Members of Parliament want to release law enforcement officers from submitting open declarations
The Verkhovna Rada registered the draft law No. 9148, which would allow unlimited number of employees of law enforcement agencies to submit classified declarations instead of open ones and avoid their verification.
The Parliament wants to officially allow employees of the Security Service of Ukraine, the National Police, the Tax Administration, the National Guard, and other law enforcement agencies to submit classified declarations instead of open electronic declarations, as well as to avoid their verification and investigation regarding consequences of declaring.
On the one hand, the draft law provides for the replacement of open electronic declarations by paper ones only for the so-called “secret” agents of these agencies and employees of the intelligence bodies.
However, at the same time, law enforcement officials and intelligence officers would have the possibility to classify electronic declarations of everybody: from publicly known top officials to accountants. They plan to submit declarations according to the order specified by the same agencies, for example, in their own closed declaration system.
In fact, this would legitimate the already created scheme in the SBU. The AntAC has been appealing it for more than two years. Yes, the SBU has already classified declarations of all employees without any exception. The following decision was passed by the expert on state secrets and simultaneously deputy head of the SBU. The draft law will allow all law enforcement officers to use the SBU’s experience in order to avoid submitting open declarations.
The authors of the draft law state that exceptions will not apply to the SBU leaders appointed by the public president’s decree. However, it also means that at any time the president’s decrees regarding the appointment of deputy heads of the SBU or the head of the SBU of any region may be classified by the decision of another SBU state secret expert.
“On the one hand, the draft law seem to be logical. Declarations of intelligence officers and secret agents should not be public. But at the same time, the draft law in fact will allow to avoid submitting of declarations not only for public heads of law enforcement and intelligence agencies, but also for unlimited number of law enforcement officers whose work is not confidential”, – says Olena Shcherban, the lawyer at the Anti-Corruption Action Center.
The authors of the draft law directly allow to submit secret paper declarations for public top officials, the leadership of the Foreign Intelligence Service, despite the fact that they are also appointed by the president’s decree.
The journalists’ investigations reveal unreasonable assets of the latter. In particular, journalists of the TV program Nashi Groshi revealed that family of the deputy head of the Intelligence Service Serhii Semochko owns real estate worth more than 8 million USD.
It is interesting that, before his work in the Foreign Intelligence Service, the latter headed the Economic Counterintelligence in the SBU and the Department of the SBU in Kyiv and Kyiv region.
The law enforcement or intelligence agencies will check such paper or secret declarations themselves. The National Anti-Corruption Bureau will be able to carry out a full examination only with the permission of the head of this agency and after the decision to change the degree of secrecy.
Adding the need to report to the National Agency for Corruption Prevention on significant expenditures, Members of Parliament suggest not to report about recreational rest abroad, namely recreation in the Seychelles or the Maldives.