Civic initiative checked local authorities for openness to public, ranked cities based on the results obtained.
Local authorities got checked for openness to the public. The criteria included access to public information, access to premises of the city council, sessions of local authorities, accessibility of the premises for people with disability, possibility to meet the official, content and updates of the web sites, financial reporting etc. Lutsk, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kyiv and Vinnytsia keep leadership among the cities. Satisfactory level of accessibility is demonstrated by Kropyvnytsky, Chernivtsi and Lviv. Least accessible are Dnipro, Cherkasy, Zaporizhzhia and Uzhgorod. The results were presented by Oleksandr Neberykut, coordinator of the campaign for measuring of the Openness of local authorities’ index.
“Over the past three years we have achieved certain progress: the openness level has increased by 10 percent. However this increase is slow. The progress comes as a result of changes to legislation that stipulates new requirements for officials and parliamentarians who are very rigid. Some cities lack political will to introduce the policy of openness as well as interaction with residents,” noted Neberykut.
He said biggest increase in openness is demonstrated by the members of local councils despite the fact that they remain least open as a category. Past leaders of openness – executive authorities, started somehow regressing. Among the main problems on the way to openness are reporting, cases when a session defined by the law as open are replaced by closed ones or even by messages that do not foresee feedback; lack of openness as to land resources – the information of this type simply does not exist; formal approach of civil servants to public discussions and other forms of interaction with people that leads to the situation when residents themselves lose interest to this form of interaction.
According to Andriy Savchuk, measuring coordinator of the Openness of local authorities’ index in Kyiv, Kyiv has demonstrated a 2% smaller openness against last year. Openness of the city mayor has decreased by 5%, the figure now stands at 72% which is a satisfactory result according to the ranking. “As a capital Kyiv has a wider circle of opportunities. However as it is a very big city it is almost not possible for the mayor to be meeting citizens. Nevertheless in contrast to previous mayors he is reporting but not regularly,” Savchuk said.
Other positive achievements that he mentioned are the fact that 20 out of the 120 deputies of the Kyiv City Council placed their reports on the council’s website as well as reporting by the faction deputies in general. The use of deputy funds and unifying CVs remain subject to improvement. Kyivites have no free access to Kyiv City Council sessions, moreover the access is subject to possible restriction. However sessions of the Council’s permanent commissions are livestreamed, there is also a video archive available.