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Business calls the Head of the Bureau of Economic Security for a transparent and impartial work

23/ 08/ 2021
  On August 20, 2021, Vadym Melnyk was elected Head of the Bureau of Economic Security based on the results of the competition. Mr. Melnyk is currently standing at the helm of the State Fiscal Service (the tax police). The European Business Association has prepared 4 business priorities, which we hope will serve as a guide for the newly established body and its leader to have an effective interaction with business. First, the community strongly expects that the BES will not be a place to employ the former personnel of tax police. It also should not be a tool to increase the number of regulatory bodies and their powers to the extent that the civil servants virtually enjoy the absence of liability for any wrongdoings. Secondly, it is important to establish a Public Oversight Board shortly – a public body that oversights the activities of the BES and the appointment of managers and employees of the BES. As Vadym Melnyk stressed, the new body should build its work on the analytical component in the investigation of economic crimes, not mask shows. For its part, EBA is very much looking forward to having our representative join the Board so that the community can voice business concerns. Third, the business expects that the work of the newly established body will be based on the principles of analysis of Ukraines economic security, transparency, impartiality, and honesty, and the BES will be a guardian of economic security, not a machine of pressure on the business. With this in mind, EBA calls for a review of some of the rules that currently greatly concern the business. It is draft law №3959-1 on amendments to the Criminal Code of Ukraine. Thus, the provisions of this draft law contradict the main declared principles of government - simplification of doing business and inadmissibility of pressure on business, because it is proposed to give the BES the authority to identify and investigate criminal offenses of an economic nature. Besides, the proposed wording of Art. 222 of the Criminal code of Ukraine establishes the criminal liability of the taxpayer for the fact of submission of the application for receiving budgetary compensation, even without actual receipt of budgetary compensation. Given that the receipt of budgetary compensation is preceded by a set of measures by the supervisory authority, the proposed version of Art. 222 of the Criminal Code will in fact become only an instrument of additional pressure on taxpayers. At the same time, the responsibility and role of the controlling body, without which it is impossible to obtain budgetary compensation, is ignored. Also, the wording of Art. 222 of the Criminal Code allows a fairly broad interpretation of the actions of taxpayers to provide knowingly false information by the investigating authorities and leaves a lot of room for public authorities to abuse the powers and put pressure on taxpayers. Fourth, the effective fight against smuggling (real analytical work to detect smuggling schemes, rather than focusing on technical errors in customs declarations). After all, draft law №5420 on combating smuggling is expected to be adopted shortly, and the main body entrusted with the function of combating smuggling is the BES. Anna Derevyanko. EBA Executive Director. Business expectations from the Bureau of Economic Security can be described in a few words - honesty, transparency, impartiality, willingness to cooperate. Meanwhile, the implementation of the intentions set out in draft laws №3959-1 and №5420 could deal a devastating blow to business and the investment climate in the country. Therefore, business urges not to accept these documents! Even more strange are the norms, which, for example, abolish the responsibility of assistants and advisers to the President of Ukraine, the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, the Prime Minister of Ukraine in case of accepting an offer, making a promise, or receiving illegal benefits that are unfounded. Therefore, the European Business Association is very much looking forward to effective dialogue. At the same time, the business continues to closely monitor the formation of the body, because it will determine how comfortable the business will feel itself in the future!

On August 20, 2021, Vadym Melnyk was elected Head of the Bureau of Economic Security based on the results of the competition. Mr. Melnyk is currently standing at the helm of the State Fiscal Service (the tax police).

The European Business Association has prepared 4 business priorities, which we hope will serve as a guide for the newly established body and its leader to have an effective interaction with business.

First, the community strongly expects that the BES will not be a place to employ the former personnel of tax police. It also should not be a tool to increase the number of regulatory bodies and their powers to the extent that the civil servants virtually enjoy the absence of liability for any wrongdoings.

Secondly, it is important to establish a Public Oversight Board shortly – a public body that oversights the activities of the BES and the appointment of managers and employees of the BES. As Vadym Melnyk stressed, the new body should build its work on the analytical component in the investigation of economic crimes, not mask shows. For its part, EBA is very much looking forward to having our representative join the Board so that the community can voice business concerns.

Third, the business expects that the work of the newly established body will be based on the principles of analysis of Ukraine’s economic security, transparency, impartiality, and honesty, and the BES will be a guardian of economic security, not a machine of pressure on the business.

With this in mind, EBA calls for a review of some of the rules that currently greatly concern the business. It is draft law №3959-1 on amendments to the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

Thus, the provisions of this draft law contradict the main declared principles of government – simplification of doing business and inadmissibility of pressure on business, because it is proposed to give the BES the authority to identify and investigate criminal offenses of an economic nature.

Besides, the proposed wording of Art. 222 of the Criminal code of Ukraine establishes the criminal liability of the taxpayer for the fact of submission of the application for receiving budgetary compensation, even without actual receipt of budgetary compensation. Given that the receipt of budgetary compensation is preceded by a set of measures by the supervisory authority, the proposed version of Art. 222 of the Criminal Code will in fact become only an instrument of additional pressure on taxpayers. At the same time, the responsibility and role of the controlling body, without which it is impossible to obtain budgetary compensation, is ignored. Also, the wording of Art. 222 of the Criminal Code allows a fairly broad interpretation of the actions of taxpayers to “provide knowingly false information” by the investigating authorities and leaves a lot of room for public authorities to abuse the powers and put pressure on taxpayers.

Fourth, the effective fight against smuggling (real analytical work to detect smuggling “schemes”, rather than focusing on technical errors in customs declarations). After all, draft law №5420 on combating smuggling is expected to be adopted shortly, and the main body entrusted with the function of combating smuggling is the BES.

Anna Derevyanko EBA Executive Director
Business expectations from the Bureau of Economic Security can be described in a few words - honesty, transparency, impartiality, willingness to cooperate. Meanwhile, the implementation of the intentions set out in draft laws №3959-1 and №5420 could deal a devastating blow to business and the investment climate in the country. Therefore, business urges not to accept these documents! Even more strange are the norms, which, for example, abolish the responsibility of assistants and advisers to the President of Ukraine, the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, the Prime Minister of Ukraine in case of accepting an offer, making a promise, or receiving illegal benefits that are unfounded.

Therefore, the European Business Association is very much looking forward to effective dialogue. At the same time, the business continues to closely monitor the formation of the body, because it will determine how comfortable the business will feel itself in the future!

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