What happened when government registers were digitized and opened for public in Ukraine? Due diligence & Open society!

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What are public digital government registers for in Ukraine? For fool-proof

WTF they do it?’- exclaimed respectable lawyer once upon the time in the East. Couple of minutes before this polite and apparently laid –back young man intensely looked at one paper on his desk, and then – at a computer screen and back: he could not believe his own eyes: the document was faked! The lawyer scrutinized documents of participants of construction tender for one multinational company in Ukraine. One of constructors, bidding for execution of this lucrative building contract provided fake permission on construction works. It is highly unlikely and unreasonable deed, because this type of permission is easy to get, it is cheap, and there is no problem checking its validity in public state digital register. Faking documents is not a merry prank activity, but gloomy criminal offence under Ukrainian law* Such an activity might be ‘rewarded’ by criminal investigation, not mentioning ‘mere’ loss of a tender.

‘WTF they do it?’


Lawyers digging piles of paper no-more

‘Theory of decisive actions’ – the motto pinned on bill-board’ Ad of well-heeled advocate (right down corner of picture). Man steps on a hip of paper from … ?

Forging of official documents – punishable by imprisonment for up to 5 years,

deprivation of holding certain positions / activities for up to 3 years …

and fine up to USD 35K

Official Negligence- punishable by imprisonment for up to 5 years,

deprivation of holding certain positions / activities for up to 3 years

and with fine up to USD 35K**

If there was ‘Why they do it’ brief opinion poll, the results could be: “white crime” – (auditor), ‘all businessmen – are criminals’- (taxman), ‘administrative negligence’ (office administrator), ‘company director does micro-management’ – business consultant, ‘back to entropy’ – (programmer), ‘social gyroscope’- (engineer),  ‘all builders – are criminals’ (chorus of numerous unhappy clients world – wide).

there might be different reasons for the ‘carbon – copy forging malpractice’

One of the effective cures is public digital government registers

Notwithstanding professional background general consensus is that public government digital registers are rather useful foolproof method. Indeed, in country with majority of working population on the state budget, some form of paranoia might be the feature, not the bug.


 Nobody is perfect@

Operator’ mistake

 And… shit happens. As story goes about one decent and genuine carbon – copy permission on dangerous works of virtuous constructing company. Its client asked a company to provide the original of permission in question. It was not easy to satisfy, as under good practice local companies may keep in hidden secretive archives originals of their documents (permissions, as well as statute documents and vital contracts); whereas in the company premise to keep only their notarized copies. (You see, it’s a habitual response to beloved practice of state controlling bodies to confiscate these documents in course of routine check…) Returning to our story about unfortunate permission, which according to government register not only contained some mistaken requisites, but was void for a year already. So. A company obtained this state permission through intermediary – outsourcing company (which is not the point anymore. The ‘single window agency for all permissions’ was introduced in order to avoid crowded multiple state agencies and to minimize corruption). As outsourcing company failed to fix wrong entry into digital governmental register, the question loomed which strategy to choose: official request to the register administrator, or some uncertain un-official activity.

 Hallucinations & delusions

Suddenly the permission in question resurrected in the register ‘by itself’, while a company was making telephone enquiries about the former and newly appointed register administrator, checking who is now responsible for what in line with new legislation. The brand-new register administrator’ agency was introduced in line with amended legislation since when this permission was issued and re-issued. As a result, the both: the register administrator agency and outsourcing company later said, that nothing had happened, everything was correct from the start, ‘you might of looked in wrong place’. While a client and a company, both, grew slightly more paranoid.

Which scare is more realistic:

creative Photoshop craftsmen, forging carbon – copies of documents,

or mysterious hackers meddling with digital registers on-line?

 Mistrust and fear of mysterious computer hackers are emotions clearly expressed by ordinary folk when news on digital government registers first spread around. Instead, there is seem to be rather issue of demand and supply of creative Photoshop craftsmen, misdirected their skills on forging paper documents (carbon – copies), rather than coders meddling with electronic data of digital registers.

So checking registers is not only the part of due-diligence for would–be business partners and prospective clients in Ukraine, but interesting and rewarding duty for holders of permissions/ licenses in Ukraine. As well as for other concerned subjects of various state registers.

 There are up to 150 public digital government registers in Ukraine

 There are between 100 and 150 effective public government registers in Ukraine. Everything, that might be registered, witnessed by state as the third party, or allowed/ restricted by state as a regulator, might be in register: all variety of rights (tangible, non-tangible): real estate, land plots, trade-marks, automobiles, motorcycles; businesses and entrepreneurs – natural persons; permissions and licenses on certain economic activities;  certificates of VAT payers and void certificates of VAT payers; and so on and so forth. Joke goes on publicly available register of secrets.


Trade-unions’ cosy place


There are around 33 government agencies in Ukraine

 Anyway, some-one has to create all this content, to make entries into these multiple registers and to administrate them. To make it simple, governmental system might be described like this: there are 3 branches of power in Ukraine: legislative, judicial and executive (the government, or Cabinet of Ministers consisting of 16 ministries and secretariat service). In total it makes around 33 government agencies in Ukraine.

Public digital government registers in Ukraine

Please, find below approximate list of public digital government registers in Ukraine,

starting with ‘the Register of Registers’ (‘coding’ term?):

  1. National portal of open information: http://data.gov.ua
  2. 2. Verification of document about education: https://osvita.net/ua/checkdoc
  3. Information of register of payers of VAT of http://sfs.gov.ua/reestr
  4. Cancellation of registration of payers VAT of http://sfs.gov.ua/anulir
  5. Single licensed register: http://irc.gov.ua/ua/Poshuk-v-YeLR.html
  6. Single state register of court decisions: http://www.reyestr.court.gov.ua
  7. Information on a fund market: http://smida.gov.ua/db
  8. System of realization of the confiscated and arrested property: https://trade.informjust.ua
  9. Register of public associations: http: //rgo.informjust.ua
  10. Single register of the public formings: http://rgf.informjust.ua/home/index
  11. Register of printing MASS-MEDIA and agencies of news: http://dzmi.informjust.ua
  12. Register of advocate associations of Kiev: http: // kmkdka.com/reestr-advokatskih-obiednan-kieva
  13. Public cadastre map: http://www.map.land.gov.ua/kadastrova-karta

etc. …. 

Reference to applicable Ukrainian law

Here You may find short reference to applicable Ukrainian law*:

–  On single window of government permissions

The Law of Ukraine On Approvals System of Commercial Activity dd. 06 of September, 2005 N2806-IV;

– On structure of state agencies

The Constitution of Ukraine dd. 28.07.1996;

The Law of Ukraine On Structure of Central Agencies of Executive Power, dd. 17.03. 2011 № 3166-VI

On information  and documents falsification

The Criminal code of Ukraine, dd. 05 of April 2001,  № 2341-III:

**For Forging of official documents – Officer of company or state agency – shall be punishable by imprisonment for a term up to 5 (five) years, concurrently with deprivation of the right to hold certain positions or engage in certain activities for a term of up to 3 (three) years and with fine up to equivalent USD 35K – under art. Article 366.  ‘Official Forgery’ of Criminal Code of Ukraine.

For failure to perform or improper performance – by an – Officer of company or state agency – of his/her official duties because of unconscientious attitude thereto, that caused substantial damage to the legitimate rights or interests of individuals, or state /community interests, or interests of companies, shall be punishable by imprisonment for a term up to 5 (five) years, concurrently with deprivation of the right to hold certain positions or engage in certain activities for a term of up to 3 (three) years and with fine up to equivalent USD 35K – under art. Article 367. ‘Official Negligence’ of Criminal Code of Ukraine.

Being open to public, Government registers are crutial not only for due-diligence; these registers facilitate business operations and save time decreasing bureaucracy in general.

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