In September 2023, deputies of the Khmelnytskyi City Council approved the Regulation on the organization and conduct of a poll using a polygraph. The procedure is intended for employees of executive bodies of the city council, communal enterprises, institutions, and organizations. The provision prescribes the grounds for inspections. This includes, in particular, the commission or involvement in the commission of corruption offenses, participation in the activities of public organizations prohibited by law or by the court, etc.
Khmelnytskyi was the first in Ukraine to introduce the position of a polygraph examiner for the city council. Serhii Matviichuk became the director of the Khmelnytskyi Information Center utility company. Training to become a polygraph examiner took place on the basis of the All-Ukrainian Association of Polygraph Examiners according to the program approved at the I.I. Mechnikov National University.
To carry out research, the utility company “Khmelnytsk Information Center” purchased a “Rubicon” polygraph and a “Polygraph-System” chair. The cost of the equipment is 180,000 hryvnias. The kit includes a sensor signal processing unit, as well as channels for recording activities: motor, central and peripheral cardiovascular, acoustic, electrocutaneous and thoracic/abdominal breathing. The chair is equipped with tremor detectors – two on the armrests and one on the seat. In this way, the device records the slightest tremors in different parts of the body.
“You can deceive anyone, except a polygraph examiner. Because we deal with consciousness, and you can’t deceive your consciousness, no matter how much you want. When excited, the blood begins to move faster, breathing either speeds up or, on the contrary, slows down,” explains Serhii Matviichuk.
Since the approval of the Regulations, not a single official of the city council or an employee of a utility company has undergone a polygraph examination.
Currently, polygraph examination is outside the legal field. Although there were still attempts to legalize such polls. In February 2016, People’s Deputy Andrii Teteruk registered draft law No. 4094 “On the protection of the rights of persons undergoing polygraph interviews (examinations)”. On February 7, 2019, the draft Law was included in the agenda of the 10th session of the Verkhovna Rada of the VIII convocation, but was later withdrawn.
So, the polygraph, despite all the advantages, due to the lack of justification of the procedure at the legislative level, cannot be called a simple solution in the fight against corruption or treason.