We start a series of interviews with experts from the team of the U-LEAD with Europe Programme’s support to improved administrative service delivery. It is worth mentioning that 600 ASCs in hromadas of Ukraine will be established with the support of the Programme. 30 June is the last chance to apply for the participation in the Programme on the website https://tsnap.ulead.org.ua/
Olha Kalinichenko is a regional coordinator of the U-LEAD with Europe Programme’s support to improved administrative service delivery.
Tell us about some specific features of decentralisation in the country’s north-east region you are working with in the Programme. How dynamic is the reform there? Is it possible to determine some peculiarities in the process of relevant ASC establishment in this region?
Our team is working in the region covering the Chernihiv, Sumy, Poltava, Kharkiv, Cherkasy, Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporizhzhia Oblasts. We are also working with hromadas of the Donetsk and Lugansk Oblasts. In the north-east region, decentralisation is very active, and we can especially feel it, when we meet with the leadership of hromadas, deputies, public representatives in the hromadas themselves. It happens that a meeting with us gathers 30-40 people. They are energetic residents, who really want changes. After all, the final goal of decentralisation is to create conditions for the comfortable life and effective democracy.
During your work in the Programme you have visited more than 150 hromadas to help them in effective ASC establishment. Which advice can you give to hromada heads, willing to establish proper ASCs for their residents?
First of all, it is necessary to have a team of like-minded people ready to achieve result and willing to implement the best practices of proper ASCs existing in Ukraine.
You have been dealing with reforming the administrative service delivery in Ukraine for more than 15 years. What are the key challenges in this sphere and how can they be overcome?
The administrative reform is being successfully implemented in Ukraine. Since 2016, it has become possible to establish ASCs in amalgamated hromadas. Now every capable hromada has a chance to improve administrative service delivery by creating proper ASCs. But there is a question interpreted in different ways - who can work at ASC and what role does the local self-government body play in solving this issue? Our answer is simple, there is an administrator - an official of the local authority with powers and responsibilities defined in the job description. The local self-government authorities have a balanced approach to the general numbers of employees and their workload. That is why it is important to consider an administrator not only as a contact person between an applicant for services and those delivering them, but also as an active provider of such services.
The Administrative Service Centre in the Kiptivska AH of the Chernihiv Oblast delivers about 100 most popular administrative services. At the same time, there are only a head of the department (with functions of the state registrar and administrator) and a chief specialist in residence registration (with functions of the administrator). Services are also provided there by an engaged specialist in land issues and a village council secretary. This is an example when it is enough for a small hromada (3.9 thousand inhabitants) to have four officials in one ASC to deliver a wide range of services.
How will the administrative services be provided in 20 years? What will ASCs be like in Ukraine in 2040?
I think that the ASC will integrate all the hromada leadership and all executive local self-government, which will deliver services to hromada residents in a high-quality and fast way and within the modern comfortable conditions. The physical application of citizens will stay at the level of 15%, as an exception. Most services will be provided online.
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