Decentralization is One of the Top Priorities of the Government Action Plan for 2016, - the document

On 14 March, the Government, on its official web-site, made public the action plan of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine for 2016.

The objective tasks which are to be performed by the Government in the course of year constitute the basis of the plan. Each of the tasks contains specific measures, responsible persons, time limits for performance, and expected results.

The decentralization, to which much attention is paid in the document, is one of the priorities of the Plan - for this purpose, the Ministry of Regional Development, Construction and Housing and Utilities of Ukraine acts as the coordinator of the reform on behalf of the Government.

In this respect, the document provides for the establishment of an effective management system for regional development, regulatory support to the decentralization process, accessibility and quality of administrative services, strengthening and enhancement of accountability of the local authority.

In particular, it is planned to improve the instruments of financing regional development by having made, by 1 May, respective amendments to the Budget Code and the Law of Ukraine "On the Principles of State Regional Policy", as well as adoption of a number of governmental resolutions and orders of the Ministry of Regional Development, Construction and Housing and Utilities of Ukraine.

Also, it is planned to extend support and ensure legislation development with respect to amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine in terms of decentralization of power. The required draft laws - "On Administrative-Territorial System of Ukraine", "On Local Self-Government in Ukraine" (restated) and "On Prefects" - have to be adopted within three-month period after the amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine pertaining to the decentralization of power become effective.

With the aim of establishing and ensuring the operation of the administrative service centres, a draft law on providing finance to administrative service centres has to be developed, as well as minimum requirements to the administrative service centres have to be set still in March.

With the aim of strengthening the service and enhancement of accountability of local authority, the Government will follow up the draft law on service in local self-government bodies (registration number 2489) until the second reading in the Verkhovna Rada (Parliament), and after that, within a six months period, will develop relevant regulations in pursuance of that law.

Moreover, in the course of the first half of 2016, it is planned to improve the remuneration system in the bodies of local self-government, as well as develop draft laws on the enhancement of accountability of the officials and bodies of local self-government for decisions made in violation of the laws and the Constitution of Ukraine.

The decentralization of the State Architecture and Construction Inspectorate of Ukraine provides for the implementation of adopted regulations and provision of organizational and methodological support to local authorities in terms of exercising powers obtained, for a period of one year.

Also, the Plan outlines specific tasks with respect to the establishment of capable communities and their sustainable development, enhancement of their resource base, the creation of mechanisms of public and governmental control over the local authority.

For this purpose, it is stipulated, in particular, to improve the mechanism of formation of capable territorial communities and monitoring of their development, as well as the optimisation of territorial system of executive power bodies (development of the draft law "On Principles and Procedure for Dealing with the Matters of Administrative-Territorial System") in the first half of the year.

In addition, it is planned to develop and submit to the Verkhovna Rada (Parliament), by June, a draft law with respect to the expansion of powers of the bodies of local self-government in terms of disposal of land plots outside the boundaries of population centres.

The Plan for this year also provides for the assistance to territorial communities in the formation of a system of optimal education institutions network and enhancement of the capability of communities in the area of maintenance of public order (follow-up until the second reading in the Verkhovna Rada (Parliament) of the draft law "On Municipal Guards" (registration number 2890), introduction of district police officers in the amalgamated territorial communities).

Regarding the improvement of the mechanism of public control of the activities of officials and bodies of local self-government, in particular, with respect to the disposal of budgetary funds, municipal property, and land resources, provision is made for the development of required legislative instruments, by September of this year.

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