How to establish efficient ASC

 

By Viktor Tymoshchuk, Leading Expert of U-LEAD with Europe Programme’s Support to Improved Administrative Service Delivery, for “Ukrayinska Pravda” 

The local self-government reform of is one of the most successful in Ukraine. Newly formed amalgamated hromadas, especially in rural areas, revive hromadas. Renovated roads, lighting, new schools – these are already obvious changes for residents of many AHs. Administrative Service Centre (ASC) is one of the symbols of this reform. It is important that with AH formation the accessibility and quality of administrative services for the population have only improved.

At the request of the Government of Ukraine, the European Union, through the U-LEAD with Europe Programme, provides support to the decentralisation reform, including assistance in the establishment and modernisation of ASCs.

Working side-by-side with hromadas for the third year, we suggest paying attention to three key points in the establishment of proper ASCs and ensuring their effective work.

  1. Firstly, the most important element of the ASC is the range of services offered to citizens. These should be the most necessary ones, so-called “basic” services. To integrate them in the ASC, the AH faces a special challenge of the ASC team (staff) formation, since there is an evident personnel hunger in the countryside, and the policy of local councils is not to “fan out the staff”.
  2. A significant challenge was the work in hromadas, “the capitals” of which are simultaneously regional centres. ASCs have been functioning at rayon state administrations since 1 January 2014. Unfortunately, these are mainly weak centres in terms of institutionalisation and infrastructure.

The Programme encourages hromadas to avoid situations, when another alternative ASC is established. The AH-RSA cooperation approach is proposed, so that there is one ASC (joint / city-rayon) with the maximum list of services for the citizens of such a settlement or city. It is not only convenient for service users, but also saves public resources, takes into account the prospects for changes at the rayon level, etc.

  1. And the third principal emphasis is made on the territorial accessibility of administrative services. ASC establishment does not mean that there should always be only one office.

Even in a big city, the distance to the ASC may be 10-20 kilometres, which means that the territorial units of the ASC or remote workplaces should be created.

Often, instead of a large ASC office, it is better to focus on the uniform coverage of larger hromada settlements with service access points by remote workplaces, maximise involvement of starostas in this work, and use mobile ASC, if necessary.

These and many other ideas, practical mechanisms for their implementation, including the risks and ways to overcome them, life cases are described in detail in the manual on “How to establish a proper ASC in AH?” Experience of the U-LEAD with Europe Programme in ASC’s institutional establishment.

Besides, most of this information will be useful not only for AHs, but also for large cities and their ASCs, since many of them face such challenges as insufficient number of personnel, continuous extension of the list of services and the need for their prompt provision, territorial accessibility to services, etc.

The full version is available in Ukrainian – please click HERE

27.12.2018 - 09:32 | Views: 10193
Author list 436e466a78dffa099bfdd1aa5d56448b

Author: Віктор Тимощук

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ASC column

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Українська правда

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