The Ministry of Finance of Ukraine is concerned with a large-scale campaign aimed at undermining transparent and open competition for the heads of the state tax and customs services, discrediting the competition commission and putting pressure on the finalists.
Last week, the District Administrative Court of Kyiv terminated the competition for the Head of the State Customs Service. Moreover, applications have been filed to the District Administrative Court of Kyiv to secure a claim for the suspension of the competition for the Head of the State Tax Service.
The Ministry of Finance considers these actions ill-grounded. The Ministry has invested significant efforts to ensure that the much-needed State Fiscal Service reform is unblocked and gains momentum. Together with Ukrainian and international experts, business community and MPs, we have developed new regulations on the operation of both services. All interested parties had an opportunity to monitor both stages of the competition and communicate with all the candidates for the heads of the two services. None of the reputable independent observers expressed any doubt in the transparency and openness of the selection process.
Reform of the State Fiscal Service as an institution is crucial for the successful implementation of the reform of the tax and customs authorities at large. New heads of the state tax and customs services with high level of integrity and no corruption record will have the mandate to launch a comprehensive reform of both authorities. This reform is the key expectation of the business community and a prerequisite for Ukraine to receive next tranches under the fourth EU Macro-Financial Assistance Program and the IMF program.
The Ukrainian government takes every possible measure to prevent the disruption of the said competitions. In particular, a motion was filed with the court to annul the ruling to terminate the competition for the head of the customs service, which should result in the resumption of the competition.
We are grateful to Ukraine’s international partners, business associations and experts for the support they provided in the process of the State Fiscal Service reform and for their willingness to protect transparency and openness in the tax and customs authorities’ operation, which is gradually becoming a standard.
We hope that the final stage of both competitions will take place as scheduled and will meet expectations of the Ukrainian society for tangible change in the tax and customs spheres, which will once again demonstrate Ukraine’s movement towards best international practices.