s declaration.
After the de-occupation of part of the occupied territories, the NACP and public organizations called on the authorities to resume the mandatory submission of declarations. They explained that only a third of all officials submitted their declarations for 2021, and next year there may be even fewer of them.