Public control as an effective mechanism for prevention of corruption in public procurement

National Academy for Public Administration under the President of Ukraine

Problem setting. One of the main prerequisites for the detection of corruption offenses and the effectiveness of anti-corruption measures is active citizens who are interested in overcoming this phenomenon. An active, influential and developed civil society is an important element of any democratic state. Such civil society plays a key role in implementation of urgent social changes, development and realization of effective public policies in various spheres, solving political, socio-economic and humanitarian problems.

Recent research and publications analysis. A. Mykhnenko, Yu. Surmin, E. Nevmerzhytskyi, M. Mesiuk and other scientists investigated the issues of civil society development and, accordingly, the introduction of effective public control, including in the public procurement sphere. Scientists consider the influence of civil society on various spheres of state activity, reveal the problems of interaction between government authorities and civil society institutions as well as study the foreign experience of civil society activities and public control. The study of the reasons for the low interaction of government authorities with the public in our country and ways of improving the state-management mechanisms of such interaction are urgent.

Highlighting previously unsettled parts of the general problem. In order to reveal the role, possibilities and influence of public control on socio-economic, political and other processes and transformations in the state, including public procurement, it is necessary to clarify and realize the meaning of this concept.

The purpose of the research paper is to reveal the role of public control in the fight against corruption, to prove the necessity of creating the proper normative basis for the development of civil society institutions, reporting and accountability to the society for the fulfillment of public duties.

Paper main body. It was established that the definition of the term “public control” in the Ukrainian legislation is currently absent. However, the following interpretation can be considered as accurate: public control is one of the types of social control exercised by associations of citizens as well as by citizens themselves. At the same time, it is indisputable from the practice of developed civilized countries that the level of public control is a reflection of democracy in the state, an indicator of the influence of citizens on the management of society and state.

The role of public control in preventing and detecting of corruption in the public procurement sphere was disclosed as well as the existence of legislative bases and databases in order to identify, assess and eliminate corruption risks and corruption cases in the activities of public funds managers was proved. Examples of normative documents regulating the activities of public councils, introduction of public control in public procurement, mandatory publication of information on public finances and the reasons for the inhibition of the development of public control in Ukraine, in particular in the public procurement sphere, were provided.

It was proved that the work of the public councils needs the assessment and changing of the approaches to the functioning. In order to extend the legitimate rights of civil society institutions to access to public finances, unimpeded attendance at commissions, committees, working groups, etc., it is proposed to supplement the Provision on the Public Council with the following paragraph 6: “Have the right to unimpeded presence (without the right to vote) in the amount not more than two representatives from a public association at meetings of commissions, committees, working groups, etc., whose purpose is the formation, use or distribution of public resources, with the possibility of photo, video or audio fixation of the meeting”. The attention is focused on the role of the state in establishing effective cooperation between government authorities and civil society institutes; on the example of the two ministries the ineffectiveness of public councils as direct bodies of public control at the central executive authorities is proved.

Conclusions of the research and prospects for further studies. A consistent, powerful and independent cell of adequate interaction, and in some cases, the struggle for democracy, freedom of speech and human rights has not yet been created in Ukraine due to insufficient activity, consciousness, lack of motivation of civil society and despite open access to information sources, the opportunity to influence on socio-economic and political processes in the state. Only by creating favorable conditions for the development of civil society institutions, by establishing effective safeguards for possible abuse by representatives of public entities and by establishing the interaction between government authorities and the public, it is possible to achieve the desired goal: to build a conscious, active and modern civil society, which will ensure the implementation of one of the key functions of a democratic state – public control over socioeconomic processes, including public procurements.

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