November 26, 2021

Statement on the Law on the Bureau of Economic Security of Ukraine

On January 28, the Parliament adopted the law № 3087-d "On the Bureau of Economic Security of Ukraine". Now this bill is being prepared for the President's signature. 

Unfortunately, the form of adoption and the content of the law once again demonstrate incompetence and imitation instead of resolving urgent problems.


The ideology of the Law adopted is wrong. It should be aimed to define the principles of state’s policy in response to economic crimes. Such public policy should stop haunting business and interact with it only when there is an obvious and real threat to the interests of society or other business entities.


Instead, the authors of the law, obviously, seemed to be interested only in the creation of a new institution itself. It seems that the real goal was to get another central government body to put pressure on business or to ensure certain behind-the-scenes interests and divide spheres of influence.


From the legal point of view, the quality of the law is far from ideal. It contains many controversial and confusing formulations. The body's functions are also vague. And this creates a power abuse risk in the future. Ukrainian history hasmany examples of such cases.


The procedure for forming a competition commission to select a candidate for the head of the BES contains opportunities for political abuse and control by the government. Three members of the commission are appointed by the Government, 3 more by the National Security and Defense Council, headed by the President, and the final 3  by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. Considering the current political situation, the entire commission is controlled by the Office of the President in one way or another. This is very convenient - on the one hand, one can avoid political responsibility for an appointment while hiding behind the competition, and on the other - get a fully controlled head of the BES.


Moreover, based on principles of public administration, the involvement of the Verkhovna Rada and the President in the selection of the Central Executive Body’s leadership is wrong and blurs responsibility.


Contrary to the declared initial goals, the Law does not consolidate all functions to fight economic crimes in the BES only. Similar authorities remain with the National Police, the State Bureau of Investigations and the Security Service of Ukraine, which creates the risk of functions duplication and political juggling of cases: when they are transferred from an "inconvenient" body to a "convenient" one. And since the jurisdiction of the body is not provided, the need for its establishment is in question. Therefore, it is obvious that the adoption of the Law should be carried out simultaneously with the laws on the Security Service of Ukraine, amendments to the Сriminal Code and other laws.


Therefore, the implementation of the law will only increase the feasibility of pressure on business, which is obviously unacceptable in modern Ukraine.


Considering all above, we urge the President of Ukraine to veto the Law of Ukraine "On the Bureau of Economic Security of Ukraine" and to resolve the issue of economic crimes with full competence and responsibility.