Archive for January 15th, 2015

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Anti-Corruption Bureau Revisited – Applications for Chief may now be submitted

January 15, 2015

Several times since early October 2014, when the RADA voted to created an indepednent Anti-Corruption Bureau has it been mentioned here, particularly with regard to the Bureau’s head, which President Poroshenko heavily hinted could very well be a foreigner.

Most of those individuals subjected to speculation with regard to appointment have already joined the Ukrainian government, having first assumed Ukrainian citizenship – a handful of Lithuanian and Georgian ex-government leaders.  Others touted, such as former Georgian President Saakashvili will clearly not be taking up any positions – he has made it quite clear that he will not surrender his Georgian citizenship.

Late last evening saw the official announcement on the Ukrainian Presidential website that applications for the post leading the National Anti-Corruption Bureau could now be submitted.  The closing date being 12th February – some 19 days after the Bureau is supposed to have officially begun to function on 25th January.

In short, applicants must:

– A citizen of Ukraine under 65 years (foreigners and stateless people who have applied must obtain citizenship of Ukraine before the deadline for the competition);

– Have completed higher legal education (a law degree completed abroad can be considered);

– Have at least 10 years of professional experience;

– Have at least five years of experience in senior positions in government institutions or international organizations (experience may include work in government and non-government organizations and institutions both in Ukraine and in foreign countries);

– Speak the Ukrainian language.

Applicants cannot:

– In the past two years have held leadership positions within political parties or were employed by a political party;

– Were adjudicated incompetent or having limited capacity;

– Were convicted of a crime, faced administrative penalties for corruption offences in the past year or were prosecuted by court for intentional crime;

– Were deprived by law of the right to engage in state activities or hold certain positions;

– Hold citizenship of a different state (foreigners must obtain citizenship of Ukraine before the end of the deadline for the competition);

– Are 65 years old or above;

– Are subordinate to a relative.

Thus between now and 12th February, any applicants currently holding citizenship of another nation will have to become Ukrainian citizens – something of a gamble if as a foreign applicant, you are ultimately unsuccessful.  Perhaps citizenship prior to successful appointment may – or not – may have encouraged more suitably qualified foreigners to apply, over and above those already directly approached to apply by Ukraine.

The salary for the successful applicant will be somewhere between UAH 40,000 – UAH 60,000 per month, about $2,500 – $3,750, depending upon how far the Ukrainian currency falls of course.

Jolly good.  Progress.

What is just as interesting, but far less headline-worthy, is that the Anti-Corruption Bureau investigators are to be paid UAH 20,000 per month – about $1250.  For Ukraine, as a “white salary” – and hopefully no Anti-Corruption Bureau staff will also take income from the “grey” or “black” economy – it is indeed quite high for those on the State payroll.  For example, those patriotic young people now being recruited to the SBU to replace the Russian infiltrators, defectors and those sacked for nefarious criminality, earn about $500 per month.

Whilst clearly the SBU role is currently far more counter-terrorism concentrated than it has previously been, historically it has also quietly engaged in numerous anti-corruption activities too. Thus, the investigations of these two entities would, and probably still will, very often (and rightly) overlap, just as horizontal accountability amongst democratic institutions demand.

There are, of course, numerous other State entities that also investigate corruption too.  Tax authorities, customs, serious and organised crime departments within the police etc., etc.

All of these investigative institutions will undoubtedly pay less than the new Anti-Corruption Bureau investigators as far as “white” earnings go for many of the current employees, which in a roundabout way leads theoretically to competition amongst the proven and better investigators within these existing institutions, for the better paid vacancies within the new Anti-Corruption Bureau.

The questions, however, are how are the new Anti-Corruption Bureau investigators going to be appointed – and by whom?  Who decides?  Who decides who decides, and what is the mechanism for recruitment?  How many investigators will there be?

Thus far it has been somewhat illusive in finding concrete answers to these questions – despite these less than sensitive questions requiring necessarily transparent answers.  One of the first tasks for any newly appointed Bureau Chief is to perhaps answer them.

 

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