Business asks the authorities to support an alternative draft law on the reform of BESU. The main points

Oleksandra Opanasenko

The European Business Association (EBA) asks the Parliament to adopt the alternative draft law No. 10439-2 on reforming the Bureau of Economic Security of Ukraine (BESU), as this document excludes influence on the bureau and takes into account business proposals and comments in the context of reforming the Bureau of Economic Security of Ukraine.

EBA emphasizes that the selection for the position of head and key positions of BESU should be carried out on a competitive basis with the involvement of foreign experts, as was the case with the NABU competition.

"In addition, the procedure for re-certification of old employees of BESU should be clearly regulated so that unscrupulous employees cannot undergo re-certification," says the statement of EBA, which is one of the most influential and largest business associations in Ukraine.

When BESU undergoes a reboot, then all criminal proceedings in the economic sphere will be transferred to it, because other law enforcement agencies are currently dealing with them.

EBA emphasizes that draft law No. 10439-2 will be able to carry out a real reform of BESU, as an independent body, and not a "controlled one".

What is provided by draft law 10439-2

The document prescribes a full re-certification of the staff of the Bureau of Economic Security and an updated tender procedure. In particular, re-certification will be carried out by commissions in which three out of five members will be determined by international partners. If BESU employee does not pass the certification or refuses it, he will be fired. The document also does not allow employees to avoid re-certification due to sick leave, vacations and other manipulations.

The certification itself is offered in three stages:

  • testing for knowledge of legislation;
  • general ability testing;
  • integrity and professional ethics interview.

At the last stage, the commission will be able to check the candidate, evaluate his past, professional behavior and property status.

The draft law also provides for an updated competitive procedure for the position of bureau director. As part of the directorʼs selection committee, four out of seven members will be selected by international partners. Their votes will be decisive.

Why is this important?

Restarting the Bureau of Economic Security has become one of the conditions for Ukraine in the IMFʼs extended financing program. The memorandum with the Fund talks about making changes to the current law that regulates the activities of BESU. The key goal is to develop transparent criteria for the selection of staff and management of the bureau. The document also states that BESU should be subordinated to the Ministry of Finance, and not to the direction of the government, as it is now.

A group of ambassadors of the "Big Seven" countries is asking to reform the Security Council, strengthen its independence and efficiency. This is in the list of priority reforms for 2024.

On December 29, 2023, the Cabinet of Ministers approved and submitted to the Verkhovna Rada a draft law that proposes to "restart" the work of BESU, but it was criticized by the Central Committee and some MPs.

Already on February 12, 2024, the Verkhovna Rada registered draft law No. 10439-2, which is an alternative to the one previously submitted by the Cabinet of Ministers.