Maxim Latsyba, Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research
Governors are concealing information from members of the public
The promises of the new regime to ensure transparent and open functioning of the authorities have remained just that – nice promises.
According to the results of monitoring, governors on average place only 58.7% of information needed on their websites. The least open websites in terms of information are the sites of the Rivne (32%), Zhytomyr (33,3%), Chernivtsi (41,7%), Cherkasy(44%) regional administrations, as well as of the Sevastopol City State Administration (37,3%). For four of the governors involved the party Peoples Union “Nasha Ukraina” [“Our Ukraine”] can take responsibility. The reason lies in basic professional negligence.
Civic organizations are calling on the President of Ukraine to issue a stern reprimand to be recorded in their personal files to 21 Governors whose level of information on their websites is lower than 75%.
Obstructing access to information is a violation of a fundamental civil right.
Furthermore, at the present time one observes a tendency towards reducing funding and staff numbers of public relations departments both in central and regional authorities. This decreases the opportunity to carry out consultations and ensure transparent and open functioning of the executive bodies involved. This situation places in question the implementation of the program of the President and Government as regards openness and transparency in decision taking.
From 1 – 10 February 2006, the Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research and the Civic Network “OPORA” carried out monitoring of the amount of information provided on the official websites of state administrations.
The method used: Monitoring of the websites of the regional state administrations from the point of view of how they comply with the demands of Resolution №3 of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine “On the Rules and Procedure for publishing information about the activities of executive bodies on the Internet” from 4 January 2002. The Resolution specifies 25 types of mandatory information which must be placed on the websites of the regional state administrations (RSA). Each type of information was assessed according to the following scale:
0 no information
1 – 33% of the necessary information
2 – 66% of the necessary information
3 – full information
1. All RSA have official websites.
2. The average level of openness of information on the RSA websites is 58.7% .
3. The most open in terms of information were the websites of the Mykolaiv (89,3%), Kyiv (88%), Luhansk (76%), Kharkiv (76%), and Kherson (76%) regional administrations.
4. The least open are the websites of the Rivne (32%), Zhytomyr (33,3%), Chernivtsi (41,7%), Cherkasy(44%) regional administrations, as well as of the Sevastopol City State Administration (37,3%).
5. The most common types of information to be provided were as follows:
• the name of the body – 100%
• the structure and leadership of the body – 90%
• the physical location and contact details – 89%
• the working hours and hours when the management receive people – 87%
• normative legal acts on issues within the competence of the body – 83%
6. The following types of information were most under-represented:
• forms of documents and other material needed when approaching the body – 21%
• the complaints procedure regarding decisions taken by the body of the relevant level – 23%
• institutions and establishments within the social sphere – 32%
• information about paying local taxes and communal charges – 32%
• rules for registering, licensing different types of activity in a particular sphere (sample documents, account details for making the necessary payments, the amounts of these payments, etc) – 34,7%
The full survey contains tables with the following information:
More details with tables in Ukrainian are available at: http://vinmaidan.vinnitsa.com/source/2006/1103.html