About Mr.Ginkul and the “lost” court case Civil Society Institute Public Statement

Про Гінкула та «програний» суд. Офіційний коментар з приводу однієї розсилки.

About Mr.Ginkul and the “lost” court case Civil Society Institute Public Statement

About Mr.Ginkul and the “lost” court case

Civil Society Institute Public Statement

Dear colleagues, partners, friends,

Recently, private entrepreneur Andriy Ginkul has disseminated the following email: “During recent years you might have received negative information about me[1] and my team, which is obviously unfounded. This letter is to finalize period of uncertainty – please find enclosed copies of the courts decisions, which clearly testify that Civil Society Institute and Mr.Tkachuk have lost court case, which decided that they owed me money for the work within donor funded project “Supporting the Decentralization Reform in Ukraine”. This debt is, in fact, the only reason for dissemination of such negative information. Therefore my purpose is to stop circulation of groundless rumors and myths and to concentrate efforts on communities and regions development projects. We apologize for bringing your attention to this issue, but we are trying to complete the case with the CSI by providing all undisputed documents and facts from the original sources”

The abovementioned email is the reason of this public statement to deny any claims as false. We have to provide information on the court case motives as well as to clarify the court’s decision, which may not be interpreted in a way that the Civil Society Institute and Mr. Tkachuk lost the case. Actually, the court issued a “neutral” decision, which satisfied 50 per cent of the requests initially voiced by each of the parties. Namely, the court decided that CSI has to pay Mr.Ginkul his consultancy fee only for 2 months for allegedly provided services, while he requested the court to recognize a 4-months debt.

The reason for such a court decision was the reference to the “evidence” provided by A. Ginkul – presentations allegedly prepared by him. However, these presentations were actually developed by A. Tkachuk, N. Natalenko, T. Kryshtop, N. Bondarchuk.

The way that Mr. Ginkul has falsified the evidence provided to the court is ‘doing business as usual’ for Andriy Ginkul.


Background Information

Since its foundation in 1997, Civil Society Institute has implemented dozens of projects targeted at civil society development, local self-governance, local and regional development, legal education of people.

We started with support of participative democracy practices, creation of bodies of civic self-organization, public councils at local governments or executive authorities in late 1990’s – early 2000’s, long before relevant Ukrainian legislation was adopted. Dozens of Ukrainian territorial communities approved community statutes using CSI templates.

A number of active Ukrainian legislations and policies have been prepared by CSI experts. In particular, pilot projects on voluntary amalgamation of territorial communities were launched by the CSI team in 2005-2006. Based on this, we prepared draft legislation for the reform of local self-government, which has been adopted and is now successfully implemented. You can visit CSI website at www.csi.org.uav for further details. Our credo “Shaping the Flow” delivered strength and energy for positive changes in the Ukrainian society.

Our organization went through a number of audits by licensed and recognized Ukrainian and international companies, all of which confirmed eligibility of costs incurred and effectiveness of implemented projects.

CSI reputation is the result of over 20 years of successful work. And it cannot be put at risk as a result of our wrong decision to sign a contract with private entrepreneur Ginkul. At first glance, he surprised us with his commitment and enthusiasm to prepare avnew project on local self-government development in Ukraine. While offering his services, Mr.Ginkul speculated with false recommendations of recognized experts and public figures, with whom he allegedly “implemented similar projects”. He also referred to public authority institutions such as ministries, regional state administrations, committees of Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, city councils etc. Unfortunately, we did not perform a proper background check at that time to verify what were the outcomes and outputs of cooperation with Mr.Ginkul.

This was our key mistake, which might be helpful to other potential ‘victims’ of Mr.Ginkul.

Mr. Ginkul’s Engagement as a Project Manager at CSI

On December 30, 2014, the Institute signed a consultancy contract No. 30-12 / 2014 with private entrepreneur A. Ginkul. According to the contract he had to provide management of the donor funded project. As a project manager, he was given the opportunity to build a project team. However, as it turned out later, the project team members selected by Ginkul were simultaneously involved in various other donor projects and worked at different companies.

By the end of the first year of project implementation, it was lagging behind the agreed schedule and problems with co-financing were identified. As a result, CSI had to intervene, but Mr.Ginkul categorically refused to cooperate and to attend the CSI staff meetings.

At the same time, it was discovered that poor performance of the project team was due to engagement of A. Ginkul and his team (L. Ladogubets, I. Oliynyk) in other assignments, in particular at the Navigator Center.

Meanwhile, A. Ginkul, who was contracted as a full-time consultant for the CSI project, initiated a number of other activities with third parties, representing himself as an EU expert on a wide range of issues.

The following are just a few examples of his activities that contradicted terms of his contract with CSI:

1) In April 2015 in Kryvyy Rih, he participated in a forum on industrial tourism as “EU expert on tourism development in Ukraine”;

2) On September 4, 2015, he signed a Protocol of intentions with Head of Vinnytsia Regional State Administration to establish Regional Development Agency as an “EU Territorial Development Expert”;

3) In March 2016, Mr. Ginkul signed an Agreement with the First National Cooperative about establishment of Regional Development Agency of Khmelnytsky oblast;

4) In April 2016, at the Municipal Energy Forum he delivered a speech as “Coordinator of International Energy Efficiency Programs”[2]. Meanwhile at the ‘Business Start: Guide to Action’ project presentation he was presented as an “EU program leader”[3];

5) In June-July 2016, he was active in Cherkasy region as an “expert on territorial development of the Center for Reforms and Local Development” and signed a document with Regional State Administration regarding creation of Cherkasy Regional Development Agency.

We were shocked when it was revealed that during the CSI full-time consultancy contract period Mr.Ginkul was a fulltime project manager of another donor funded project – “Support to institutional capacity of Ukrainian cities in the development and implementation of sustainable energy policies”[4].

All these developments were accompanied by extreme emotional attacks by Mr.Ginkul to everybody, who discovered his falsifications. For instance, on June 1, 2016 REGIONET network decided to exclude Mr.Ginkul from its membership for unethical behavior. Earlier, similar decision was adopted by All-Ukrainian Association of Management Consultants[5].

Despite several warnings from the CSI Mr.Ginkul continued his unethical actions. In order to keep up with the project, he stole the set of original documents of the project and office equipment from the CSI premises to blackmail us.

Mr.Ginkul’s obsessive idea was to be appointed as an adviser to Vice-Prime Minister Gennady Zubko or even to Prime Minister Volodymyr Groisman. He constantly demanded my recommendations as well as support of the EU Delegation to Ukraine representatives. Of course, it wasn’t possible due to his full-time consultancy contract at the CSI project.

Since the Institute was responsible for the implementation of the project, in mid-2016 all project activities were undertaken by other staff of the Institute and consultants. New team managed to successfully complete the project implementation, ensure co-financing, and develop new ideas for local development.

Auditor confirmed the eligibility of the project costs and achievement of the goals.

Court Case

During August-November 2016, Mr.Ginkul repeatedly demanded payments for his work for the project, blackmailing me with the court, “death”, and other misfortunes (everything is contained in his emails, which might be of professional interest for a psychiatrist). Our answer was simple: payment is made only for the services delivered, which should be accepted by the CSI.

We were not afraid of the lawsuit, because he really did not do his job. Moreover, at that time (August-November 2016) he was engaged in other activities in other locations.

In the lawsuit Ginkul vs Civil Society Institute there was no winner. The court ruled that the CSI should pay A. Ginkul for alleged work in August-September 2016, but instead the court decided to reject Ginkul request for the payment for October-November.

Why did the court make such a decision? One should ask the judges. Indirectly you can understand the reason from the decision wording: “According to the explanation of the Plaintiff and supporting files, provided by him for the case (namely Minutes of meeting of the project team, Registration sheets, Agenda of the training on Practical aspects of decentralization and formation of capable communities, presentations on “Regulatory framework for local self-government..”,” Spatial Planning for Communities..”, “Local Budgets and Local Taxes …”, “State Fund for Regional Development…”, Act of acceptance of these documents[6] by the Defendant dated July 27, 2016), on the basis of programs and techniques developed by Plaintiff and with his participation during August – September 2016 there were seminars organized by CSI in September 13-14, 2016 in Ivano-Frankivsk … The Court considers these evidences as confirmation of the Plaintiff execution of his services under the contract during August and September 2016 with a total value of UAH 67,404″.

In this statement one can see all the falsehood of Mr.Ginkul. He falsified evidence provided to the court by stealing intellectual property of other consultants. And the Court agreed, despite the fact that these presentations have on their title pages names of different people. Moreover, there are statements of these people acknowledging their intellectual ownership.

We are not about to comment the Court decision, but it looks strange to generously remunerate A. Ginkul for presentations, which were prepared by other people.

As of today, there is the Appeal Court decision, which became effective. CSI will pay the so-called arrear at the expense of the CSI founders’ contributions.

Meanwhile, Mr.Ginkul recently launched a new lawsuit[7] against NGO “All-Ukrainian Association of Management Consultants” claiming 375,000 UAH. Probably, days of fooling donor projects are gone, and Mr. Ginkul is forced to start earning money through courts for work that was never carried out.

Conclusions and recommendations:

  1. Do not believe Ginkul’s or somebody else’s track record, which promote him/her as a unique expert in many diverse sectors. Ask feedback from those, who have already worked with him/her.
  2. Before signing a full-time contract with anybody, double-check on the Internet whether he/she is not engaged in other contracts.
  3. Check at the Registry of court decisions how often a person is a party of court cases. (Unfortunately, we discovered too late that Mr.Ginkul used to be a frequent client at Ukrainian courts).
  4. If you ignored my warnings and decided to conduct business with him, be ready for financial and psychological challenges. Be prepared for midnight mails with terrible abuses and blackmailing.

Good luck to all! Anatoliy Tkachuk

February 12, 2018

p.s. Every abovementioned statement is supported with corresponding references, documents, and mails.

[1] It is worth noting that so far Civil Society Institute hasn’t issued public warnings regarding Mr.Ginkul. However, now we do re gret.

[2] https://www.slideshare.net/energoaudit/ss-61126618

[3] https://www.prostir.ua/event/prezentatsiya-proektu-biznes-start-kerivnytstvo-do-diji/

[4] http://aea.org.ua/projects/sustainable-development-of-cities/

[5] http://www.regionet.org.ua/ua/Iz_merezhi_REGIONET_vuklyucheno_AGinkyla_1308.html#page_title

[6] In fact, this Act doesn’t concern the prepared presentations. It was about return to the Institute of the originals of documents previously secretly removed by A. Ginkul from the office of the CSI.

[7] http://reyestr.court.gov.ua/Review/71576621