SBI Hearing: EUAM supports the Bureau effectiveness and independence

December 13, 2021

EU Advisory Mission (EUAM) announced its plans on assistance to Ukraine’s State Bureau of Investigation (SBI).  On Dec 9, EUAM Head of Mission, Antti Hartikainen, joined open hearings in the Committee of the Verkhovna Rada on law enforcement, which were specifically dedicated to SBI’s tasks and compliance with the law, rights and freedoms of citizens.

EUAM reiterated the importance for SBI to operate independently from political interference. A proper oversight mechanism should be in place, such as the Public Oversight Council, which establishment EUAM supported in the past. Besides that, EUAM is ready to assist in developing SBI’s internal oversight procedures in accordance with EU best practices.

“EUAM plans to support SBI in developing its analytical capacity, which can lead to increased effectiveness and independence”, highlighted Head of EUAM, Antti Hartikainen. “Another area where we would like to assist is training on management and leadership skills”.

EUAM will continue providing support within the ongoing EU-funded PRAVO Police programme, implemented by UNOPS in collaboration with the European Union Advisory Mission. The project  aimed at modernising SBI´s technical equipment and developing the professional skills of its staff. The total worth of this package is up to  €1,890 000.

SBI is facing the takeover of pre-trial investigation competencies from the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) as foreseen by a draft law. In this regard, a legislation initiative that proposes an increase of SBI’s staff up to 2,500 and the number of SBI’s regional offices would be an asset.

Head of EUAM also underlined that the selection of SBI director in October was launched without participation of international partners.

“We are closely following the final stage of the process, which should be transparent and competitive. SBI needs a permanent Director to carry out its important tasks with effectiveness and independence”, said Antti Hartikainen.

Given the importance for the agency to properly communicate with public insuring transparency, accountability and trust, EUAM will also continue supporting the development of SBI´s Communication Strategy.