MPs want to create a committee to control the work of law enforcement agencies and to change the workings of the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation. Meanwhile, the Cabinet defines a state policy on veterans.
Better parliamentary control over law enforcement agencies
Draft bill # 8066 of September 21, 2022
Cosponsors: a group of MPs from the factions Platform For Life and Peace and Servant of the People.
Who is affected: employees of law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, MPs, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and Ukrainian citizens.
Summary of the bill:
- the parliamentary committee on control of law enforcement agencies and prosecution. The committee will have the following powers:
- collect and analyze information regarding issues of fighting crime, maintaining security and public order, providing police services
- receive information about the crime situation throughout the country on a regular basis
- conduct preliminary reviews of reports by the SBI Director, the Prosecutor General, and the Minister of Internal Affairs and issue conclusions on these reports
- by the majority vote the committee will be able:
- to issue recommendations for senior law enforcement and prosecution representatives. These recommendations will be mandatory for consideration
- to submit proposals to suspend officials pending an inquiry if the official in question is officially a suspect or ignored a committee’s meeting without a legitimate reason
- to initiate disciplinary action against the heads of law enforcement or prosecution as a result of the inspection
- at the request of at least a third of MPs, the Minister of Internal Affairs will be required to report on the results of the ministry’s work, the work of central executive bodies he or she coordinates, progress on particular tasks, and observance of the law. Depending on the results of such a report, the work of the minister can be deemed unsatisfactory, and in this case, a submission to dismiss the minister can be issued.
What is right: the Parliament gets more controlling powers. The work of law enforcement agencies and prosecution will be more transparent.
What is wrong:
- the draft bill proposes to grant the newly-created committee powers that will affect the work of other government agencies. However, the committee itself is not a government agency and cannot have such powers. For that to happen, constitutional changes will be required
- some of the powers the bill proposes to grant the committee will allow MPs to influence the work of law enforcement agencies and prosecution. This will undermine the independence of these agencies and affect the effectiveness of investigations and the presentation of cases in courts, even though politicians should not interfere with these spheres.
Restrictions on workings of the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation under martial law
Draft bill # 8023 of September 12, 2022
Cosponsors: a group of MPs from the Servant of the People faction with Mykyta Poturayev as the first signatory.
Who is affected: the Ministry of Culture, the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation, artists, and Ukrainian citizens.
Summary of the bill:
- current restrictions on funding of the Ukrainian Cultural Foundations (UCF) will be in force until the last day of the year martial law ends
- while martial law is in force, the Ministry of Culture will have the following powers:
- to authorize:
- regulations of the Supervisory Board and the Board of Directors of the UCF
- controlling procedure on how obligations before the UCF are fulfilled
- to approve:
- UCF’s priorities in supporting domestic culture and arts
- rules for selection of the winning projects that will be implemented with support from the UCF and monitoring the implementation of these projects.
- to authorize:
What is wrong: the draft bill virtually demolishes the independence of the UCF and makes its existence redundant since key functions of the UCF will be performed by the Ministry of Culture. A justification from the explanatory note that the bill will allegedly boost the capacities and the autonomy of the UCF does not correspond to the content of the bill.
Foundations for state policy on veterans
Draft bill # 8036 of September 15, 2022
Sponsor: the Cabinet.
Who is affected: service members, veterans, defenders of Ukraine, the Cabinet, ministries, and social security bodies.
Summary of the bill:
- the foundations of the internal policy on national security and defense will have to include:
- a state policy on veterans and the creation of a system of bringing service members to civilian life
- social support for veterans honored for outstanding service to the Motherland, families of the veterans killed in action, and defenders of Ukraine.
- one of the key elements of the internal social policy will be to provide veterans, families of veterans killed in action, and defenders of Ukraine with affordable housing
- the following provisions will be added as key elements of humanitarian policies:
- improvements of the state policies on veteran sports and physical rehabilitation
- measures to glorify defenders of Ukraine, both men and women, fair honoring and preserving the memory of the defenders of Ukraine killed in action.
What is right: to implement the proposed changes, some amendments to the laws or acts by the Cabinet will be necessary, but the initiative highlights the Government’s priorities regarding the policy on veterans. Support, rehabilitation, and socialization of veterans and service members should be among the Government’s priorities.
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