UNIAN detects a fall in the transparency level of the authorities
The fall can be seen from the results of a survey of 4 focus groups carried out by the press agency UNIAN within the framework of the project “UNIAN – transparent authorities” undertaken with the support of the US Embassy in Kyivs Foundation for the development of the Ukrainian mass media .
In August the index stood at 3.78 points, whereas in July this same figure was 4.075, and in June – 4.9.
Among the 20 central authorities whose transparency level was defined via the surveys, only one body had demonstrated a slight improvement in its rating in comparison with July – the Council for National Security and Defence. In August its transparency reading was 3.05, while in July – 3.0.
One other central body – the Verkhovna Rada – saw no change in transparency level – 4.5 for both July and August.
Among the ministries and state departments, the greatest reductions in transparency rating were seen by the Ministry of Finance – from 4.8 in July to 3.77 in August, the Ministry of the Economy – from 4.6 in July to 3.96 in August and the Ministry for Environmental Protection – from 4.1 in July to 3.52 in August.
Transparency level of the central authorities in August: (the figures in brackets are for July)
the Verkhovna Rada 4.5 (4.5)
the National Bank of Ukraine 4.33 (4.5)
the President of Ukraine and the Presidents Secretariat 3.98 (4.2)
the Cabinet of Ministers 3.53 (4.3)
Integrated transparency rating for ministries and central authorities with special status in August (with the figures in brackets for July)
Ministry of Foreign Affairs 4.61 (4.8)
Ministry of Defence 4.4 (4.7)
State Property Fund of Ukraine 4.26 (4.3)
Ministry of Justice 4.25 (4.5)
Ministry of Internal Affairs 4.05 (4.4)
Ministry of the Economy 3.96 (4.6)
Ministry of Finance 3.77 (4.8)
Pension Fund 3.67 (3.9)
Anti-Monopoly Committee 3.6 (4.0)
State Committee on Securities and the Stock Market 3.59 (3.7)
Ministry of Health 3.54 (3.9)
Ministry for Environmental Protection 3.52 (4.1)
State Tax Administration 3.27 (3.7)
State Customs Service 3.25 (3.4)
Ministry of Fuel and Energy 2.85 (3.2)
In order to obtain integrated transparency figures for the central authorities four focus groups were surveyed.
The first index is obtained from experts – economists, political analysts, sociologists, personnel of analytical centres, i.e. people professionally dealing with information about the authorities, directly contacting these bodies, and therefore able to access the level of their openness, responsibility and accountability to the public.
The second index is defined as the average score of all the assessments given by members of the focus group of journalists on the basis of four criteria: efficiency and objectivity in information provided to the media by the press serviceof the department; transparency and democracy for the media in terms of conditions of accreditation; access for the media to the heads of departments and departmental specialists; how systematic the process of informing the media is, and through the media how accountable they are to the public (regular briefings, organization of visits to the department by journalists, and so forth).
Index No. 3 is taken from the average of all assessments during electronic voting of visitors to the UNIAN website.
Index No. 4 is determined on the basis of a monthly sociological survey of 1500 people in Kyiv.
The Integrated index for openness of the central authorities is determined using all four index assessments as follows:
Integrated index = (Index 1 x 1.2 + Index 2 x 1.1 + Index 3 x 1.0 + Index 4 x 1.0)4. Thus, the coefficients increase the significance of the experts assessment (1.2 times, i.e. by 20%) and of the journalists (by 1.1 times, i.e. by 10%) against the more subjective assessments from passers-by and Internet users.
3 September 2006