The procedure for holding competition for the position of the head of the SAPO. Analysis of main stages

On January 25, the process of selecting key anti-corruption prosecutor in the country began. The Anti-Corruption Action Center has carefully analyzed approved rules of the competition, transparency and quality of which will determine fate of top-level investigations in the next 5 years and support of the international community.

The competition will not be simple and fast. The analysis of stages and procedures confirms that the process will last at least 3-4 months. The duration may depend on number of candidates, as well as on possible epidemic restrictions.

The competition for position of the head of SAPO starts from the moment of its announcement. It takes 21 days to accept documents from candidates. The list of documents has already been published on the website of the Prosecutor General’s Office.

Later, the analysis of proposed candidates for compliance with requirements and admission or non-admission to the competition will be conducted. The list of admitted candidates is published on the website of the Prosecutor General’s Office within 3 days.

Сandidates admitted to the competition will be tested for knowledge of the law. The list of questions is approved and published by the Competition Commission at least one week before the testing, as well as the passing score is determined. The test consists of 100 questions. And candidates are given 100 minutes for them. Testing is anonymous and takes place under special code. Candidates receive the result immediately and on the same day they are published on the website of the Prosecutor General’s Office. First 150 candidates who have passed the threshold and scored the most amount of points go to the next stage.

Then, candidates will be tested for general abilities following publishing samples within a week and setting the passing score. The test will consist of 3 components: verbal, abstract-logical and mathematical, which will be done by candidates sequentially (the list of tasks of each block is generated by an automated system for each candidate). The test result will be equal to the average score for three blocks. All those who pass these stages will have to pass special vetting in the manner prescribed by law.

Candidates who have passed the test will be checked on polygraph. The purpose is to get additional information about the candidate. Results of this stage are not made public or disclosed. However, refusal to pass it or arbitrary termination means stopping participation in the competition for the candidate.

The most difficult and the longest stages will be two interviews on assessment of integrity and professional competence. The Commission approved the assessment criteria and methodology for such assessment.

Thus, interview for assessment of integrity will consist of discussing with the candidate materials on his integrity, taking into account results of the polygraph and will last up to 60 minutes. Prior to the interview, anyone may provide any information on the candidate’s non-compliance with the integrity criterion to the Commission. To pass to the next stage the candidate must receive at least 7 votes (according to the rule 5 + 2, where 5 is the number of members of the Commission from the Verkhovna Rada, and 2 are international partners). It is this stage that should ensure the removal of doubtful candidates from the competition. All those who do not receive 2 votes from international experts would be left out.

Members of the Competition Commission may express reasonable doubts about candidate’s compliance with the criterion of integrity. That means that in order to admit circumstances proven, you do not need 100% confidence in certain fact, reasonable doubt of member of the Commission in compliance with the candidate’s criteria taking into account all facts and arguments. Candidates who do not receive required number of votes will stop their participation in the competition.

Those who go further, the practical task will be waiting for them. The practical task consists of two blocks. Namely: checking the possession of professional practical skills and abilities and checking the candidates’ organizational and leadership qualities. The task schedule is published no later than 5 days before its start, and the list of tasks is provided by the Training Center of Prosecutors of Ukraine at the request of the Commission. The practical task is performed on computer, and the use of any source of information (except official texts of the Regulatory Legal Act in paper form) is prohibited. Results are made according to the methodology and evaluation criteria by adding all average scores of each member of the Commission for each of evaluation criteria. Electronic copies of answers to practical tasks on the day of their implementation are posted on the website of the Prosecutor General’s Office.

After practical task and taking into account that there will be interview with candidates regarding assessment of professional competence. It will consist of discussing with candidate of materials on his professional competence and will last up to 60 minutes. Candidates will also be required to provide their vision and suggestions for strengthening independence and increasing efficiency of the SAPO. After interview members of the Commission will discuss its results online, as well as will give points to candidates.

The final stage is to determine the winner and refer him to the Prosecutor General for the appointment. The overall result is determined by the sum of points of all stages of the competition: points for anonymous testing for knowledge of the law + points for anonymous testing for general abilities and skills + points based on results of the practical task + points based on results of the interview in order to examine professional competence. 

The first candidate in ranking is considered selected for the position of the head of the SAPO, and the second candidate is considered selected for the position of his deputy. The selected candidate for position of the head of the SAPO, within three working days after passing the special vetting and state secrecy clearence, is submitted to the Prosecutor General.

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