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President Submits Legislation Abolishing E-Declarations for Civil Society Leaders

July 8 – President Petro Poroshenko submitted legislation to the Verkhovna Rada that eliminates the requirement of civil society leaders to submit electronic income declarations. An important amendment to the draft law, formally titled “On Amendments to Tax Code of Ukraine and On Amendments to Certain Legislative Decrees,” notes that representatives of public organizations will not have to file income e-declarations as a recent law approved by the Rada and signed by the president past spring requires.

Deputy Presidential Chief of Staff Dmytro Shymkiv emphasized the President’s bill proposed transparency for nongovernmental organizations and individuals who are financed directly through technical assistance by international donors. Shymkiv said all civil society organizations would be required to file public reports, regardless of their mandate or sources of funding. Reports should only cover the organizations’ activities and should not contain information about organizations’ staff and property.

Executive Director of Transparency International/Ukraine, Yaroslav Yurchyshyn, thanked the President for his parliamentary initiative and said it was an overdue step. Yurchyshyn said civil society is ready to assist in revising current law between the first and second readings in the Rada and reinforced the priority of creating openness in the public sector.

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