Ukraine launches civil service reform programme

By on 13/07/2017
The signing ceremony for the project was held in Kiev on 30th June 2017 (Image courtesy: Dmitry A. Mottl).

A project to tackle graft and boost efficiency in the Ukrainian civil service has been launched, with backing from the European Union and World Bank.

The project, which will focus on the reform of public administration and financial management systems, is being led by Ukraine’s State Agency for the Civil Service and its Ministry of Finance.

A central goal is to set up an electronic database of human resource and payroll information for the Ukrainian government, which currently employs up to 250,000 civil servants and other staff. Some €5m (US$5.7m) has been allocated to the reform programme.

A deal between the Ukrainian government and the EU, which bankrolled the project, and the World Bank, which is providing financial advice and other professional services, was signed in Kiev on 30 June.

Satu Kahkonen, the World Bank’s country director for Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine, said at the ceremony: “The World Bank and the European Union, acting in partnership, fully support the strategy of the government of Ukraine to strengthen the transparency, effectiveness and efficiency of government institutions and public resource management.

“We look forward to seeing that these important efforts lead also to reduced corruption and better governance, so that all citizens of Ukraine can fully benefit from efficient use of public resources.”

Hugues Mingarelli, the European Union’s Ambassador to Ukraine, said the public administration reform aims to build a transparent system of public administration and create an efficient and professional civil service.

“The second reform aspires to strengthen Ukraine’s public financial management system, so that public financial resources are allocated efficiently and public service delivery to citizens is vastly improved,” he said.

The ceremony was also attended by Ukraine’s First Vice Prime Minister Stepan Kubiv and Kostyantyn Vashchenko, head of its State Agency for the Civil Service, the Kyiv Post reported.

Stepan Kubiv, first vice prime minister of Ukraine attended the ceremony (Image courtesy: Vadim Chuprina).

An audit of public resources would be one of the programme’s first tasks, Vashchenko said. The post-Soviet system of public administration introduced in 1991 was geared towards “working with paper, not people” and it was not known how many vacancies there were in the government sector, he said.

Of the total €5 million funding, €3 million will go directly to the government, while €2 million is earmarked for World Bank services. Support work being carried out by the bank includes design and implementation of the electronic HR database, and public sector accounting reforms.

It will also work on revenue forecasting, tax policy capacity building, developing an IT strategy for management of public finances and a public spending efficiency analysis.

Since the EU signed an Association Agreement with Ukraine in 2014, the country has carried out a wide range of reforms aimed at stamping out corruption and strengthening democracy and the rule of law. These include a Civil Service Law that came into force in May 2016.

The EU has pledged to provide a total of €104m (US$119) towards Ukraine’s Public Administration Reform Strategy, which was adopted in June 2016. It includes programmes to introduce merit-based recruitment and performance measurement in the civil service, and to improve public service delivery.

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About Liz Heron

Liz Heron is a journalist based in London, who specialises in international news. She worked on daily newspapers for 16 years, reporting extensively on both general news and education. She was Education Editor of the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong and has contributed to a wide range of British media including The Independent, The Guardian and the BBC.

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