The most transparent spheres in Chernihiv are public procurement, budget process and human resource issues. Only these three spheres got more than half of possible points. Chernihiv took the 28th place getting 34,6 points out of 100 possible in the transparency ranking in which 100 Ukrainian cities were researched. According to this very criterion, Chernihiv is more transparent than quite a few city centers. However, the cities of the Chernihiv region that were included in the research got more points in the ranking than Chernihiv itself. The research was conducted by the Ukrainian office of the global movement Transparency International in cooperation with the Institute of Political Education. Top cities were identified on the basis of 91 criteria in 13 spheres, for instance budget process, the use of lands, human resource issues, public procurement, social services (and their accessibility online), etc.
In a number of spheres Chernihiv got average number of points but of the spheres got maximum points. At the same time, the city authority attempts to be more open to the public. The announcements from the council are constantly published and updated, names and contact information of the deputies are in free access on the website, and the appeal to the council can be filed online. Additionally, the city financial data are relatively transparent – the budget for the last three years and participatory budget are freely accessible, the public can attend discussions on financial issues.
The transparency in housing policy and social services are not as expected. The city got zero in these spheres. Nizhyn (7th place, 49,9 points) and Pryluky (24th place, 35,03 points) , the cities of district significance, outgo Chernihiv, but the city of regional significance should be an example to follow for other cities and encourage them to introduce the best practices of transparency and accountability.
“Similar to other cities, Chernihiv didn’t get a point in the spheres of social services and housing policy. The sphere of education received one point only as, unfortunately, there is no possibility to register a child online in a school or a kindergarten, while it is a very important and convenient tool for the public. We recommend that the city adopts the experience of Mariupol and starts using Prozorro.Sale, ”- commented Kateryna Tsybenko, the coordinator of the project “Building Transparent Cities in Ukraine”. The city can get more points for transparency in housing policy if it sets up the system of online registration for housing property and online queue for capital and current repairs of the residential buildings and also publishes appropriate data and meeting minutes on the official website. Concerning the social services, the situation can be significantly improved if one simple required is fulfilled, and an online publication of the city social services institutions with the list of the services will be available for the public.
“After the elections in 2015, Chernihiv city council tries to be more open and transparent in contrast to the previous years, the provision of law “On Access to Public Information” (which has been in effect for 7 years) is violated. The violations concern the date when the draft decisions of the council and its executive body are published; the absence of the datasets in free access; confusion with the information about the local budget, which could help with effective management of the funds spending; not provided information on the activity of communal enterprises; too complicated search for the right decisions by the council and its executive body etc. Since the law provisions and regulations of the council are not followed, it is far too early to talk about the full transparency of the Chernihiv council,” believes Oleksandr Hashpar, the public activist of Chernihiv.
Transparency International Ukraine and the Institute of Political Education are ready to cooperate with the authorities and local activists of Chernihiv, and provide the recommendations and pieces of advice concerning improving the transparency level. It is known that nowadays the process of decentralization of power is being implemented. At the same time, we shouldn’t allow the process of corruption decentralization to take place.
The project “Building Transparent Cities in Ukraine” is funded by the United Nations Democracy Fund.
Contact for media: Olha Tymchenko, Head of Communication Department Transparency International Ukraine
Transparency International Ukraine is a national chapter of Transparency International, an anti-corruption NGO which operates in more than 100 countries. TI Ukraine’s mission is to reduce the corruption level in Ukraine by promoting transparency, accountability, and integrity in both the public authorities and civil society. You can learn more about the organization’s activity by following the link www.ti-ukraine.org