Some norms of the Bureau of Financial Investigation Draft Law need to be refined

04/ 10/ 2019

On October 2, the Verkhovna Rada approved the Draft Bill N1208-2 on the Bureau of Financial Investigation in the first reading.

The Draft Law aim was to separate the service and law enforcement functions of the Tax Service, eliminate the tax police, optimize the structure and number of bodies that fight crime in the field of finance, eliminate duplication of their functions.

So, conceptually, the European Business Association welcomes this decision. At the same time, some norms raise concern.

Thus, it is not clear from the text of the draft law what will be the structure of the new body, the number of employees and the amount of remuneration. All these don’t give an exact understanding of the qualifications of the employees of this service. At the same time, as terms of the competition aren’t mentioned in the draft law there is a fear about transfer of former tax police officers and other employees of fiscal bodies to the Bureau of Financial Investigations on the general grounds under the rules of the civil service or competition results.

In addition, the Bureau will not have a paramilitary unit and, accordingly, a military rank. However, the pension will be retained as for the military service.

According to the draft law, the work of the Bureau will be coordinated by the Minister of Finance of Ukraine, who has the right to appoint the head of the Bureau without competition. Therefore, it is likely that a manager will be appointed without public professional selection. In addition, the Government will have the right to dismiss the head of the bureau upon the submission of the Minister of Finance but the whole list of the reasons for such submission has not been determined.

At the same time, the business has repeatedly emphasized on the creation of an independent analytical body to investigate and prevent economic and financial crimes. The function of the new body should be separated from other law enforcement agencies, and the relevant economic units in the SSU and the National Police – eliminated. After all, his work should put the end to the pressure on business and give green light to investors in Ukraine.

But it have to be mentioned that this draft bill, apart from the elimination of tax police, does not provide the liquidation of the relevant units in the SSU and the National Police. The transfer procedure of the ongoing cases under investigation is also undefined.

So, business hopes that this draft law will be finalized between the first and second readings in order to develop a really good law and create favorable conditions for doing business in Ukraine.

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