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Attention of the civil society is to define if the pilot stage of the civil service reform was successful – experts, authorities

Kyiv, October 03, 2017.

The success of the civil service reform depends on the success of its pilot stage. To ensure that the competition is transparent and just, civic control is required. Representatives of authorities and experts emphasized this at a press-briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

A total of 10 ministries are taking part in the pilot stage of the civil service reform, said Anton Yashchenko, executive director at the Reforms Office within the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. These are the Ministries of social policy, healthcare, agriculture, education and science, finance, the Ministry for regional development, construction and housing; fuel and energy; infrastructure, culture, as well as the Secretariat of the Cabinet of Ministers. One thousand positions will be opened, over 100 vacancies have already been announced. These positions range from state experts to directorate heads.

Competencies for the positions have been developed in such a way that the actual civil servants and the candidates who got no work experience in public administration have equal chances. “In addition to professional skills, experts will evaluate the competencies that were not considered before during the candidate selection to the civil service: analytical thinking, strategic planning, communication and leadership skills (‘soft skills’), motivation etc.,” said Oleksandr Sayenko, Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. Rest of the ministries are to be involved at the second reform stage. Monthly salaries for the new civil servants will vary from UAH 30,000 (approx. EUR 956) for state experts to UAH 55,000 (approx. EUR 1,753) for directorate heads.

To ensure maximum transparency of the competition, each selection commission in addition to the seven representatives of the ministries will include two representatives of civil society and an HR expert from Hudsons recruitment company delegated by the international partners.

Experts emphasize that maximum attention of the civil society to the competition process is required to ensure the reform’s success. “All of us – Ukrainian citizens, will be the first ones to benefit from the reform, as the civil service reform will create the staff that will be able to carry out all the other reforms. One of the reasons why reforms in many sectors are advancing so slowly is there are no highly qualified people who would be able to implement them. […] It is not to the benefit of the people who aim to preserve the old clan-based bureaucratic and corrupt system, who do not want the new people to enter the civil service, who do not want let the changes happen because they are comfortable with how the things are. There surely will be the attempts of sabotage, we can see such examples as other reforms are being implemented. Attention on the part of the civil society is the key to the success. Whenever there is the attention of the civil society, this sabotage can be overcome,” emphasized Valeriy Pekar, co-founder of the civic platform “Nova Krayina” (“A new country”).

“The results of the pilot stage – how many people from beyond the system will be able to get in, how open and transparent the competition itself will be – will define whether Ukrainians will believe in the possibility of the changes. […] The Reanimation Package of Reforms will be watching it closely. We have delegated our representatives to each selection commission, at least one our representative will be included in most of them,” said Vadym Miskyi, Head of advocacy department within the Reanimation Package of Reforms.

“All civil society organizations may officially address the selection commissions asking them to include their observers to the selection process. Please do use this opportunity,” called the executive director of the Reforms Office within the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. Information on the selection commission members as well as all the necessary information to make such an application is available on the website www.career.gov.ua

Alina Sviderska, a board member at the “Professional Government” association, said that the association is currently forming a group of volunteers to assist in the submission of the applications as well as to resolve the problems that might arise during the competition itself. “The mechanisms that are to ensure the transparency are in place. Key is that people are active and ready to engage in the process,” Sviderska emphasized.

“Speaking to all the observers I would like to emphasize that we should not consider the reform outcome positive when all the civil servants will get substituted as a result of the competition or if the most professional of the actual ones stay. The ideal outcome of the selection is to have the new directorates formed according to the 50/50 principle,” noted Ihor Koliushko, head of the Centre of Policy and Legal Reforms.

To apply for a vacancy and to check out the terms of reference at the ministries go to the website www.career.gov.ua

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