(response to the letter of the Head of the SASU)
It is a shame that you are under the impression that we, the public, do not understand your authority. It is equally upsetting that the management of the State Audit Service fails to notice the obvious — the need to reform the institution in its entirety.
When Andrii Borovyk emphasized that a SASU reform was needed, what he meant was not only the sector of public procurement (even though there are enough issues here as it is). Your staff not only oversees procurement but also carries out inspections and audit, they are among the first ones to identify violations in the financial sector. And in all these aspects, we are sorry to point out the lack of adequate cooperation with law enforcement authorities. We are absolutely in favor of the State Audit Service becoming a full-scale actor among anti-corruption agencies.
This can be achieved only if you work in conjunction. One memorandum of cooperation with the NABU that does not oblige you to do anything is not enough. A decree is a different thing. However, a joint decree on cooperation of the State Audit Service with law enforcement dates back to 2006. There are no mentions of the NABU and the State Investigations Bureau; it is an outdated and ineffective document.
Obviously, you can only cooperate with the NABU on cases involving high-ranking officials. But this would demonstrate your ability to handle major “fails” in public procurement, which are quite numerous, we have to say. Our prior experience shows that you are much more willing to pressure public officials from remote villages rather than those who have actual power in the government.
As for public procurement monitoring, TI Ukraine and other CSOs have published analysis of the SASU’s work in this sphere numerous times. We regularly follow and try to cover both positive and negative aspects of the Service’s work.
Just to give you one figure, in the first six months of 2019, the State Audit Service carried out over 3,000 monitorings, which constitutes three monitorings (!!!) per auditor per month. We would like to believe that the auditors will be able to improve this figure.
Furthermore, it was TI Ukraine and other CSOs that actively supported the implementation of open and transparent online monitoring of public procurement. We held numerous meetings with SASU experts and advocated the necessary changes to make sure this monitoring and further inspections would be effective.
Lastly, about the latest tools adapted to today’s demands that the chief auditor of the country speaks about. If we are talking about risk indicators for procurement monitoring and a monitoring profile, we will take it as gratitude to our team. It was TI Ukraine with other organizations that, with the support of donors and international partners (EBRD, GIZ) contributed to the development of these innovations. The only thing is, we would appreciate it if you used them in your work more often.
TI Ukraine’s team is ready to further the public procurement reform and effective changes in the State Audit Service in every way.
We are sorry to point out the lack of adequate cooperation with law enforcement authorities. We are absolutely in favor of the State Audit Service becoming a full-scale actor among anti-corruption agencies.