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Think tanks propose to reject the Government’s draft law No. 10439 on BES and support the draft law No. 10439-2 in the Parliament

21.02.2024 On January 29, 2024, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine registered the draft law "On Amendments to the Law of Ukraine "On the Bureau of Economic Security of Ukraine" to improve the work of the Bureau" under registration number 10439 (from now on - the Government's draft law 10439), which reflects the Government's vision of addressing economic issues of relations between law enforcement agencies and business.

Several alternative drafts were registered before it.

Think tank experts have analyzed the Government’s draft law No. 10439 and draw attention to the following shortcomings:

1. Imperfect principles for forming a competition commission to elect the head of the Bureau of Economic Security.

The competition commission consists of six people, three from the Government and three appointed by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine upon the proposal of international organizations. The competition commission shall be deemed authorized if all six members are approved. The decision of the competition commission is considered adopted if at least four of its members vote for it, including at least two members appointed based on proposals from international and foreign organizations. The conditions for early termination of the powers of a member of the competition commission are defined only by the Government’s decision.

Significant risks in the work of such a commission are the possibility of abuse by the Government by delaying the appointment of members of the competition commission or terminating their powers due to inactivity. Another risk of the procedure for the formation of the competition commission is the need for more requirements for the competence of its members, in particular, experience in law, anti-corruption activities, and combating economic crime.

2. No requirements for immediate re-certification of Bureau of Economic Security employees.

The Government’s draft law No. 10439 stipulates that all employees (except for deputy heads) will be re-certified one year after the end of martial law. In contrast, employees who will be appointed after the adoption of the Government’s draft law No. 10439 are exempt from re-certification.

The Government’s refusal to immediately check the current staff for integrity, moral qualities, conflict of interest, and compliance with the rules of ethical behavior jeopardizes the future integrity of the Bureau of Economic Security. In addition, the Government’s draft law No. 10439 needs a mechanism for dismissing dishonest employees, which will lead to the preservation of the current state of affairs and failure to fulfill the structural beacons of the Government’s Memorandum with the International Monetary Fund.

3. Lack of provisions for analytical work in the renewed Bureau of Economic Security.

According to think tanks, the reformed Bureau of Economic Security of Ukraine should become the only law enforcement agency that will deal with economic crimes, the main component of which should be an analytical approach to the investigation of financial crimes and only, as an exception, the application of preventive measures in the form of searches and seizure of property of potential offenders. At the same time, the Government’s draft law No. 10439 does not contain provisions to create the preconditions for the Bureau’s influential work, namely, strengthening its analytical function.

It would be advisable to define at the legislative level the right of the Bureau of Economic Security to receive free access to existing state information systems containing data on the financial activities of business entities, state registers of authorities, establish criteria for the effectiveness of the BES, quarterly public reporting on the results of its work and the responsibility of BES employees for putting pressure on business or exceeding their authority.

Currently, detectives of the Bureau of Economic Security of Ukraine send written requests to businesses with illegal demands for documents.

Given the suboptimal state institutions that currently operate in Ukraine, it is advisable to provide for the reboot of the Bureau of Economic Security only those procedures that have proven effective in reforming other state agencies (NABU and NAPC), in particular.

Formation of an effective competition commission for the selection of a candidate for the position of director of the Bureau of Economic Security with the majority of representatives from international organizations;
immediate re-certification of all employees of the Bureau of Economic Security, early termination of the powers of the current head and his deputies;
analytical orientation in the Bureau of Economic Security, publicity of the results of its work, and responsibility for illegal actions.

The draft law that best meets these criteria and contains the necessary norms is the alternative draft 10439-2 submitted by the MPs of Ukraine.

Given the above, think tank experts call for the return of the Government’s draft law No. 10439 without consideration and for the alternative draft law No. 10439-2, which meets the requirements of today and Ukraine’s obligations to international partners, to be recommended to the Parliament as a basis.

Sincerely yours

Think tanks:

Institute for Social and Economic Transformation

CASE Ukraine

Institute of Tax reforms

Center for Economic Strategy

Growford Institute

Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting

Network for the Protection of National Interests “ANTS”


Advanter Group

Chamber of Tax Advisors

Institute of Finance and Law

Center of Public Expertise

Together against corruption