Selection of SBI director, lockdown civil service job announcements, and strategy to fight organized crime: decisions by President and Government

22 September 2020
Selection of SBI director, lockdown civil service job announcements, and strategy to fight organized crime: decisions by President and Government
Home > Monitoring > Selection of SBI director, lockdown civil service job announcements, and strategy to fight organized crime: decisions by President and Government

Not only the Parliament, but also the Cabinet and the President made important decisions last week.

New members of contest committee for selection of SBI director appointed

Decision-maker: the President.

Who is affected: Ukrainian citizens, law enforcement agencies, judges, the military, top officials, MPs, the President, and SBI employees.

What does it change: the President has appointed three members of a contest committee for selection of SBI director. The committee includes nine members total: three from the Cabinet, three from the Parliament, and three from the President.

Why this is important: at the end of December 2019, the President dismissed the SBI director Roman Truba. Since that time, the SBI had two acting directors: Iryna Venediktova and Oleksandr Sokolov.

What is right: it is important to appoint SBI director as soon as possible, because the institution needs a permanent head to work properly.

What is wrong:

  • according to the Constitution, a President has no authority to delegate his or her representatives to contest committees. If the SBI director is appointed by the committee that includes Zelensky’s representatives, such appointment could be later repealed in court the same way as the appointment of the NABU head Artem Sytnyk.
  • a case questioning President’s authority over the SBI, in particular the power to delegate contest committee members, has already been submitted to the Constitutional Court. It is a matter of time before the Constitutional Court will rule President’s actions unconstitutional the same way it has already ruled unconstitutional President’s authority over the NABU.

New lockdown competitions for civil service positions announced

Decision-maker: the Cabinet.

Who is affected: Ukrainian citizens, business, foreigners, local government, territorial offices of government bodies, ministries, and the Cabinet.

What does it change: ‘lockdown’ competitions for the following positions are announced:

What is wrong:

  • ‘lockdown’ competitions, reduced to mere interviews, do not help building independent and apolitical high-quality civil service. In such competitions loyal candidates could be chosen over candidates with better skills and knowledge
  • if the Parliament adopts the President’s initiative on civil service (for more details, check our previous digest), all civil servants appointed under a simplified ‘lockdown’ procedure will be permanently reappointed without new competitions after the lockdown ends.

Strategy on fighting organized crime approved

Decision-maker: the Cabinet.

Who is affected: Ukrainian citizens, law enforcement agencies, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and organized crime networks.

Why this is important: the strategy is one of the medium-term planning documents. It defines priorities and activities of the Government to fight organized crime for the next five years.

What does it change:

  • the strategy proposes to optimize the system of government bodies (including cooperation and coordination between them), their informational management, approaches and methods of fighting organized crime networks. It also addresses the introduction of risk analysis and criminal analysis systems into fighting organized crime
  • executive bodies are supposed to create new law enforcement agencies, delineate and specify their functions, define subsystems of institutional supply and crime prevention
  • the strategy also envisages the following:
  • introduction of a three-phase model in developing the state policy on the issue
  • creation of an efficient and effective system to fight crime
  • introduction of international standards
  • improvement of government bodies’ efficiency.

What is rightthe strategy proposes to introduce European Union’s standards of fighting organized crime.

What is wrong:

  • as a rule, any government strategy in Ukraine is a mere formality that in the end remains unfulfilled or fulfilled only on paper
  • law enforcement reform of recent years can hardly be called successful. At present, law enforcement agencies are unable to give adequate response to threats from organized crime, so the strategy will have more chances to be fulfilled after necessary reforms are implemented and parliamentary oversight over law enforcement is established
  • one of the reasons for increase in crime rate in Ukraine could be that authorities and crime have become more connected. To improve the situation, the work of law enforcement agencies should be depoliticized.

To know more about the shortcomings of Ukrainian law enforcement agencies and their heads, please read our article Hell by agreement of parties.