Procedure of the contest for the post of state secretary should be reviewed – officials, activists


At present the procedure allows subjective decisions and selected candidates are not the brightest of all the applicants.

The contest procedure for the post of state secretary should be reviewed because the current procedure allows for the victory of dubious candidates. This was stated by the leaders of the Ministry of Healthcare of Ukraine, the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine and NGOs at a press briefing held at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. “One of these days we are going to convene a commission and invite the contest-holding commission, all of the Cabinet of Ministers interested in the process and our friends from NGOs to review this procedure,” stated Ulana Suprun, acting Minister of Healthcare of Ukraine.

“The state secretary is in charge of the secretary’s office, of its proper functioning. We expected to get “a man from the future” to this position, but the system always chooses “people from the past”. The procedure should be changed, because a true systematic reform is impossible without a qualified secretary,” said Pavlo Kovtonyuk, Deputy Minister of Healthcare of Ukraine.

The main comments on the current procedure are superficial analysis of the applicants’ documents and room for a subjective evaluation – inadequate taking into account of the candidates’ experience, neglect of the past corruption and conflict of interest. “Of the 20 points that a candidate can score in the competition, only 2 points for testing can be viewed as objective. The rest 18 are put indistinctly for 9 criteria and personal marks of the committee members are unknown,” said Mykola Vyhovskyi, coordinator of the monitoring mission #DobroChesno, board member of Reanimation Package of Reforms. A number of specialists were not allowed to participate “due to lack of experience in leadership positions,” deciding that leadership experience in a subsection of an international NGO is not enough, but allowed people who had previously worked in the government of Yanukovych, or had been dismissed from the civil service as unprofessional. Yaroslav Yurchyshyn, executive director of Transparency International Ukraine, noted that a candidate for the state secretary of Ministry of Economic Development and Trade had been rejected for unknown reasons despite the best results at the interview.

“Now we see how the effective mechanism is discredited for political reasons and corruption schemes existing in the management so many fronts. […] From the fact that strong candidates are left by the wayside in the ministries that make strong steps towards reforming we understand that attempts are made to put a yoke on the necks of ministers-reformers. It is logical, because if all the key ministries begin reforms, the whole system will have to be changed,” stated Jaroslav Yurchyshyn.

“It is not a matter of personal preferences of Mr. Omelian or Ms. Suprun, it is a matter of values and principles. Actually, we see an attempt to get revenge; they are trying to provide a “cover” consisting of both, the reformers and state secretaries who will do real business. We will not serve as a cover, and nobody will do business behind our backs, – stated Volodymyr Omelian, Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine, – We are for the effective and transparent system. We understand that we have come and we will go, but we want to be sure that our reforms will be irreversible, and they will not be revised to please a small group of people.”

The press briefing participants offered to suspend the ongoing tender procedures until the new procedure is established, to check further the elected state secretaries before the appointment and oblige the commission to open their personal ratings. “We offer to make the CVs of all candidates public, regardless of whether they have been elected or not; to publish their declarations and to prove their veracity. Besides, the results of their testing should be available to the public. Then it will be possible to take a deliberate decision – to elect these candidates or to re-announce competition,” stated Olga Stefanyshyna, Executive Director of the CF “Patients of Ukraine.” Jaroslav Yurchyshyn noted that Transparency International and RPR will request NABU to check the winners for their involvement in corruption schemes.