Public Contract signed between nongovernmental organizations and the authorities in Drohobych
On 21 September 2006 the ceremonial signing took place of a public contract, an agreement between the Drohobych City Council and civic organizations regarding the principles, conditions and basic forms of cooperation. The agreement was based on a mutual understanding of the role and values of the community and the tasks of civic organizations in resolving issues in Drohobych. The initiative for this agreement came from the Mayor of Drohobyhc Mykola Huk and the coalition of civic organizations “Resource centre of the territorial community”, working within the framework of the program “The Democratization of Ukraine: program of small-scale projects”, supported by the United Kingdom Ministry of International Development.
The contract is aimed at regulating and developing open and transparent cooperation between the authorities and members of the community, civic organizations and public business associations.
The text states that mutual relations between the public and the authorities shall be built on principles of respect for the law, equality, openness, partnership and trust. In accordance with the provisions of the agreements, civic organizations have the right to use all available mechanisms to lobby for drafts of administrative decisions with the aim of defending their rights.
The aims of the contract are to:
- promote openness and transparency of the work of the Drohobych authorities;
- provide for public participation in the preparation and taking of decisions by bodies of local self-government;
- develop good partner cooperation between the Drohobych authorities and civic organizations;
- involve the intellectual potential of civic organizations in studying local problems and seeking the optimum ways for resolving them.
Given that the public contract is not a normative document as defined in current legislation, issues of dispute which may arise between the parties to the Agreement shall be resolved through public negotiations and clarification through separate agreements.
It is worth mentioning the signing of this document was preceded by painstaking and difficult work, studying the experience of various countries on implementing such documents, a series of training sessions and consultations with Ukrainian and international experts with regard to the possibilities of implementing mechanisms for interaction between the state and public sector in Ukraine, as well as talks with local authority representatives, publications in the local press about the benefit to the community in this document.
It is envisaged that this agreement will make it possible to be more efficient in informing bodies of local self-government about the needs of citizens and civic organizations, to provide assistance in carrying out government and local programs aimed at resolving the communitys problems, to help to safeguard peoples rights and liberties, and facilitate control by civic organizations over their observance by the local authorities.
As of today the public control signed in Drohobych is probably the first such document in Ukraine which has officially consolidating plans for cooperation of the two sectors. In the near future, a similar document is intended to be signed in Chervonohrad, and soon afterwards in all other communities where the Democratization of Ukraine: program is running.
Olena Holyuk, public liaison officer for the Democratization of Ukraine: program.