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Draft Law 2194: fighting corruption in land relations and returning the right to dispose of lands to communities

The draft law No.2194 is aimed at systemic deregulation of land management and land valuation in Ukraine.

If the draft law is supported in the second reading, it will significantly simplify and accelerate the access of citizens and responsible businesses to non-agricultural land resources, eliminate some unnecessary, corrupt, duplicate, and conflicting permitting and control procedures, involve the public in control, open access to land management documentation, as well as introduce insurance liability of land management contractors as an alternative to state control.

In the context of decentralization, the return of powers to manage community lands outside the settlements to territorial communities is an essential legal provision. The draft law will allow elected local self-government bodies to decide on using such lands by the community needs, rather than the decisions of capital-based officials, increase the material basis of local self-governments and accelerate community development.

Besides, the draft law will simplify the procedure for establishing and changing the boundaries of territorial communities, provide communities with the right to decide on changing the purpose of particularly valuable lands (for example, using some lands for vegetable gardens near a residential house to build a household outbuilding) without parliamentary consent.

The draft law 2194 was developed with the participation of BRDO experts. The draft law, among other things, considers the best solutions listed in the Green Paper “Land formation and acquisition for new construction”, presented by BRDO in November 2018.

The study analyzed 94 statements of the State Service of Ukraine for Geodesy, Cartography and Cadastre (StateGeoCadastre) on land management documentation and found that the comments of officials were made on formal grounds (due to conflicts between legislation and departmental instructions) and did not relate to the key points of requests from citizens and businesses. Excessive and inadequate regulation of land management and land valuation negatively impact the business climate, discredits the land industry, and increases the costs of citizens and entrepreneurs to pay corrupt rents.

Adopting the draft law will significantly reduce corruption in land relations and increase the material base of local self-governments.