On December 21, the Verkhovna Rada will vote for the appointment of new members of the Accounting Chamber. Potential officials were interviewed last week. The interviews revealed that candidates’ awareness regarding the body’s functions is largely inadequate, and significant flaws exist within the competition procedure itself. Transparency International Ukraine urges MPs to cancel the current competition and restart it after the adoption of draft laws on the Accounting Chamber reform and the development of a new selection procedure.
Now the competition procedure is weak and formal. Among other flaws, it does not have:
- criteria or general methods for assessing the level of training of candidates;
- a testing stage that would filter out candidates with insufficient knowledge;
- evaluation of candidates for their compliance with the criteria of integrity and professional ethics.
The interviews showed that candidates had limited knowledge about the Accounting Chamber’s authority and international audit standards. They often overestimated their proficiency in foreign languages and occasionally displayed overt allegiance to the MPs who were part of the commission.
This time, the interviews were public domain. What we saw that under the current pseudo-competitive process, it’s impossible to select qualified, independent, and honorable members for the Accounting Chamber.
The Accounting Chamber is a key body for monitoring the efficiency of using public funds. It’s not just Ukrainians who anticipate top-notch and efficient performance from this entity: the European Union emphasizes the necessity to bolster its independence, while ambassadors from the G7 countries advised against hastening new appointments.
In December, the process of revising the legislation governing the Accounting Chamber commenced, and a representative from TI Ukraine is the part of it. The meeting of the Parliamentary Budget Committee discussed the flaws of current competition and the need of holding a new one, among other topics.
It is important to provide for competitive selection based on the principles of transparency, competitiveness, objectivity and impartiality, which will ensure selection of professional and virtuous members of the Accounting Chamber.
We urge the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to cancel the competition and announce a new one after amending the Accounting Chamber laws and approving the new competition procedure.