In to the transparency rating of 100 cities of Ukraine, the highest scores were given to Lviv (57 of 100), Kropyvnytskyi (56), Ivano-Frankivsk (54), Kyiv (52) and Mykolaiv (51,5). The lowest scores belong to Novomoskovsk (8), Myrnohrad (10), Dunaivtsi (11). The rating was made based on 91 indicators in 13 areas. In particular, finance and budgeting areas were considered, as well as procurement, housing and communal policies, education, social services, information about the work of local governments etc. The rating was developed through the analytics of Transparency International Ukraine and Institute for Political Education as part of the “Building Transparent Cities in Ukraine” project. Full information about the research of 100 cities is published on the web-site transparentcities.in.ua/en.
Access and participation is the most transparent area in Ukrainian cities – its transparency level is 46%. That means that in many cities, public is able to attend council meetings without needing to ask local deputies for permission. Draft decisions of city councils and agendas are published in advance. Society is able to influence decisions on budget expenditures. Moreover, electronic inquiries or applications are possible.
The second place is occupied by informing about the work of local governments – almost 46% of transparency. Protocols of councils’ office meetings are regularly published in many cities, as well as notices and announcements; deputies’ contact data are in public access.
The cities demonstrate 45% of transparency in human resources. This means that selection process of potential candidates for public cabinets is open, gender balance is provided for etc.
“The process of decentralization is currently in place in Ukraine. This reform can only be successful if local governments are accountable. If not, the problems will just transfer from central level to local. In general, the rating demonstrated that there are some big problems with cities’ openness, because the leaders of the rating have barely scored 50 points out of 100. In comparison with other countries, where a similar rating has already been done, the results are weak. For example, leading cities of Slovakia have scored over 70 points,“ commented Yaroslav Yurchyshyn, the executive director of Transparency International Ukraine.
Areas related to housing, functioning of municipal enterprises and social institutions are the most restricted from the public. 65% of the cities did not receive any points in housing sphere. Usually, local communities know nothing about housing distribution and online-queues for rooms and houses are absent. Almost all of the cities have incomprehensible methodologies how to determine priorities of fixing roofs, basements, entrance hallways and adjacent territories. In 36 cities, the residents are absolutely uninformed about social services. For example, people do not know what kinds of services are provided by social institutions and how much they cost for taxpayers. Information on how to get welfare or social payments from a local budget is often absent.
The openness of municipal enterprises leaves something to be desired too – 11 cities of 100 received 0 points in that area.
“That means restricted access to information about tariffs, services and methodologies of their development; that financial reports and audits’ results are absent; that there is no information about the top managers of enterprises. Supervisory boards are not created; external audits are not commissioned”, explained Oleksandr Solontai, the chief analyst of the project. He emphasized that local communities of almost all the cities have to work very thoroughly on openness and transparency. Otherwise, an increase in local budgets will lead to an increase in local corruption. Experts propose specific indicators and solutions to local governments to prevent new criminal schemes.
TI Ukraine and Institute for Political Education actively help implement transparency and accountability on local level. The next step after the rating has been published will be a training for journalists and representatives of the society and governments from 15 cities regarding the best practices of transparency and accountability. The team of the Project is open for contact with regional governments and is ready to help all of their representatives, provide consultations and recommendations, when they use our tool to increase transparency.
# Contact for media: Olha Tymchenko, Communications Department Head in Transparency International Ukraine.
Cell: +38 (050) 352-96-18,
Transparency International Ukraine is a chapter of the global anti-corruption network Transparency International that works in over 100 countries. The mission of TI Ukraine is to reduce the corruption level in Ukraine by facilitating transparency, accountability and integrity of public authorities and the civil society. Please find out more at www.ti-ukraine.org/en.