Kyiv, June 26, 2015. Direct contact between citizens and civil servant or a soldier during the crossing of the frontline provides more incentives for corruption, creating large queues at the checkpoints. New passage system, which is going to be fully operational on July 7, 2015, is designed to tackle both issues. “The system’s main feature is a complete exclusion of direct contacts between a citizen and a civil servant or a soldier,” said Oleksandr Lytvynenko, Deputy Head of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, during the round table discussion at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
According to Mr. Lytvynenko, anyone will be able to file the application for a passage permit in four ways: by filling out the online form; sending respective documents via e-mail; sending them by post or by dropping the documents into boxes to be put on the frontline. Once the printer or electronic copies of the documents reach the processing center, the application will be reviewed with the law-enforcement. The decision on whether to issue the permit will be made without direct contacts between the applicant and civil servants and serviceman who process the documents. If a person applies electronically than he/she is assigned with a number that can use to track the application status. Specialized call centers will be set up to provide services for those who apply with printer documents. The applicant will be able to dial the center and check if the documents reached the processing center. “Decisions on giving the permit will be made within 10 days. The applicant then should come to checkpoint and present a passport. The border guards check if the person is allowed to pass. No additional papers are necessary,” Mr. Lytvynenko noted.
Cancellation of public transport routes across the frontline remains one of the main problems for the people, which caused huge queues at the checkpoints. Yehor Sobolev, MP and Head of the parliamentary committee on preventing and counteracting corruption, noted that the problem has to be urgently addressed. Ban on passenger buses is “an anti-humane act that does not have anything to do with safety but instead increases corruption”. Oleksandr Horbatko, chief coordinator and director of “Donbas SOS” NGO also suggested that the number of border guards conducting checks should be increased in order to increase capacities of the checkpoints. He also added that calls to the State Border Guard Service hotline must to be free.