Law enforcers’ pressure on outsourcing company stopped

Prosecutor’s Office actions: procedural abuse Kyiv

Subject of complaint: Kyiv City Prosecutor’s Office (Prosecutor’s Office) 
Complaint in brief: On July 24, 2018, a Promotion Outsourcing LLC recruiting agency – the company providing personnel outstaffing, outsourcing and recruiting services approached the Council with a complaint about the Prosecutor’s Office actions. According to the Complainant, law enforcers put an unjustified pressure on it. 
The company, has been working on the Ukrainian market for over 19 years. During this time, it created a client portfolio of leading international and Ukrainian companies, providing service to over 2500 outsourcing specialists in Ukraine. It has been a large taxpayer in Ukraine since 2016 and reached a profit of over 700 million hryvnas a year. And in the summer of 2018, the enterprise’s activities became an object of interest of the Prosecutor’s Office. 
Law enforcers characterized the company’s activities as illegitimate. They accused the Complainant of violations, which caused a state budget gap of almost one billion hryvnias. Law enforces based their arguments, inter alia, on the fact that the Complainant didn’t have a special Permit to recruit personnel to work In Ukraine for other employers, according to Art. 39 of the Law of Ukraine “On Employment of the Population.”
Upon receiving a court ruling on temporary access to documents with the possibility for the Prosecutor’s Office to seize their originals, the company immediately turned to the Business Ombudsman Council to prevent the disproportionate interference and pressure of law enforcers. 
Actions taken: The Council’s investigator thoroughly studied the case materials and the legislation regulating it. She found out that the absence of the company’s special permit was actually a gap in statutory regulation, and it was in fact impossible to obtain it. This was also confirmed by other competent authorities. 
The Council brought up the Complainant’ issue at the Expert Group meeting with the Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO). The Council’s investigator asked the PGO in writing to verify the circumstances of the case in order to eliminate violations, if detected during the check based on the appeal. In its turn, the company set up proper cooperation with the Prosecutor’s Office in accordance with the Ukrainian legislation. It submitted documents refuting the investigation evidence and a comprehensive company’s activities analysis as regards providing services to customers in full compliance with the current Ukrainian legislation.
Result achieved: Notably, this investigation was launched by the Council in a preventive manner to avert disproportionate interference of law enforcers into the enterprise business activities and to protect it from an unjustified pressure. As a result, law enforcers did not seize original documents, but only made their copies disrupting neither the company’s nor its customers’ normal business operations. The company informed the Council that law enforcers didn’t exert pressure on its business any longer. The complainant also mentioned that the professional cooperation in accordance with the legislation of Ukraine had been set up, the requested materials had been provided and analyzed according to the established procedure as well as necessary investigative actions to refute company’s  relation to circumstances established within the framework of the criminal proceedings had been performed The case was closed successfully based on the Complainant’s appeal. 

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