IN THE SPOTLIGHT
STATEMENT of Ukrainian National Platform of Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum Concerning Reforms of Public Administration in Ukraine
Prepared by the sub-group “Reforms of public administration and local self-governance”, Work group #1
Proper public administration is the basis for economic development and human rights defense. That is why it is urgently needed to take effective measures for public administration development in Ukraine in line with the grounding principles: due course of law; predictability; impartiality and consistency.
At present the President of Ukraine declared the intentions to reform public administration system and harmonize it with the best modern practices and standards of the EU, making provisions for professional and effective civil service.
Recently some steps pertaining to the issue have been taken, in particular: a new bill “On Public Service” was adopted; the laws of Ukraine “On Administrative Services”, “On Access to Public Information”, “On Central Executive Authorities” were adopted, other required regulations are still considered.
Ukraine joined “Open Government” initiative, central executive authorities system was reformed, a President’s personnel initiative “New Elite of Nation” was launched.
However, these efforts made by the President of Ukraine and Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine have not led to the improvements yet; moreover, in some cases and sectors they even cause negative tendencies. In fact public administration reforms resulted in reorganization of public authorities and certain reductions in number of civil servants. As a result, there were no conditions for the building of result - oriented public management system.
Implementation of the result-oriented budget process can be regarded as a positive development, as well as middle-term budget planning and program-target method of budget formation, creation of methodological basis for the evaluation of budget programs effectiveness. However, there is still a huge gap between strategic planning and budget process; public policy targets are defined without taking into consideration budget restrictions.
A law on Public Strategic Planning has not been adopted by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine yet. Public authorities have a functioning report&control system concerning policy implementation. However, there is no public policies evaluation system inherent to the public administration system; activities of certain ministries, central authorities, particular budget programs are also not evaluated. Thus, citizens do not have an opportunity to get comprehensive and trustful information on public policies implementation and use of tax payers’ funds.
There is no public document of political nature in Ukraine that presents government’s vision of administrative reform, the problems that it has to solve and the tasks assigned to it.
The reforms of central public authorities were made without proper preparation and clear strategy, which led to certain disorganization of ministries’ and other governmental agencies’ operation. It largely affected quality of public services.
Even though new legislation on civil service, adopted as a political compromise in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, envisages certain improvements, it, unfortunately, contains a series of provisions that do not correspond to the proper European and international standards, SIGMA experts recommendations. It all threatens €70 m. EU Program on Public Administration Reform.
The reforms of territorial authority organization are backed off, which in turn worsens unjustified centralization, aggravates power concentration of executive authorities and impairs local self-government. Even though the Concept of Local Self-Government Reform and Territorial Power Organization in Ukraine, declined by the Government of Ukraine, did not fulfill all the required reforms, but it could have become a first milestone in the proper administration organization on regional and local levels.
Taking into consideration all the above mentioned Ukrainian National Platform of Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum calls President of Ukraine, the Government of Ukraine, Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to take effective and exigent measures for solving the priority issues, namely: