Ukraine Appoints Auditor for the Anti-Corruption Bureau
26 May, 2017
Mykhailo Buromenskiy Photo:

Ukrainian Prime Minister, Volodymyr Groysman, has appointed Ukrainian lawyer and academic  Mykhailo Buromenskiy as a National Anti-Corruption Bureau auditor.

"The government made its decision. The Ministry of Justice will formalize it in three days in observance of regulations," Groysman said during government session.

Buromenskiy is to become one of the three auditors that the Cabinet, the Parliament and the President must appoint seperately to launch the first audit of the country's newly created Anti-Corruption Bureau. The process has attracted a bulk of criticism from both local civil society and foreign allies for having signs of political pressure on the anti-corruption institution.

Buromenskiy is a member of Presidential Constitutional Committee of Ukraine, which is headed by PM Groysman. Moreover, both of them are members of Presidential task group for decentralization.

The newly appointed government auditor was one of 12 candidates for the position, which included seven Ukrainians and five foreigners. He is a Ukrainian lawyer and public figure, who is also President of the Institute of Applied Humanitarian Research. He has worked as a legal expert for the European Union, the World Bank, OSCE and others. Mr. Buromesnskiy has been a member of the Permanent Delegation of Ukraine in the Group of States against Corruption. His research includes international legal cooperation in the field of human rights, international cooperation in combatting crime and international criminal law.

The law demands that a candidate has "substantial work experience in the law-enforcement agencies, prosecutor offices or courts abroad or in international organizations". Daria Kaleniuk, the executive director of the Anti-Corruption Action Center, the country's leading anti-corruption watchdog, doubts that the professional background of Buromenskiy fits the requirement set by the law:

"It suprises me, why has PM Groysman chosen him [Buromenskiy - ed.] among other candidates, which include prosecutors that are known worldwide. According to the NABU law, the auditor must have work experience in foreign law enforcement agencies. However, Mykhailo Buromenskiy doesn't have this kind of experience," she told Hromadske.

She also wrote on Twitter, that Buromenskiy's appointment "directly violates the IMF requirement":

"Now there is a very little chance that the parliament and the president will choose non-Ukrainian auditors. It means they can influence them, because there are no ways to influence foreign auditors," commented Daria Kaleniuk.

However, not all civil activists consider this decision a bad one. 

"It seems like a pretty good choice to me. He is one of the few candidates I trust and do not doubt their virtue… Some of my colleagues were strictly for a foreign auditor. I was one of the few who said that the nationality of the auditor was not the main thing. The main thing is virtue. So, I want to believe that Ukrainians are also capable of carrying out high-quality and respectable work, I will not be ashamed of that," Ukrainian politologist and civil activist Viktor Taran wrote on Facebook.

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine failed to appoint an auditor of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) on March 16th.

Read More: The Anti-Corruption Bureau's Appointment of Auditors, Explained

The NABU auditor will examine the work of major anti-corruption structure in Ukraine. The purpose of the audit is to assess the overall effectiveness of NABU. The independent auditors will examine the state of criminal proceedings and the way in which detectives from the Bureau carry out investigations. They will also determine the effectiveness of the Bureau’s Director, Artem Sytnyk.

/By Liuda Kornievych, Eilish Hart