On November 16, the reception of documents in the competition for the election of the head of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau began. 

Candidates will have three weeks (21 days) from the announcement to collect and send the required documents. After that, the commission will determine whom to admit to it.

The main stages of the competition: testing for knowledge of legislation and general abilities, practical tasks and interviews — for compliance with the criteria of integrity and competence. As a result, the commission will select three candidates and present them to the Prime Minister.

“Transparency International Ukraine expects the commission to find a professional, apolitical, and honest leader for the NABU in an adequate timeframe. For its part, the organization will monitor the progress so that dishonest candidates do not get into the position, and the competition itself takes place without violations. After all, dubious results are easy to contest, but we are interested in electing a worthy head of the National Bureau,”— said Kateryna Ryzhenko, Deputy Executive Director for Legal Affairs of Transparency International Ukraine.

The NABU Director is an important position not only for the anti-corruption system, but also for Ukraine in general. It is the NABU Director who organizes and manages the work of detectives. The director is responsible for the work of the Bureau, in particular, for the monitoring of the legality of operational and investigative activities, pre-trial investigation, as well as the observance of rights and freedoms of persons. The NABU Director also approves the plans of the National Bureau: prospective, current, and operational. 

Therefore, the NABU requires an independent and qualified director who fully complies with the requirements of the legislation for a high-quality work. Otherwise, the effectiveness of the entire anti-corruption system will be threatened.

The greatest risk of the competition is its delaying. Currently, we have no reason to be alarmed that this risk is real because the commission is moving rather quickly: only in the past 3 weeks, it approved the regulations and methodology, elected the chair of the commission, and voted for the announcement of the start of the competition. However, until the competition has officially started, and commission members have not yet started working directly with candidates, we cannot claim that such a risk is absent. 

The precedent with the SAPO competition shows that if it plays into the hands of the commission, it is possible to delay the competition even on the most absurd grounds. However, now there is every reason to believe that the members of the selection commission understand the importance of prompt completion of the competitive selection and compliance with Ukraine’s obligations to the EU.

At the same time, there are objective risks for the delay — fan power outages and unstable internet. The unvoted infamous “Klochko’s” draft law No. 7654 also poses a threat. It potentially undermines the political independence of the NABU Director by changing the requirements for candidates. If MPs vote “in favor,” all the results of the selection commission will be considered useless.

Let us remind you that the chair of the Commission is Mykola Kucheriavenko, his deputy is Karen Greenaway, and his secretary is Oleksii Savchuk. The competition for the position of the NABU Director had begun before the full-scale war, after February 24 it was suspended, resuming its activities in August.