The Verkhovna Rada has backed bill No. 5459-1 on bringing the status of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine in line with the requirements of the Constitution.
Some 304 MPs backed at the second reading the bill at a plenary session on Tuesday.
The bill changes the status of NABU and makes it a central executive body with a special status. (Today, NABU is a state law enforcement agency.) At the same time, the requirements of the Cabinet of Ministers on appointing the main staff of the central executive body do not apply to the National Bureau.
The document provides that the change in the status of NABU does not require any additional measures related to the liquidation or reorganization of the body.
The bill also removes the norm according to which NABU is created by the president.
According to the changes, the Cabinet of Ministers coordinates the work of NABU within the limits and in the manner established by this law, but the government does not approve the regulation on NABU. According to the bill, the acts of NABU cannot be canceled in full or in a separate part by the Cabinet of Ministers. The Cabinet of Ministers appoints and dismisses the director of National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (currently the president).
"The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine only if there are grounds ... makes a decision to dismiss the director of the National Bureau from office if at least two-thirds of the Cabinet of Ministers backed this," the bill said.
The competitive selection for the post of NABU director is organized and conducted by a commission, which includes six people, of which three members of the commission are proposed by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and three more – by the Cabinet on the basis of proposals from partners who provided international technical assistance to Ukraine to prevent and combat corruption.
As Head of the parliamentary committee on anti-corruption policy Anastasia Radina (the Servant of the People parliamentary faction) said during the discussion of proposals and amendments to the bill, independent experts will work in the competition committee, as recommended by the Venice Commission.
According to an explanatory note to the bill, the Constitutional Court on August 28, 2020 recognized presidential decree No. 218/2015 on the appointment of Artem Sytnyk as director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine unconstitutional, and on September 16, 2020, the Constitutional Court declared unconstitutional certain provisions of the Law of Ukraine on the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine.