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    Minister Saienko and EU discuss how public administration can better respond to Ukrainian citizens needs

    On March 26, Ukraine presented the latest results of the ongoing public administration reform at the second EU Ukraine Public Administration Reform High Level Dialogue in Kyiv. The event is organised annually and was co-chaired by Oleksandr Saienko, the Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers, and Peter Wagner, the Head of the European Commission's Support Group of Ukraine.

    Public Administration Reform is among Ukraine's priorities - without efficient, competent and non-corrupt officials, Ukraine cannot successfully implement its ambitious reforms and the EU is committed to supporting the reform efforts.

    "Better public administration will not only help implementing reforms in all sectors, but will improve Ukraine's competitiveness and provide services to citizens which will make everyone's lives better. I am realistic enough to know that changes cannot be achieved overnight, reforming the administration has been a long journey in all transition countries and will also be a long and difficult journey in Ukraine. But it is a necessary and important journey. I am very glad that the European Union actively supports this key reform," Minister Saienko said.

    For his part, Peter Wagner emphasized: Public Administration Reform is the foundation for the wider reform process. Ukraine is in the third year of implementing its Public Administration Reform Strategy and we see many positive developments. This would not have happened without Minister Saienko's hard work and the commitment of the Prime Minister himself to make Public Administration Reform a success. The next step should be the adoption of the Law on Administrative Procedure, currently in the Verkhovna Rada, which is much needed to improve the way public administration serves the citizens and businesses. This will streamline the multitude of opaque procedures that exist now into a uniform and transparent, predictable procedure for all administrative actions. The law will reduce opportunities for corruption and enable the administration to do what it is supposed to do, namely provide good services to citizens and businesses. A remaining challenge is also the further improvement of the salary structure in the civil service to provide every official with a fair, but not extravagant salary that compensates hard work and is not largely based on discretionary payments and sometimes obscure 'bonuses'."

    Minister Saienko highlighted the achievements of Public Administration Reform so far:

    For the citizens there are now close to 800 Administrative Services Centres and more than 10 administrative services available online;

    For the business and society in general Ukraine is now joining the leading countries globally for open government data. Today, Ukraine ranks around 30th globally in the Open Government Index. Ukraine has been among the top 3 performers in this area during the last few years;

    For citizens and businesses as well as for the efficiency of public administration itself the launching of TREMBITA, a data exchange platform, which will allow improving public services. For example, citizens and businesses will not be required to resubmit again and again documents that are already at the disposal of the public administration;

    Establishment of an electronic system for exchanging documents in a secure way. Close to 700 government institutions are connected to the system, more than 5,000 documents are registered in the system every day, thus reducing the need to exchange paper documents;

    Improving the functioning of public administration - several ministries have been reorganised to make them more efficient and to eliminate overlaps. More than 600 reform staff have been recruited, using advanced merit-based and competitive recruitment procedures. In Ukraine, you will now be recruited because of what you know, not because of who you know.

    Background information: Following the entry into force of the new Civil Service Law in May 2016, the Government of Ukraine adopted the Public Administration Reform Strategy 2016-2021 that foresees gradual renewal and improvement in human resources management, in the organization of ministries and agencies, in strategic planning of government work, in policy making processes, in introducing due process in the citizen-state relations, in delivering services to the citizens and businesses in e-government and other areas structured around the European Principles of Public Administration. Such a reform requires robust long-term planning and implementation and should aim at creating a transparent, professional and motivated corps of civil servants. For its implementation, an EU Support Package adopted in October 2016 provides EUR 104 mln assistance (EUR 90 mln budget support and EUR 14 mln for Technical Assistance/Twinning). A total of EUR 25.5 mln were paid as of the end of 2018.
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