APPLICATION OF THE UNGO TAU ON THE DRAFT LAW NO. 10088
Experts of the All-Ukrainian Non-Governmental Organization «Taxpayers Association of Ukraine», which unites 3254 taxpayers from all regions of Ukraine and the city of Kyiv, analyzed the Draft Law of Ukraine No. 10088 «On Amendments to Certain Laws of Ukraine on Priority Measures to Reform the Economic Security Bureau of Ukraine» dated September 25 this year and note the following:
Two years have passed since the establishment of the Economic Security Bureau of Ukraine, but this new state executive agency has not demonstrated the expected efficiency, transparency, and zero tolerance for corruption, nor has it shown any positive trends in the implementation of a new methodology for identifying economic risks, a new modern model for preventing economic and financial crimes, which is so important for the future development of Ukraine.
The problems that arise in the work of the Bureau indicate that this body does not meet the original concept and business needs. These problems include unsatisfactory competitive selections, unpredictability in the body due to high turnover and lack of responsible persons, predominance of law enforcement over analytical function, and pressure on business from other law enforcement agencies due to ineffective work of the Bureau.
According to the results of the competition announced on 14.07.2023 for 84 vacancies, only 264 people were admitted, and as a result, 270 people were appointed to the positions for some reason.
In this process, privileging tendencies included appointments without competitions to the positions of acting heads, discriminatory requirements for experience in law enforcement, and «classified» information about the announcement of competitions, their conduct and results.
In 2023, 84% of proceedings under the ESB’s jurisdiction are being investigated by other agencies.
Given these problems, there is a need for an urgent reboot of the ESB, primarily due to the large financial losses of our country due to various abuses, especially in such a difficult time for our country.
The draft law No. 10088 provides for the reboot of the ESB, taking into account the experience of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine, Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office and National Agency on Corruption Prevention, including the practice of creating competitive commissions to select managers using international experts who have an essential vote in these commissions.
A key aspect to ensure the continued effectiveness of the ESB will be that all employees of the Bureau will undergo certification within a year after the appointment of the new ESB Director, including the use of a polygraph, as provided for in the Draft Law No. 10088.
The shortcomings envisaged by the Law on the ESB can only be eliminated by implementing the Draft Law No. 10088. It is then that the ESB will start working as a single analytical body for combating economic crimes in the country and will take further decisive steps to move to a new model of identifying, preventing and managing risks in economic and financial security.
Today, there is an extremely urgent need for the active work of the Economic Security Bureau, because since the beginning of the full-scale invasion into the territory of Ukraine by the Russian Federation, various illicit schemes and other illegal actions have been repeatedly revealed, the prevention of which should have been the responsibility of the Economic Security Bureau.
The UNGO «Taxpayers Association of Ukraine» fully supports the Draft Law of Ukraine dated September 25, 2023 No. 10088, however, we believe that the proposed amendments to part one of Article 20 of the Law of Ukraine «On ESB», in the part «Restrictions on the appointment of employees of the Economic Security Bureau of Ukraine», referred to in clause 11) need to be carefully revised, since, in our opinion, law enforcement officers who have not discriminated themselves in the tax police, prosecutor’s office, Security Service of Ukraine, State Bureau of Investigation and National Police of Ukraine may participate in the competition on equal terms of human and civil rights and freedoms.
We call on MPs to consider the Draft Law of Ukraine No. 10088 dated September 25, 2023 and support it in the Parliament by the end of 2023, providing the basis for the quality work of the body for combating economic crimes.