Kyiv, December 7, 2015. The National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) detectives brought the first three criminal cases in the Unified State Register of pre-trial investigations. Therefore, NABU started to fully perform the duties assigned to it by law, said Artem Sytnyk, Director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine, at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. He noted that the focus of these cases is embezzlement of public enterprises funds totaling about 1 billion UAH. And it is just the beginning. “The number of proceedings, which we can bring up, is much higher but now we will bring a relatively small amount so that prosecutors are able to exercise proper supervision,” said Sytnyk.
On November 30, Ukraine’s Prosecutor General appointed Deputy Prosecutor General of Ukraine head of Specializing anti-corruption prosecutors (SAP) Nazar Holodnytskyi. Thus, the Prosecutor General can initiate transferring all cases of corruption to NABU. And SAP can start supervising the legitimacy of NABU investigations. Therefore, NABU has received legitimate basis for its work.
Sytnyk said that NABU and SAP’s work should meet the expectations of the society. The first step in this direction was the election of leaders who “were not just appointed to a position but selected as a result of an open, transparent competition”. The whole NABU and SAP staff will be formed according to this principle. Sytnyk said that Holodnytskyi had developed provisions of the contest to elect other anti-corruption prosecutors, and expressed hope that it “will also be carried out quickly, efficiently, transparently and honestly”. In addition, on December 4, the second competition for the position of detectives was launched. Its structure is similar to the first one. “By early January 2016, depending on the results of the competition, we hope to employ from 70 to 100 prosecutors and senior presecutors so that in January the Anti-Corruption Bureau will have 150 prosecutors,” noted Sytnyk. In general, the staff will include 424 detectives; their average salary will make 32-34 thousand UAH. NABU plans to complete staffing by April 2016.
Sytnyk also informed that they managed to come to a mutual understanding with the government on the issue of funding the NABU in 2016: instead of 285 million UAH previously proposed by the government, the NABU will get 495 million UAH. It is less than 800 mln UAH, which the NABU had expected to get, but this money should be enough to get started. However, the NABU director warned against attempts to revise salaries of the Bureau employees. The draft state budget for 2016 presupposes such a possibility for the Cabinet of Ministers. “According to the draft budget, the government will determine salaries of the NABU employees depending on the situation with the budget. But on the other hand, there is the Law on the NABU. We have been declaring for eight months that finally, for the first time in the history of Ukraine the issue of paying people who make extremely important and responsible decisions will be determined not by the government regulations, but the law. I hope that the corresponding provision of the draft budget (on the possibility that the Cabinet will determine the salary of NABU employees) disappears and there will be no attempts to destroy independence of the Anti-Corruption Bureau,” said Sytnyk.