This reform is aimed at building a modern, digital, service-oriented state. The reform includes the formation of an efficient public administration system that can develop and implement an integrated public policy focused on the people’s needs, sustainable social development and addressing internal and external challenges properly.
The public administration reform is designed to change the approach to three key elements of the executive branch — structures, processes and people. In practice, this means:
building strong and accountable state institutions;
preparation of quality executive decisions;
forming professional civil service;
providing convenient services to general public.
A strong democratic state cannot be built without an efficient public administration system. The public administration reform is, therefore, an important precondition for Ukraine’s European integration course. In its turn, the European Union is supporting the reform at the expert, technical and financial levels.
The reorganisation of ministries pilot project implemented in the period from 2017 to 2019 allowed the Government to approve uniform ministry structure criteria having clearly divided internal functions and introduced directorates for policy-making and strategic planning in all ministries.
The reform expert concept has been extended to all ministries. The ministries continue to focus on policy-making, and the related duties are being gradually transferred to government agencies and services.
The Government has approved the Public Official Remuneration Reform Concept to be introduced in 2020—2022. Governmental agencies should become competitive employers attracting the best talents for the civil service.
The web portal of vacancies career.gov.ua, accepting online applications for the civil service jobs, has been extended to all categories of positions.
The Human Resource Management Information System (HRMIS) has been implemented in 4 more governmental agencies. The testing run is currently underway in 11 central executive bodies.
The Knowledge Management Portal has been launched and is fully operating. It is an educational platform for the professional training of civil servants of all categories, managers and deputy managers of local state administrations, and local government officials. The portal helps customers and providers of educational services interact quickly and conveniently.
The network of administrative service centres is being developed — more than 800 centres have been established. The list of services provided from the centres has also been expanded:
- a service package allowing getting the first Ukrainian passport together with the taxpayer card number;
- e-Maliatko service package allowing filing one application for up to 9 childbirth related services; the service can also be received directly at the hospital;
- work is in progress to arrange provision of social services from administrative service centres.
Administrative services are being digitalised. More than 120 electronic services are already available on the websites of administrative service providers.
The Unified State Web Portal of Electronic Services Portal Diia (Action) has been launched. At Portal Diia, each citizen can receive e-services and data kept about them in state electronic information resources. 33 electronic services are available at Portal Diia.
Diia mobile application offering access to digital documents has been launched. The mobile application is being used by 4.5 million people.
Government bill “On Administrative Procedure” has been adopted by the Verkhovna Rada in the first reading. Law “On Administrative Procedure” sets uniform, clear and understandable rules of interaction between the state, people and business. It is an important step towards convenient public services free of unnecessary bureaucracy or corruption.
The public administration reform is among the most important tasks for countries with economies in transition. A lot of important changes required for the economic development, investment and job creation across the country depend on the ability of the state to develop and implement efficient public policies.
Modern public administration is also a key element in building trust in government through the provision of affordable, quality public services, openness and accountability of governmental agencies.
According to the global governance performance indicators, Ukraine ranks quite low in terms of competitiveness. This situation can be improved by a number of factors such as reducing the administrative burden of state regulation, improving the quality of administrative services, and ensuring the legality and predictability of administrative acts.
The effective development of state policy by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine is conditioned by the existence of a professional, efficient and accountable executive power system. An efficient public administration system is also one of the main prerequisites for democratic governance based on the rule of law principles.
The result of the reform should be a public administration system which ensures the proper implementation of policy decisions and regulatory norms. It should also be transparent, predictable, customer-oriented, focused on sustainable economic growth and promotion of entrepreneurship and investment.
One of the key stages of the reform is to empower ministries making them powerful think tanks focusing on policy-making, which will lead the reforms and increase the performance of the government in general.
Ministry focus on policy-making
The public administration reform is refocusing ministerial work from producing regulations and property management to policy-making in the areas of responsibility of each respective ministry.
This means that in their work ministries will focus on the ongoing analysis of issues and the search for potential solutions, the development of policies and assessment of the likely or existing effects of those policies. The ministries will also consult with stakeholders and, if applicable, review their policy and solution proposals, and analyse the impact of the existing solutions for rapid changes.
Policy-making is a key function of the policy directorates, the newly established ministerial subdivisions. Policy coordination, prioritising and strategizing will be the responsibility of the strategic planning and European integration directorates.
The reform will help the Government build a coherent hierarchy of strategic goals. These goals will guide the formation of the state budget. The funding needed for achieving the goals will be provided due to three-year budget planning. Continuous monitoring and assessment of the policy results will allow evaluating their efficiency and amending them to better achieve the strategic goals.
Improving the quality of executive decisions
By introducing new processes of forming executive decisions the Government should switch its work from plans and measures to issues, solutions and their effects. This will make the Government’s decisions more:
understandable due to clarification of the issue it is seeking to solve and the evidence-based link between the proposed solution (tool) and the expected outcome;
prudent due to analysis of available proposed solutions and substantiation of the best option;
coordinated due to assessment of a wide range of impacts on various aspects of public life and the effects of the solution on other areas of public policy;
integral and complex due to analysis of the link the decision has with the logic of the previous and the subsequent decisions, the place the decision takes in the system of other options, and the consistent and coherent strategy;
balanced due to forecast and assessment of effects of the decision on the interests of various stakeholders, their likely response and the search for an acceptable win-win solution;
open because issues, options and effects of solutions at the development and review stages will be discussed by persons concerned and persons responsible for implementation;
realistic due to analysis of required resources (financial, personnel, logistical, organisational, communication), implementation risks and obstacles;
consistent because it will only be possible to cancel or amend a decision based on the analysis and substantiation of changes.
Clear hierarchy and distribution of functions
The reform also covers the central executive bodies (CEBs) and their interaction with the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine (CMU). A reasonable and transparent hierarchy and accountability system of CEBs will be built, the list of their functions and responsibilities will be clarified, and overlapping of duties appointed to agencies will be eliminated. The subdivisions of ministries and other CEBs will be reorganised and streamlined, and highly qualified specialists will be appointed to new positions on a competitive basis.
Improving administrative service provision
In particular, it is planned to introduce an administrative process in accordance with the EU model, enhance the quality of administrative services and increase the number of services provided in electronic form, and reduce the administrative burden on business and individuals.
Building the professional civil service
Another area of the reform covers the civil service and human resource management. The CMU and ministries have already started to employ state secretaries — the highest rank officers appointed on a competitive basis: they are responsible for the efficient operation of ministries.
The ministries have also started to build the so called “reform teams” — directorates which consist of highly qualified and competent public specialists who can ensure the implementation of reforms and support a quality policy formation and analysis process in priority areas.
Modern methods of HR management and reforming the remuneration system based on job classification will help transform the state into a competitive and upscale employer. The civil service should be result-oriented rather than process-oriented and have clear performance indicators. In addition, e-governance systems and a clear system of balanced performance indicators with impact analysis will make the civil service more efficient. A transparent and fair remuneration system for public officials will also play an important role in these changes.
The EU provides Ukraine with a strong support with this reform. In particular, a financial agreement was signed between the Government of Ukraine and the European Commission in December 2016. Pursuant to this agreement Ukraine is assisted with the implementation of the Public Administration Reform Strategy 2016—2020 under the EU-funded programme Support to Comprehensive Reform of Public Administration in Ukraine. The reform coordination is ensured by the Public Administration Reform Coordination Board.
The Government’s 2020 Priority Action Plan includes the following important steps for the implementation of the reform and the Public Administration Reform Strategy:
The development and submission to the Cabinet of Ministers of the bill On Amendments to Laws of Ukraine “On Central Executive Bodies” and “On the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine” — to enhance the quality of executive decisions and strengthen the role of ministries in the formation of public policy. It concerns improving the organisation and operation of the Cabinet of Ministers and CEBs.
The development and submission to the Cabinet of Ministers of the bill “On Regulations” — to set uniform requirements for rule-making and addressing conflicts.
The development and submission to the Cabinet of Ministers of the bill “On Public Consultations” — to introduce modern standards for the preparation of draft resolutions and involving stakeholders in the decision-making process.
The development and submission to the Cabinet of Ministers of the bill “On Amendments to Certain Regulations of Ukraine to Divest the Cabinet of Ministers of Non-relevant Powers” — to focus the work of the Cabinet of Ministers and CEBs on their key and inherent functions so that the Government does not have to deal with departmental administration, operational and technical issues.
Updating the Regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers in accordance with the SIGMA guidelines (Support for Improvement in Governance and Management) — to improve the preparation and adoption of executive decisions thereby enhancing their quality, effectiveness and efficiency.
The performance of this task will be measured by submission of the Government’s bills to the Parliament.
The National Agency for Civil Service (NACS) has the following tasks to build a professional civil service and implement the Public Administration Reform Strategy:
To update a competitive process for transparent civil service selection based on the European public administration principles and to employ highly qualified public officials. The respective resolution must be adopted by the Cabinet of Ministers.
To improve the civil service development and remuneration legislation updating the selection process in accordance with SIGMA principles and introducing a transparent public official remuneration system which will allow reviewing the remuneration structure, enhancing competitiveness, introducing a grading system and forming an efficient designee reserve. The respective bill must be submitted to the Parliament.
To introduce a remuneration system based on civil service job classification in pilot public bodies as part of the Public Official Remuneration Reform Concept. The respective resolution must be adopted by the Cabinet of Ministers.
To launch the Human Resource Management Information System (HRMIS). The performance of this task will be measured by the system commissioning and connecting to ministries and other CEBs.
The Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, the Secretariat of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine (SCMU), the Ministry of Digital Transformation, the SCMU Public Administration Directorate, NACS, the Reforms Delivery Office of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, EU4PAR project