New report on Ukraine finds progress in access to information, but more efforts are needed in government accountabilityMar 24, 2016
Kyiv, 21 March 2016 – A new Open Government Partnership (OGP) Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) report on Ukraine finds that despite recent political turmoil, notable progress has been made in passing laws to improve access to government held information. However, more efforts are needed to improve government accountability.
The report highlights that significant progress was made in a number of areas, even in the midst of difficult political circumstances, in the period of December 2014 through September 2015.Big strides were made in improving access to government held information; in particular, with support from UNDP Ukraine, legal acts were passed that require various government agencies to publish their information in the open data format on their websites and on the government’s central open data portal, starting with over 300 priority datasets.
Additionally, the report notes that the Ukrainian government has done well in keeping to the schedule outlined in its second National Action Plan (NAP). One year into implementation, 86% of the OGP NAP has been completed.
As Veronica Cretu from the OGP Steering Committee notes, “Corruption is a virus. Open Government might be the best vaccine and if used properly and if used properly and efficiently it can help the Government become stronger and ’healthier’ in long run.”
Over the years, UNDP has been a consistent supporter of open and transparent governance. It has stood by the Ukrainian government in attempts to organize meaningful dialogue with the civil society on priorities such as anti-corruption, e-governance, administrative services efficacy, and participatory decision-making – all within the realm of Ukraine’s OGP commitments.
Amongst other things, UNDP worked side-by-side with the Government of Ukraine as a reliable long-term partner to organize the OGP national consultations that ultimately resulted in producing the NAP. It was a breakthrough as it consisted largely of proposals submitted by Ukrainian civil society (at least 80%); more than 400 proposals from CSOs nationwide were considered in the elaboration process.
After the Open Government Partnership’s reload in June 2015, the Secretariat of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine initiated the work of the OGP Coordination Council’s six working groups with UNDP’s active participation.
In the course of 2014-15, UNDP, working side-by-side with civic and government experts, held public consultations on the open data launch in Ukraine, supported the First International Open Data Conference in Ukraine, designed a concept for the relevant draft law, and worked closely with the National Agency for e-Governance and the Presidential Administration in order to arrive at an agreed vision shaped as a draft law. The UNDP-supported draft law initiative also became one of the signature products of the Reanimation Package of Reforms e-Governance group, taken up by the Administration of the President as part of a Digital Ukraine legislative package, which was introduced to Parliament and finally passed as a law. In addition, UNDP facilitated the development of terms of references and other supporting documents to pass the Open Data Portal to the State Agency for e-Governance of Ukraine, for full ownership and management.