Anti-Corruption Bureau will not be opening on time

Anti-Corruption Bureau will not be opening on time

The committee for election of the director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau will not be able to name the candidates for the position within the period expected by the president. The Petro Poroshenko Bloc and the People’s Front still have not been able to agree on the final version of the bill regulating the appointment and dismissal of the director of the Bureau.

A hundred contenders

President Poroshenko predicted that the director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau would be appointed this week. The statement was made on February 7 during Poroshenko’s speech at the security conference in Munich.

«In a few days, less than in a week, Ukraine will have a new director of the Anti-Corruption Bureau; we will launch a huge anti-corruption initiative, and I am convinced that we will win this fight against corruption,» Interfax-Ukraine news agency quotes the president.

Under the law the director of the bureau shall be elected by the Contest Committee consisting of representatives of the Cabinet, the President and the Verkhovna Rada. Committee member Viktor Musiyaka said in a conversation with Capital that the terms voiced by the president were «premature and did not correspond to the actual situation». He added the committee was technically unable to fulfill the task by the end of the week, even though the deadline for submission of applications and documents for the contest is February 11 and the first packages of documents will be opened the next day.

«As of Friday evening we had 102 candidates. There are still two days left and I believe their number will increase. We need to examine the documents, hold some interviews, so now it is impossible to predict any terms,» he said.

His words were confirmed by another member of the Contest Committee — human rights activist Yevhen Zakharov. He told Capital that on Saturday, February 7, the committee presented the final version of rules and procedures for its work, and final approval of the document was scheduled for Tuesday, February 10.

«The document will define the process for selection of candidates. It is still a matter of discussion whether we should interview all candidates or only the top 10, and the principles of evaluation of the candidates are still being discussed,» said Zakharov.

He also stressed that the committee did not know the names of candidates for the position of director of the Anti-Corruption Bureau, since all packages of documents were still sealed.

At the same time Musiyaka notes that the Contest Committee is waiting for the parliament to pass the bill on the National Anti-Corruption Bureau in the second reading. «Now it is unclear how many candidates we have to choose — three, ten or just one,» he said.

As a reminder, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau was established by the VR in October 2014. Its tasks include prevention and investigation of corruption abuses among senior government officials. On January 12, 2015 the Contest Committee for the election of director of the Anti-Corruption Bureau has announced the beginning of the contest.

Differences remain

MPs intend to consider the draft law amending the law on the Anti-Corruption Bureau on Thursday, February 12 as was announced today during the meeting of the Mediation Committee, said VR Speaker Volodymyr Groysman. In turn, head of the PPB faction Yuriy Lutsenko urged all MPs to vote for the adoption of the document.

As a reminder, last week lawmakers passed the aforementioned bill hammer and tongs in the first reading. During the vote MPs from the PPB and the People’s Front had had a fierce debate that led to recriminations. The premier’s faction opposed the changes proposing to delegate the president with the right to appoint and dismiss the director of the Bureau. Representatives of the People’s Front suggested that the dismissal of the director of the Bureau should be agreed with the lawmakers.

VR First Vice Speaker Andriy Parubiy told Capital that the common stand on the document was still being worked out. He hopes that by Thursday the coalition will be able to find a joint option to rule out any discussions in the session hall. «We have to decide on duties for the president and the Rada in the process of appointment of the head for the bureau. Perhaps we will work out some sub-options to satisfy everyone,» he said.

Representatives of the People’s Front faction are reluctant to share their vision of the final version of the document. MP Pavlo Pynzenyk says now the issue is discussed at the expert level, and the faction will establish its position at tomorrow’s meeting. «There is no common stand on this topic,» he said.

MP Serhiy Kaplin (Petro Poroshenko Bloc) confirmed the differences between the factions remained. «There is some earnest struggle. I am convinced that the People’s Front will sink its teeth into the proposed regulation. Still the law will be adopted in the current edition, even though politicians will get on each other’s nerves,» he said.

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