Right before the new law takes effect, Ukrainian officials and civil experts suggest amendments that will allow broader participation of civil society in implementing the law.
Kyiv, April 27, 2016. Authors of the new Law “On civil service” which comes into force on May1, 2016 initiate its operational technical adjustments. The change proponents stated it at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
The changes encompass clarification of the rule of law, which prohibits combining the representative mandate with work in local government. According to the National Agency on Civil Service, 53 percent of officials in the regions are such dual jobholders. “This approach – the inability to combine the representative mandate with work in local government – should take effect at the next elections. People were elected under a different legislation. According to generally accepted judicial principle, laws do not have retroactive force. So we have to make technical amendments in the Law “On civil service,” said Kostyantyn Vaschenko, Head of the National Agency of Ukraine on Civil Service (hereinafter – the National Agency).
He reported that a draft law has already been registered in the Verkhovna Rada. The idea of the announced changes has been publicly supported by civil society representatives. In particular, Igor Koliushko, Head of the Board, Center for Political & Legal Reforms, Co-chairman of the Reanimation Package of Reforms Council, and Volodymyr Kupriy, executive director of CCC Creative Center, expert of the Reanimation Package of Reforms.
Mr. Koliushko focused on the fact that the implementation of the Law “On civil service” is a challenge for the government, which should demonstrate the political will to implement it. Toward the middle of summer, the Commission on the formation of senior civil service (it should be formed on the collective basis by President, parliament, government, and civil society) should initiate competitive selection for the posts of state secretaries in the ministries. “If by that time the government, on the one hand, does not demonstrate the way to reform the Cabinet, the role of a public servant, or changes in the requirements for them, and on the other – does not solve the issue of decent wages, then we can expect disappointment,” believes Mr. Koliushko.
Mr. Kupriy noted that the law provides for involving the public in the formation of civil service. “We mean competitive commissions for appointing civil servants. The law provides for the participation of the public. This also applies to senior government and local appointments,” said Mr. Kupriy. However, the expert said that competitive commissions can be formed only after the approval of the Ministry of Justice. So far this has not happened. This, according to Mr. Kupriy, slows down the implementation of reforms.