The UBA position regarding the first results of the Economic Security Bureau of Ukraine activity
The Ukrainian Bar Association (hereinafter - the UBA, the Association) appealed to the Public Control Council of the Economic Security Bureau of Ukraine regarding the work of the Economic Security Bureau of Ukraine itself (hereinafter – the ESBU, the Bureau).
The Bureau started its activities on November 25, 2021, as the only state body responsible for the fight against economic crimes.
The creation of the ESBU was preceded by several reasons. The first was the negative practices that existed in the activities of the tax police, National police of Ukraine, and Security Service of Ukraine, which previously used to investigate economic crimes, which was emphasized by entrepreneurs and the entire legal community. The second reason was the commitments made to international partners regarding the consolidation of powers to investigate economic crimes into a single investigative body.
By the Law of Ukraine "On the Economic Security Bureau of Ukraine", the ESBU performs law enforcement, analytical, economic, information and other functions. That is, the ESBU is not a force, but primarily an analytical body with a law enforcement function, which should detect systemic offenses in the economic sphere based on database analysis. The ESBU’s conclusions should be based on a comprehensive, complete and impartial study of all risks in the economic sphere, including materials of criminal proceedings and investigative activities.
In its open letter to the Prime Minister of Ukraine dated December 8, 2021, the UBA emphasized the importance of ensuring the effective work of the ESBU to increase the level of trust between business and the state.
However, after 9 months of BEB activity, practicing lawyers and businesses state that the result of the ESBU activity did not meet the expectations of either the state or the public.
In practice, the Bureau, following the example of the tax police, initiates criminal proceedings based on analytical reports of the State Tax Service, without conducting preliminary analytical work independently. The UBA experts believe that this practice is the result of a gap in the legislation, namely the absence of a legally established procedure for conducting analytical work and drafting analytical products and information documents by analysts of the Bureau.
The way out of this situation, in our opinion, is the development and implementation of the mechanism of analytical and informational work of the ESBU. For this purpose, an appropriate methodology should be developed for employees of the information and analytical division of the Bureau, which will determine the procedure and criteria for their analytical activities.
The Association's experts are convinced that the development of such a methodology is possible only taking into account the opinion of civil society institutions and the professional community.
Taking into account the above, the UBA proposes to initiate the development of the above methodological recommendations. For its part, the Association is ready to join such work and provide detailed recommendations.