On March 16, the European Business Association and Global Business for Ukraine met with Semen Kryvonos who had been appointed as the new Head of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine the previous week.
According to the CEOs of the EBA member companies, corruption is still among the top 3 factors that negatively affect the investment climate, so an effective fight against its manifestations remains one of the main tasks for our country, even during the war.
Therefore, we were pleased to hear the assurances from Mr Kryvonos that his main tasks in office will be to ensure the NABU’s independence, maintain its stability and develop its human resources, increase the number of detectives and create an expert unit. This is also important in the context of Ukraine’s future reconstruction, as the NABU team will be involved in monitoring related government processes.
While guarantees of the Bureau’s independence are provided for in the legislation, Mr Kryvonos believes that his task in ensuring the independence of the body is to prevent any influence on the course of investigations, as well as to ensure transparency of personnel decisions and maintain the current high standard of selection of detectives, operatives and analysts to the Bureau.
Mr. Kryvonos assured not only business representatives but also the ambassadors of the G7 and the EU of the objectivity and impartiality of the NABU’s work during a recent meeting. According to the Head of the Bureau, our international partners positively assessed the work of Ukraine’s anti-corruption agencies, namely NABU and SAPO, and expressed hope that their independence and efficiency will be preserved. At the same time, the main challenges for the NABU are the high workload of detectives, and the need to develop expertise and establish communications.
As of the end of last year, NABU detectives were working on 716 criminal proceedings, and 414 indictments were sent for further judicial review. Currently, the bureau’s detectives are focusing on such particularly relevant areas as procurement, energy, defence, and others. However, Mr Kryvonos sees his strategic goals not in the number of cases or charges, but in the level of crime prevention and economic impact of NABU’s work, and on a more strategic level – in increasing trust in NABU and the anti-corruption system and, indeed, reducing the level of corruption in Ukraine.
For its part, business can also help make the NABU’s work more effective, namely by reporting abuses and illegal actions of state bodies and Semen Kryvonos called on entrepreneurs to do so.
We are grateful to Mr. Kryvonos for meeting with the EBA business community as one of his first steps in office and look forward to further successful development and effective operation of the anti-corruption infrastructure in Ukraine.