Almost 60% of civil servants believe that since the beginning of the full-scale war, society has increased its demand for virtuous behavior and zero tolerance for corruption. This was stated by Nataliia Aliushyna, Head of the National Agency of Ukraine on Civil Service, during the Integrity Forum for civil servants and local government officials. The event was held as part of the Richelieu Forum on Public Service.
Nataliia Aliushyna noted that since 2019, the NAUCS has been studying the moods of civil servants, and since 2023 - local government officials in the survey "Public Service: Your Point of View". Some of the questions were devoted to measuring integrity.
According to the Head of the Agency, this year integrity ranked third among the values chosen by civil servants (44%). According to Nataliia Aliushyna, this indicates that a significant number of civil servants share the principle of integrity and zero attitude to corruption.
"Our Forum is a platform for dialogue on the prospects of adopting integrity values in society, the current state of affairs and the possibility of introducing relevant international practices in Ukraine," said Nataliia Aliushyna.
Oleksandr Novikov, head of the National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NACP), emphasized that corruption cannot be overcome solely through punishment.
There are recommendations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which state that the way of increased scaling of binding rules and stricter penalties for their violation is limitedly effective. An effective practice of successful countries is the need to spread the values of public integrity," said the NACP Chairman.
Oleksandr Novikov noted that draft law 8222 on the introduction of a new public sector salary system based on job classification adds systematicity to building integrity in the civil service.
"An honest civil servant in an honest body established on the basis of integrity standards. This is the kind of public servant that Ukrainian society expects. The level of corruption should be so low that it does not threaten the state," said Semen Kryvonos, Director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine.
He emphasized that corruption is a challenge for civil servants in the context of rebuilding the country. After all, government agencies "will play a significant role in these processes, particularly in the transparent distribution of funds."
"It's not enough to just expose corruption. It is important to create a virtuous environment with preventive mechanisms. Each anti-corruption exposure should lead to systemic changes in relations where the prerequisites for corruption processes exist. We need public awareness that corruption is an internal enemy," added Mr. Kryvonos.
According to the NABU Director, one of the key conditions for a successful fight against corruption is to create proper working conditions for public servants, including decent and fair salaries.
Sergii Petukhov, Deputy Chief of Party of the USAID Support to Anti-Corruption Champion Institutions in Ukraine (SACCI) project, also joined the discussion.
During the Forum, the speakers and the audience discussed what international experience is relevant for Ukraine, what are the trends in building integrity in the public service, how integrity can be promoted through responsible leadership, and whether it is possible to build a culture of integrity through training.