An attempt of the Parliament on interfering in the work of the independent Selection Commission, consisting of 9 known public authorities and professionals, appeared at the final stage of competitive selection of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NAB) Director.
On March 5, the day before the Selection Commission selected four semi-finalists out of 176 candidates for the position of Director of NAB, the draft law №2339 was registered in the Parliament, which in case of adoption, will require the Commission to prolong the competition for new applicants.
During 14 days from the date of entry of this Law into force, regardless of the stage of competitive selection, all interested persons will be able to apply for the position of the Director of NAB.
In fact, by this Law MPs propose to prolong the competition and in general – to shift certain powers of the Selection Commission (issuing call for new candidates and determining of the timeframe of the competition) to the Parliament.
The draft law was registered by three MPs – representatives of parties of Poroshenko Bloc and the Narodny Front.
Anti-Corruption Action Centre considers the submission of this draft law as an attempt of Administration of the President and Prime Minister’s team using MPs to unreasonably interfere in the work of the Commission in order to increase pressure on the independent nature of its decisions and most importantly – to open legal way of engaging into a competition candidates, who are loyal to and controlled by top officials of the country.
Currently the competition for the position of Director of the Bureau is on the final stage: after special and lustration checks of four candidates Selection Commission will select two or three of them, who will be proposed to the President for consideration. President will choose one, who will be appointed as a Director. The responsibility for carrying out the above checks of four semi-finalists lies with the Presidential Administration, which can artificially lengthen this process.
We recall that the establishment of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau as an independent law enforcement agency with powers to investigate of corruption offenses of high officials is a condition for international financial assistance from the IMF and EU to Ukraine.
Adoption of the law, which interferes in the process of the NAB Director selection on the final stage of the competition can undermine all the preliminary work on setting up the Bureau – starting from the creation of text of the basic law to carrying out of dozens of interviews with candidates.
Ukrainian decision makers should prove they could be reliable and consistent partners and refrain from any attempts interfering into the independent work of the Selection Commission. This will be the most important guarantee of independency of NAB, as well as of its smooth and quick set up.