Ukraine Business Ombudsman publishes first quarterly report

By Anton Usov

Ukraine Business Ombudsman publishes first quarterly report

Business Ombudsman for Ukraine Algirdas Šemeta

The Business Ombudsman Council for Ukraine has already processed 172 complaints since it began operations in May 2015 as part of the government’s drive to improve the Ukrainian business climate, the new institution said in its first quarterly report published today.

Following detailed assessment, the Business Ombudsman will request further investigation by the relevant bodies and seek to have these complaints addressed by governmental authorities if necessary.

Ukraine is stepping up its efforts to fight against corruption and improve its business environment and a central element of this campaign is the Business Ombudsman council for Ukraine. It allows businesses to report claims of unfair treatment and corruption. The Business Ombudsman will regularly report to the general public about the progress made in the fight against corruption and in the improvement of the business environment.

The Business Ombudsman is a key plank of the Anti-Corruption Initiative agreed under a Memorandum of Understanding signed in May 2014 among the Ukrainian government, international organisations, including the EBRD and the OECD, as well as the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine, the European Business Association, the Federation of Ukrainian Employers, the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Ukrainian League of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs.

The Business Ombudsman is headed by Algirdas Šemeta, the former EU commissioner for taxation and customs union. He was unanimously nominated by the governing body of the Anti-Corruption Initiative and approved by the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers.

The Anti-Corruption Initiative was launched by the EBRD as part of a joint effort to improve the investment climate in Ukraine. The Bank has played a pivotal role in developing and driving this effort, devising an appropriate structure and an effective legal foundation for the Business Ombudsman.

The Council is funded by the EBRD-Ukraine Stabilisation and Sustainable Growth Multi-Donor Account, which is supported by Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.