06 May 2022, 14:46
How can cities be transparent during the war?

This is the third month of a destructive war that russia is waging, destroying our blossoming cities. Local governments continue to adapt to war realities.

De facto and de jure, the martial law regime is now in force in Ukraine. However, cities that are not in the zone of active hostilities should continue to function and develop, introducing practices of transparency and accountability. This is especially the case for reporting humanitarian aid, which is mandatory for those registered in the Unified Register of Humanitarian Aid Recipients (others may do so in an arbitrary form to increase openness).

Transparency and accountability mean, first and foremost, trust. By publicly reporting on the assistance received and distributed, Ukrainian cities create all the preconditions for our foreign friends and partners to understand its movement and continue sending it. This primarily applies to cities in the so-called rear, which receive and distribute assistance from abroad.

In this material, we tell how the city councils can issue the necessary documents to be reliable in the eyes of those who want to help Ukraine.

To correctly receive financial assistance from partners, it is necessary to follow the recommendations from the Ministry of Communities and Territories Development. Experts prepared a sample contract and a brief guide for hromada leaders. The clarification contains a clear guide to simplify the processes. There is also a separate detailed clarification for employees of financial administrations.

If local self-governments are registered as recipients of humanitarian aid, they must report monthly on its availability and distribution. Such a report should be drawn up for each cargo and funds, in particular in foreign currency, until the full distribution of all humanitarian assistance. The report must be submitted to the local state administration, as well as the territorial body of the State Tax Service. For more information on how to do this, read the guide. In addition, it is also necessary to keep accounting records of humanitarian assistance, on the basis of which relevant reports are to be submitted.

If it is a question of humanitarian aid in the form of foreign currency, it must be reported within 5 working days after full use. A report on the targeted use of humanitarian aid in the form of foreign currency should be submitted to the Ministry of Social Policy and the territorial body of the State Tax Service.

Regarding the importation of aid for cities — now, it is only necessary to fill in a short declaration. And if officials demand a bribe for importation, inform their supervisors. If the bribe is requested by the leaders of the regional military administration themselves, contact the Joint Forces Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine at (044) 271-39-86, at uzvk_mou@post.mil.gov.ua, or visit the website.

We can also hear news nowadays about the embezzlement of humanitarian aid intended for the military and civilian population. This is not a corruption violation, but also a crime. By law, it will be punished by imprisonment from 3 to 7 years with the confiscation of property. If it is done by officials with the use of power or official position, it will aggravate the guilt.

How to act in case you witness the embezzlement of humanitarian aid or notice corruption in the actions of local authorities — our colleagues from TI Ukraine explain in the guide.

Keep calm and keep Ukrainian cities transparent!

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