Remuneration for MPs, dismissal of the SBI Director, and MPs’ requests to the President

08 February 2022
Remuneration for MPs, dismissal of the SBI Director, and MPs’ requests to the President
Home > Monitoring > Remuneration for MPs, dismissal of the SBI Director, and MPs’ requests to the President

Despite the lockdown in the Verkhovna Rada, MPs continue to submit their draft bills. Recently, the following proposals were registered: to close the gap concerning MPs’ remuneration, to punish the SBI Director for “inadequate work”, and to prevent MPs from spamming the President with their requests.

To change MPs’ remuneration

Draft bill #7002 of February 1, 2022

Cosponsors: Ruslan Stefanchuk, Speaker of the Parliament, Oleksandr Kornienko, First Deputy Speaker of the Parliament, Olena Kondratiuk, Deputy Speaker of the Parliament, and eight more MPs representing almost all factions and groups.

Who is affected: MPs, taxpayers, and voters.

Summary of the bill:

  • provisions that the Verkhovna Rada approves compensation for each MP for domestic traveling costs in its estimated budget

  • defines that MP’s remuneration consists of a salary (will depend on the living salary and a position an MP occupies in the Parliament), additional payments, and bonuses

  • the Committee on Rules of Procedure will decide on additional payments, bonuses, and the amounts of additional payments and bonuses

  • excludes the provision from the Law on the Status of the People’s Deputy that gives MPs the same status as Cabinet members in the matter of financial and welfare support.

Why this is important: recently, the Cabinet has changed the approach for calculating salaries for members of the Cabinet. Now ministers’ salaries depend on a monthly average remuneration in the field they are responsible for.

What is right: the cosponsors of the bill address a real problem that appeared after the Cabinet started to calculate remuneration for its members differently. This gap has to be closed.

What is wrong:

  • it is inappropriate to calculate MPs’ salaries taking into account their positions in Parliament. This provision can be used for corruption and as a punishment for particular MPs. For example, committees will be able to create subcommittees and appoint heads of these subcommittees just to give them more money. At the same time, it will be possible to punish any head of a subcommittee from the opposition by dissolving his or her committee and, as a result, decreasing that MP’s salary

  • excessive influence of the Committee on Rules of Procedure on additional payments and bonuses will facilitate abuse and political corruption. Also, it is unclear why the Committee has to be involved in the issue at all since bonuses and additional payments are defined by the law.

Alternative solution:

  • to remove the provision that makes MPs’ salaries dependent on salaries of Cabinet members

  • to refrain from making MPs’ remuneration dependent on their position within the system of the Verkhovna Rada.

To request from the President to dismiss the SBI Director

Draft resolution #7010 of February 3, 2022

Cosponsors: 16 MPs from factions European Solidarity and Holos, with Artur Herasimov as the first signatory.

Who is affected: the President, MPs, the Cabinet, employees of the SBI, top officials, military, and civil servants.

Summary of the draft resolution:

  • recognizes the work of the SBI Director Oleksii Sukhachov inadequate

  • requests from the President to consider the dismissal of Oleksii Sukhachov as the SBI Director.

Why this is important:

  • SBI is criticized in the media for its role in the investigation of a traffic accident involving MP Oleksandr Trukhin. The accident happened on August 30, 2021, but since then SBI communicated almost no details on the results of the investigation or its progress

  • the President appointed Oleksii Suhachov on December 31, 2021. The newly-appointed Director was the Acting Director since September 2020.

What is wrong:

  • the request is more a political gesture than legal action. Its purpose is to draw attention to the selective work of the SBI

  • according to the Law on the SBI, the President can appoint and dismiss the SBI Director. However, this law violates the Constitution by extending the authority of the President. Sooner or later, the Constitutional Court will rule the law and presidential decisions on the matter unconstitutional. Several MPs have already appealed to the Constitutional Court about this issue.

To change submission and consideration procedures for requests from MPs to the President

Draft bill #7004 of February 2, 2022

Cosponsors: 4 MPs from the Servant of the People faction with Oleksandr Kachura as the first signatory.

Who is affected: MPs, the President, and Ukrainian citizens.

Summary of the bill: changes the submission and consideration procedures for MPs’ requests to the President:

  • such requests will have to be signed by at least a third of the MPs

  • text versions of such requests will have to be published on the official site the day they are submitted and be handed out to MPs no less than a day prior to its consideration at the meeting of the Verkhovna Rada

  • the Parliament will have to take a separate vote on whether to submit the request.

Currently, there is no requirement to publish MPs’ requests to the President on the official site and even one MP can register such a request.

What is right:

  • there will be fewer requests to the President that do not have support from a significant number of MPs

  • makes the work of a chairperson: the chairperson is obliged to announce a short description of each such request.

What is wrong:

  • the bill violates the Constitution. The Constitution provisions that a request to the President can be initiated by an MP, a group of MPs, or a committee of the Verkhovna Rada. Such a request has to get preliminary support from at least 150 MPs and after that get the approval of the Parliament

  • changes proposed by the bill de facto make it impossible for MPs to submit requests to the President. The opposition will lose one more instrument of parliamentary control.