Grigol Katamadze | Financial investigation service should start up soon

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As I have already mentioned, the Taxpayers Association of Ukraine will continue to inform in detail in its articles about the prospects of work of the future body for combating offences in the sphere of finances and economic crimes – the Financial Investigation Service.

For any modern country, including Ukraine, the main challenge is to promote and maintain a healthy business climate. The range of financial and economic crimes is expanding annually and gradually changing, and so are the challenges that need to be adequately addressed by state institutions.

The economic development of the state is, without a doubt, the basis for strengthening and vastly improving the well-being of an individual citizen, as well as a guarantee for its stable and gradual development. In a strong state, from an economic point of view, a free competitive business creates jobs, develops production, pays taxes and expands the state’s economic potential. It is the responsibility and obligation of the relevant public authorities to protect a healthy business environment, identify the causes and conditions that contribute to the committing of offences and their prevention. To achieve this, fundamental changes need to be made in Ukraine. Namely, it is necessary to completely change the existing tax code and adopt a new one, based on the principles of simplifying administration and tax liberalization, which will facilitate the economic development and create favourable conditions for doing business.

In this article, I do not want to talk in depth about the Tax Code, I just want to share some considerations about creating an exceptionally important body – the Financial Investigation Service. In the beginning, I would like to emphasize that I am deeply convinced that the main purpose of this body should be the protection of every citizen, conscientious entrepreneur, business environment and state interests and also the promotion of the economic development of the country. By preventing and detecting crimes in the economic and financial spheres, this body will send a signal to the public that whoever commits such a crime, regardless of his or her position, will be held accountable and brought to justice.

I am convinced that under the current circumstances, when the relations between the subjects of economic processes, and state fiscal and law enforcement agencies extend beyond the limits of legal field, the state should more substantially and decisively influence the financial processes, creating conditions for the development of economy and business, strictly control and inexorably “punish” participants of criminal financial schemes.

It is worth to note that the mere trust and credibility from the society is enough for the Financial Investigation Service to properly ensure a well crafted policy as a law enforcement agency. If we set from the very beginning: international standards, high level of efficiency of the staff and active communication with the public, it will ensure a much higher level of legitimacy and efficiency. At the moment, we are witnessing a completely opposite process in respect to the existing bodies that have discredited themselves in the eyes of Ukrainian society.

Taking into account the specifics of the fight against economic crimes and comprehensive approach to them, by the state towards the Financial Investigation Service there should be constant attention, it must be in the perpetual development: this means the creation and the development of its infrastructure, continuous improvement of operational, technical and analytical capabilities of the service. Amidst the increasing rates of economic crimes in Ukraine, in the regions, special attention should be paid: to the selection of highly qualified personnel, to the constant improvement of their qualification, to the interdepartmental and intradepartmental coordination, to active building of interaction with international partners.

I will briefly dwell on the main tasks and competence of the Financial Investigation Service. In my opinion these are:

– prevention of offences in the financial and economic spheres;

– conducting in its entirety of the investigative procedures in accordance with the  progression set by the Code of Criminal Procedure of Ukraine;

– the search and the analysis of data for the purpose of its further use;

– detection and prevention of administrative offences in the financial and economic spheres;

– identification of the causes of offences in the financial, economic and monetary spheres, etc.

In conclusion, I’d like to once again reiterate that I firmly believe that at the present  moment among a large number of legislative “anti-crisis” initiatives, there is the one that needs to be addressed as soon as possible – the creation of a new single body that will investigate financial and economic crimes – of the Financial Investigation Services , and we should not delay tackling this issue.

President of the UNGO TAU

Vice-President of the Taxpayers Association of Europe

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Grigol Katamadze

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