The Draft Law initiated by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and said to tackle the situation after the infamous Constitutional Court's decision on NABU actually opens the way for a complete reset of the agency and attack on its institutional independence.
An analysis of the Draft Law On Amendments to Certain Laws of Ukraine On Bringing the Status of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine into Compliance with the Requirements of the Constitution of Ukraine allows us to identify a number of key threats that will result in the loss of NABU's real ability to counter and expose top-level corruption in Ukraine.
- The "controlling stake" of votes in the competition commission for the selection of the NABU Director actually goes to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, which, in addition to its three representatives, appoints three more from a list submitted by donors. Moreover, the final decision rests with the Cabinet, whose top officials fall under NABU's investigation scope.
- The final decision on the composition of the external control commission for conducting the annual independent evaluation (audit) completely rests with the Cabinet as well.
- Changing the status of NABU from a law enforcement agency to a central executive authority with a special status raises a number of issues regarding labour relations with NABU employees, who were selected for their positions as a result of an open competition. Given the recent developments, the reorganization is likely to be used in order to reshape Bureau's staff, which is the most valuable resource in combating top-level corruption in Ukraine.
Instead of uniting efforts in the fight against corrupt officials, we have once again witnessed an attempt to mobilize all resources to fight NABU. However, we still do not give up hope for readiness for a constructive talk inside the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and the adoption of a balanced decision in favor of society. For its part, NABU is ready to join this discussion.