Kyiv, July 15, 2015. Civil activists are persuading MPs to submit monthly reports on their work at the Vekhovna Rada. VoxUkraine teamed up with CHESNO Civil Movement to create the “Rada Report Challenge.” “We are working so that anyone can check the website and see what the MP did within the parliamentary session, which laws he or she supported, which requests he or she wrote. The crisis we are living in happened because ordinary people did not have influence on authorities. Authorities were closed and all issues were decided upon in the interests of the elite. It has to be changed, and for this the Parliament needs to become open,” said Tymofiy Mylovanov, Professor at the University of Pittsburgh, and cofounder and editorial member of VoxUkraine at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
According to Mylovanov, as part of the first reporting phase, 54 MPs provided their monthly reports between January and April 2015, which accounts for 13 percent of MPs in the Verkhovna Rada.
The highest reporting rate came from “Samopomich” party members, with 17 of the party’s MPs reporting. The party “Petro Poroshenko Bloc” was the second most effective, with 15 MPs reporting online. MPs from the “Opposition Bloc” have yet to report electronically. The most actively reporting MPs during this first phase were Serhiy Leshchenko, Hanna Hopko, Olena Sotnyk, Yehor Sobolev, Oleksandr Opanasenko and Dmytro Dobrodomov.
According to the reporting, the MPs who participated achieved the following: They introduced 419 legal initiatives and 498 amendments. Sixteen of the MPs worked directly with voters and 10 MPs worked with international partners. The MPs submitted 185 requests and 21 MPs are currently pushing for reforms.
Andriy Kruhlashov, coordinator of the CHESNO Civil Movement, Center UA, said that reporting would help Ukrainians overcome their lack of trust in the system by staking MPs’ reputations directly on their actions. Although some think that the Internet feed registered bills and submitted requests on the parliament’s website is sufficient, MPs tend to forget another important aspect of their work which the new reporting accounts for: they represent their voters. Thanks to the Rada Report Challenge, participating MPs working in their public offices meeting voters and responding to requests can demonstrate the value of their work.
According to Kruhlashov, the Rada Report Challenge’s second reporting phase recently began. Nineteen MPs have already submitted their reports. Most of them are from the Petro Poroshenko Bloc. “Our goal is to introduce the form that will help people make their decision based on a convenient, easy to understand, informative format, and compare MPs’ work with voter expectations. Decision-makers delegate the right to use their taxes and define laws based on which not only he or she but their children will live,” added Kruglashov.