MP announces ‘reboot’ of Bureau of Economic Security by end of year
The reboot of the Bureau of Economic Security (BES), including the appointment of a new head and re-certification of employees, may take place by the end of the year, the chair of the Ukrainian parliament’s tax committee believes.
The BES, created in 2021 to counter and investigate economic crimes, has been accused of inefficiency and inflated results.
"I think that by the end of the year, we should have everything in order. [It should be] changes to the legislation, and along with them, we should carry out certification and appoint a new head with the participation of international experts," Danylo Hetmantsev said in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine news agency.
He added that the same should be done with Ukraine’s customs and tax authorities.
According to Mr Hetmantsev, people are dissatisfied with the BES not only in Ukraine but also abroad.
"The partners are following the BES's activities very closely and are as dissatisfied with the results as we are. That's why there is a clause about a reboot in the memorandum [with the International Monetary Fund]," the MP said.
In the said memorandum, Ukraine pledged to reorganise the Bureau of Economic Security by strengthening its analytical function. The reorganisation includes a review of the Bureau’s legal framework, enhanced transparency in staff and management hire, staff certification, and the introduction of a contractual system for employees.
The reform will see the Bureau of Economic Security under the finance ministry’s auspices.
Mr Hetmantsev explained that the BES is the main body in charge of controlling the use of funds provided to Ukraine by Western partners.
"This is the number one authority. It is impossible to leave this area as it is now. Tax police should not make up 80 percent of the staff," he said.
In February, the parliamentary tax committee voted to recognise the Bureau's work as unsatisfactory, with a bill on rebooting its work registered later in the parliament.
The BES, however, disputed the claim, saying that the number of criminal proceedings referred to court and notices of suspicion was three times higher than at the beginning of its work. Vadym Melnyk, the Bureau’s director, said that the Bureau was being formed in a time of war and with limited funding.