An Administrative Service Centre (ASC) is a place where visitors receive the broadest range of administrative services in a one stop shop format. Decentralisation reform brought the growing role and functions of ASCs in amalgamated hromadas (AHs), and today, the residents of Ukraine expect quality administrative services from authorities at central, regional and local levels. At the same time, the heads of newly amalgamated hromadas do not always have sufficient information about the mechanisms of establishing an ASC in their communities, nor are they aware of all the options of efficiently organising the delivery of administrative services.
How to Establish an ASC in an AH from Scratch: U-LEAD with Europe Experience in Institutional Establishment of ASCs is Ukraine's first comprehensive, practical manual written by leading Ukrainian experts based on U-LEAD with Europe Programme’s two-year experience. The manual offers exhaustive recommendations on every step of the ASC establishment.
The first draft of the manual was published in 2017 in a test format. The current version has been supplemented with valuable and time-tested practical information, including document samples, solutions to various problems that may arise during the establishment or modernization of an ASC, and practical cases of hromadas of the Programme’s Inception Phase (2016-2018), when 26 ASCs have been opened in AHs across Ukraine.
The presentation of the manual in Kyiv was attended by high-ranked public officials: Hennadii Zubko, Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine, Frederik Coene, Head of the Operations Section in Charge of Decentralisation Sector at the European Union Delegation to Ukraine, and Kameran Khudur, First Secretary of Embassy of Sweden, Sida Programme Director of U-LEAD.
Hennadii Zubko said that although there are over 700 ASCs in Ukraine today, a substantial part of them still require adequate institutional assistance. They have been established before the decentralization reform, and presently, not all of them properly perform their key function of delivering administrative services.
"To provide citizens with accessible and high-quality administrative services is one of the key functions of the state and local self-government. Therefore, the development of the network of modern Administrative Services Centres within the framework of decentralisation is one of the priority tasks of the Ministry of Regional Development which we implement in cooperation with European partners. Our goal is to ensure the availability of administrative services regardless of where the person lives", the Vice Prime Minister highlighted.
Frederik Coene highlighted the importance of establishing well-functioning ASCs: “One of the inalienable components of the decentralisation progress is the reorganization of the administration services delivery system at local level. Well-functioning Administrative Service Centre (ASC) improves the lives of residents by bringing authorities closer to the people and making the system transparent, accessible, inclusive and service-oriented. It strengthens governance and accountability at local level”.
Kameran Khudur spoke in detail about U-LEAD with Europe that among other things envisages institutional and physical support up to 600 local self-government authorities in establishing well-functioning ASCs: “The Programme is considering the diversity of hromadas in Ukraine, employing flexible approaches when working with them. We are very happy that already more than 400 hromadas expressed their interest to cooperate with us, and we hope more hromadas will submit their applications to us during the third selection round, which is underway”.
Representatives of the civic sector and heads of hromadas also took part in the presentation of this unique publication.
Valentyna Poltavets, Executive Director of the Association of Amalgamated Hromadas: “This manual contains valuable practical information for hromadas that have limited access to knowledge and lack qualified personnel to establish and operate an ASC. The manual offers various options of addressing challenges, a detailed description of the best practices of establishing an ASC, and document samples to help hromadas make fast and efficient decisions. U-LEAD with Europe listens to us and keeps in touch with our Association, engaging us in its activities. One of our discussions with the Association of ASCs concerned efficient ways of organizing the services and staff of an ASC in a small hromada”.
Ivan Dudar, Head of Kochubeivka Amalgamated Hromada, a participant of the Programme’s Inception Phase, says that their ASC has been established literally based on the Programme’s methodological materials: “What makes the manual unique is the fact that it is the most practical and useful for anyone involved in the establishment of an ASC in a hromada. When establishing our ASC, we used the manual as the methodological basis, and everyone involved in this process has found information that was of practical use for their area of responsibility”.
The third round of participant selection of the Roll-Out Phase is currently underway. During this phase, up to 600 hromadas across Ukraine can receive institutional and physical assistance in establishing a well-functioning ASC. Unlike the previous rounds, hromadas (including cities of regional significance) with population of over 50 thousand can participate in the third round. To apply or learn more about the terms of participation, visit www.tsnap.ulead.org.ua.
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