The first amalgamated hromada of the Kharkiv Oblast – the Starosaltivska AH – was formed in 2016. Having received through decentralisation greater financial capacity, the AH has opened its own Administrative Service Centre. But the premises were not comfortable enough to receive citizens, therefore, in 2017, this hromada started a big reconstruction of the building for a new more convenient ASC. And since 2019 the settlement has been delivering administrative services of the European quality.
Maximum approaching of administrative services to people is one of the principles of decentralisation. When Ukraine chose a European path of development, it had to create a new kind of communication between the authorities and a citizen. Administrative Service Centres became such a format. For this purpose, the Law of Ukraine “On Administrative Services” was adopted on 6 September 2013. At first ASCs appeared in large cities. After the activation of the voluntary amalgamation process, they started to be established in rural areas as well.
Population of the Starosaltivska AH is about 7800 residents. Prior to establishment of an Administrative Service Centre the hromada residents had to travel to Vovchansk (located more than 30 km from Staryi Saltiv) to get most certificates (e.g. residence registration, certificates for the pension fund, social assistance at the birth of a child, etc.). The hromada established its own ASC in June 2016, however, the premises where administrative services were delivered were not adapted for comfortable reception of visitors, administrators had to work “on their knees”, since four employees received citizens in a 20 square metre room.
At the beginning of 2019 the new building of the Centre for the provision of administrative, legal, social and medical services using energy-saving technologies opened its doors in the settlement. For the convenience of the hromada residents one building hosted the ASC, police and medical outpatient clinic. More than 10 million for the reconstruction of administrative building, which began in 2017, appeared primarily due to the infrastructure subvention (93% of the total). Furniture and equipment for the ASC, training of administrators and other technical assistance were provided due to support of GIZ and the U-LEAD with Europe Programme.
“U-LEAD and GIZ accompanied us as mentors, provided technical recommendations. GIZ helped to equip the ASC with a children’s corner, gave us mobile case and furniture for remote starosta offices,” said Maryna Nahorna, head of the Staryi Saltiv ASC.
In addition, within the frames of the project “Supporting Criminal Justice Reform in Ukraine", implemented by the International Development Law Organization (IDLO), the Starosaltivska AH received technical assistance (training “Service+” conducted) in 2018 to reduce corruption risks associated with administrative service delivery; increase in efficiency, quality and accessibility of administrative service delivery and improvement of the ASC performance.
Today more than 70 hromada residents visit the ASC in Staryi Saltiv each day. In 2018, the ASC has provided about 9,500 services, and about 5600 services over the first half of 2019.
When ASC just moved to a new building, it was delivering 17 services. Now their list expanded to 40.
And after the Centre signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Employment Centre and the Pension Fund, experts of these structures come from Vovchansk and receive citizens each Wednesday from September in the Starosaltivska AH.
The ASC plans to take over reception of documents to issue certificate of large family so that parents with children do not have to go to Vovchansk. With a partner assistance from the U-LEAD with Europe Programme the ASC wants to create an archive room and equip a visitor’s table.
“We entered a fourth selection round of the U-LEAD with Europe Programme (support to improved administrative service delivery). We wrote an application for archive room and equipment of the visitors’ tables, since not every hromada resident has the opportunity to find something online and then print it. We signed Terms of Reference with U-LEAD. The document contains a lot of points, one of them is an extension of the list of services,” said the head of the Staryi Saltiv ASC.
Mobile Office service is in high demand among the elderly residents of the Starosaltivska AH.
The ASC received a Mobile Office case from GIZ last summer. The advantages of this case is that it is completely portable. Mobile Office includes a laptop, a colour printer, a scanner, a portable ID-card reader to verify a person’s identity, a camera to record customer service and a modem for the Internet access. International partners also helped purchase furniture for remote workstations in starosta offices.
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