In order to continue the decentralisation reform as much as possible, the future parliament must adopt 17 priority laws. Though in the next phase of the reform regarding the prefect institute introduction, we will not be able to do without changes to the Constitution. This was stated by Hennadii Zubko, Vice Prime Minister – Minister of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine, in an interview to Censor.net online newspaper.
“What is the point of this reform? The prefect has no access to funds. He has only one option – to control the implementation of the laws of Ukraine. The latest survey we conducted with the Council of Europe at the Kyiv International Sociology Institute showed that 95% of Ukrainians believe that control over local governments is needed because of their inaction. The prefect is just the person who oversees law enforcement and in case of inactivity or when local self-government bodies step back from their obligations, he or she may temporarily perform their functions until new ones are elected. If we want a democratic state, we must have a tight control the same way as we release finances, powers and provide capabilities,” Hennadii Zubko emphasised.
When asked by the journalist who should appoint the prefect, the official replied that this was a matter of discussion – whether by the Cabinet of Ministers or the President. “The prefect is charged with the coordination of all territorial executive bodies, since any letter to the fiscal service or environmental inspection that needs to be eliminated comes to the prefect, and then he works with it further. That is, he/she coordinates all central executive bodies in place. The issue is that he/she must also ensure public order, territorial defense and security. And these issues are within the competence of the President. That is why the prefect's issue resonates with both the presidential branch and the executive branch,” the Vice Prime Minister said.
He said the prefect cannot be appointed to the region where he/she was born, and must be rotated every 3-5 years. They should not be related to the local elites, or be obliged to someone, or have family relations with any officials. Because they perform a purely state function. The raoyn prefects will also be appointed by the centre. It is a French model that enables control, state supervision over local self-governments.
"If you ask me whether I know a person who would be ready to go to work as a prefect right now, I will definitely say no. Because this is a whole different level of questions. In France, a person under the age of 45 cannot become a prefect. The one can run for presidency only reaching 35 years of age, but not a prefect. This is a person who has to pass a certain way, have some training. Today, no one can train prefects in Ukraine. That is, we still need to create a training programme for prefects, who need to be trained and enter a personnel reserve,” Hennadii Zubko said.
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