Rating of Cherkasy 2014:
City Mayor publicity
Executive bodies publicity
Publicity of council deputies
In the Publicity rating of local self-governance the city of Cherkasy holds the 23rd position out of 24 regional centers of Ukraine under monitoring. To compare, last year Cherkasy city council held the 10th position out of the 11 cities under measurement. According to the rating, publicity of Cherkasy is 37 % put of maximum 100 %. To compare, Ivano-Frankivsk had 67 % which is almost twice as much. In terms of percentage grading, cities with less than 40% are considered to be nonpublic. This year, there are two cities like that – Cherkasy and the occupied Donetsk. Publicity of the City Mayor, executive bodies and city council deputies was analyzed separately. According to the all-Ukrainian publicity rating, Cherkasy city head holds the 23rd position out of 24; executive committee – 23 out of 24, while deputies hold the last 24th position.
Transparency of work of the City Mayor needs improvement and publicizing the scope of information on the work he does. Thus, the council website does not have full information on the location of the City Mayor, the ways to communicate with him, and the list of his powers; as well as on the services of the City Mayor and the structure of the city council. Serhiy Odarych regularly receives citizens and does it in person. However, no detailed procedures to apply for appointments and conduct them are made public. It largely complicates it for citizens to use the opportunity. There is no provisioned procedure or the schedule of regular meetings with other interest groups, such as public organizations, trade unions, etc.
For citizens to better understand the work and principles of city council functioning, information needs to be publicized on the composition of all city council employees, advisors and assistants of the City Mayor, and also on the principles of HR policy. The process of HR policy must be absolutely transparent and clear for the community. The city council needs establishing an authorized body to provide for transparency and openness of the City Mayor’s work as a key figure of city policy.
Informing on the structure and personnel composition of executive bodies of Cherkasy city council does not actually take place. There is no free access to data on the work of the council executive committee. Information on the deputy mayors is only limited to their list and some scarce personal details. There are no contacts of deputy mayors available. There is no information on the personnel composition of executive committee, its location and communication means. Time and place for its meetings are not announced publicly. City authorities pay insufficient attention to publicity of procurement procedures. Thus, the website does not publicize an annual procurements plan and the course of its implementation.
The city has an established functioning CRAS. The level of its performance can be assessed as high. One of the drawbacks is the lack of own functional website for CRAS. Access to public information is provided on due level. Information is provided mostly on time but answers to requests are not always full and substantiated. Citizens do not have a secured opportunity to process and work with information in the building of the information administrator.
There is no practice for reporting of the council executive bodies at open meetings with citizens. Written reports are not published, either. City budget is only publicized in the database of city council resolutions. It requires additional skills and knowledge from the website users. There is no public access to detailed information on spending to provide for the functioning of the local self-government body.
City council deputies do not use the full capacity of the council website. No information is published on powers and duties of deputies and the council secretary. Deputies do not publicize biographical data. Draft agendas for council sessions is not announced on time. That is why voters cannot receive any information on the items of the agenda until the day of the session. The session hall of the city council is not equipped with an electronic voting system. It makes it more complicated for voters to control voting of each deputy and monitor their attendance at the sessions.
Access of citizens to plenary sessions of city council deputies is free. Anyone willing to attend may do so. However, no formalized procedures are available to regulate the order of public addresses of citizens at the sessions. The procedure of establishing advisory consultancy bodies in the city council is not regulated. It restricts opportunities of citizens to participate in the local decision making process. Deputies do not report to the council on the work of deputy commissions. Deputies do not report to the voters on the results of their work, the deputy funds spending, and fulfillment of voters’ mandate.
Transparency of work of the city mayor needs improvement since much information on his activities needs be made public. Thus, the council website lacks sufficient information on location of the city mayor, the procedures to interact with him, and the description of his powers. Upon the whole, there is a need for a separate executive body in the city council to be in charge of providing for transparency and openness in the work of the city mayor.
- include information on educational background, and criminal record (if any) into the city mayor’s biographical data;
- publish in the relevant section information on location, mailing address, telephone numbers, and an email of the city mayor;
- publish on the council website and the notice board in the city council building the lacking updated information on the schedule for receiving citizens by the city mayor and the application procedure for the appointments.
- publish on the council official website information on the procedure for the city mayor to meet initiative groups of citizens and/or other interest groups.
- publish in the relevant section the description of powers and functions of the city mayor.
6. create within the structure of the city council a unit to be in charge of publicizing news on the city mayor’s activities.
The council website lacks complete information on city mayor’s services and the structure of the city council. For citizens to better understand the principles of city council operations, information should be made public on all city council employees, advisors and assistants of the city mayor, as well as principles of HR policy. HR policy should be fully transparent and understandable for the community. The policy would allow raising levels of trust to city authorities.
- publish on the website information on assistants and advisors of the city mayor (on staff, such as executive support service, and outside advisors), with their contact details and areas of responsibility;
- publish on the website consolidated contact information with the telephone numbers of employees of the city council and the units within its administration for 2014.
- publish on the council website information on the procedure and requirements for the competition for vacancies.
- Announcements on all available competitions for managerial vacancies (such as heads of departments, units and boards) shall be published in a special section on the council website, as well as in a printed publication of the council.
5. publish in free access on the council website resolutions by the city mayor on appointments of officials to managerial positions and on occupying vacancies. Also, access shall be provided to minutes of meetings of competition commissions on the results of competitions for vacancies, with the number of candidates and the composition of the competition commission indicated.
City programmes and important city documents are made public on quite a low level. Sustainable development of the city is provided by long-term programmes and documents that define the directions for development for the years to come. The documents are important for every citizen willing to see his future in the city. That is why city programmes, strategy and all graphic and descriptive parts of the Master plan shall never be classified and kept secret but city authorities shall promote and publicize them in all possible ways.
- publish on the official website the plan for strategic development of the city (or a similar document in contents and form) which shall include the description of the goal, objectives, and directions for strategic development of the city, as well as the implementation plan.
- publish on the official website, in the section of ‘Master Plan of the City’, the following documents: 1. Urban development forecast; 2. The configuration plan in an urbanized region; 3. Transportation system; 4. Explanatory note; 5. Architectural design and economic chapters; 6. The environment forecast scheme.
- publish on the council website information on details to get acquainted with the master plan materials (texts and graphics) in the building of a local self-government body or other general access place allocated by the city council.
- publish a resolution by the city council on adopting city budget for the current year (with all appendices) in a relevant section on the council website.
- publish on the official website the mid-term programme of social and economic development of the city (for 5 years).
6. introduce a procedure for confirming the fact of meeting requirements of ISO 9001:2001 standard (external audit) in the work of city council bodies.
Access to information on regulatory documents of Cherkasy city council is rather complicated as you need to use the website search engines. The limitations require citizens to have additional skills, thus making the process inconvenient. Large part of documents is not published at all. It makes it impossible to freely get acquainted with them. Thus, the website does not have any resolutions by the city mayor. Within its structure, Cherkasy city council lacks a separate body or a responsible person to be in charge for the implementation of the Law of Ukraine ‘On Access to Public Information’. The website does not contain any description of information administered by Cherkasy city council.
- publish on the official website resolutions by the city mayor within 5 business days after their adoption.
- introduce to the website an option for convenient document search throughout the entire website content by different parameters such as date, title, words from text, view, etc.
3. allocate within a city structure a separate unit or to appoint a person to be in charge of the implementation of the Law of Ukraine ‘On Access to Public Information’. Publish information on the unit / person on the council website.
Information on the structure and personnel composition of Cherkasy city council executive bodies is scarce. In fact, there is no free access to data on the work the council executive committee. Information on deputy mayors is limited to their list and short bios. It is not known where the deputy mayors work or how to contact them. Also, citizens have rather limited information on companies, establishments and organizations created and administered by city authorities.
- publish on the council website information on location, telephone numbers, email addresses, office hours of the city council executive bodies.
- publish on the council website information on the structure and personnel composition of executive bodies.
- publish on the council website information on all heads of executive bodies (full names, biographical data, a photo, office telephone numbers, email addresses).
- include into deputy mayors’ biographies information on their criminal record and family status.
- indicate on the website information on location, address, telephone numbers of all deputy mayors.
- include on the website information on the schedule of receiving hours and the application procedure for an appointment (online application forms, via telephone, personal application) with all heads of executive bodies.
- publish in official printed publications of the council declarations on property income and expenditures of deputy mayors that also specify about their property, income, and financial liabilities of deputy mayors’ family members, as they are not available.
- publish on the council website information on powers and functions of all executive bodies (departments and boards.
9. publish on the council website information on all companies, establishments and organizations administered by the city council (heads, contacts, areas of responsibility).
Information on the personnel composition of executive committee, its location and contacts is not available on the council website in free access. Citizens are not able to freely learn who in the city performs such important administrative functions. The situation with openness of this body’s performance is even more complicated with the fact that no time or place of its meetings are announced.
- publish on the official website and notice boards information on the location (place of meetings), telephone numbers and email address of the executive committee.
- publish on the council website information on personnel composition of executive committee and its powers; also publish biographical details on executive committee members (date of birth, educational background, work experience, family status, criminal record, a photo).
3. publish on the website updated information on place and time for executive committee meetings.
Draft resolutions and texts of resolutions by executive committee are publicized in accordance with the acting laws. However, it is important that agenda with the issues brought forward for the meeting of executive committee be published in advance. City authorities pay insufficient attention to the public nature of procurements. Thus, they do not publish on the website any annual procurement plan, or the reports on its implementation.
Information on regulator policy is duly publicized on the city council website on all stages except for publishing information on each particular regulatory act entering into force.
- publish on the website draft agendas for executive committee meetings in advance (at least 5 days before the meeting).
- publish on the website and in the printed media resolutions on each regulatory act entering into force and its contents.
- timely publish on the website information on annual procurement plan and amendments thereof (within 5 business days from its adoption date).
- post on the city council website information on services rendered by municipal companies, as well as the fees for them.
- post on the city council website information on preferences for different categories of population and for different kinds of services.
6. publish in the relevant section on the website full list of all local special purpose programmes funded by the city budget.
The city holds land auctions in accordance with the law but the practice does not unfortunately allow citizens to learn about alienation of municipal land in full scope and without impediments. Some best practices used in other cities include publishing all public information on land auctions on the council website.
City council deputies do not use the capacity of the council website to the fullest; they do not publish their biographies or information on location. Therefore, they limit their interaction with the voters down to regular appointments with citizens only.
- publish on the website information on location, mailing address, telephone numbers, and emails of the council deputies.
- post in the relevant section information on rights and duties of city council deputies.
- publish on the council website biographical data of the deputies (date of birth, educational background, work experience, family status, criminal record, a photo, and party affiliation).
- publish declarations on property, income and financial liabilities of the deputies which shall also include the relevant information on their family members.
5. publish on the website information on the schedule for receiving citizens by the city council deputies (days, hours and place for appointments) as to all deputies.
The council website has information on the council personnel composition, composition of deputy factions and groups, as well as deputy commissions. Information on powers and duties of deputies, of the council secretary, and of administration office of the council is not presented. Therefore, it makes it more complicated for citizens to fully understand the functioning of the representative body. The boundaries of constituencies the deputies were elected from are presented on the website in the form of a list of addresses covered by a constituency. No option is available to use visual presentation of boundaries of constituencies on the map which would largely facilitate understanding thereof.
- publish the regulations of work of the city council in the respective section on the council website.
- publish on the website updated information on schedules for meetings of all permanent deputy commissions.
- publish on the council website information on the powers of the council secretary.
- map the boundaries of majority-based constituencies the city council deputies were elected from.
5. publish on the website information on duties and functions of the secretariat unit of the council; publish information on its location, mailing address, telephone numbers, and an email.
There are some problems in holding city council sessions. Draft agendas of the council meetings are not publicized in advance, thus, voters have no chance to learn about the issues to be considered during the session until the session day itself. The session hall is not equipped with any electronic voting system which makes it more complicated for voters to monitor each deputy personal voting results.
- timely publish on the council website and official printed media resolutions on convening the council sessions (at least 10 days before the session).
- publish the draft agenda for the session on the council website in advance.
- publish on the council website draft resolutions by the council (at least 20 days before the session).
- introduce an electronic voting system in the session hall.
- publish on the website information on registration of deputies at plenary sessions.
- publish on the council website voting results on each issue of the agenda on time (within 1 to 3 business days after the session).
7. provide for regular videobroadcast (online streaming) of all plenary sessions of the city council (irrespective of the room they are held in) via the website or other media.
Little attention is paid to covering important documents on the activities of the city council deputies which creates large information vacuum for citizens about the deputies implementing their mandate. Deputies do actively work (some of them are highly active) but there is hardly any information published on what exactly they are doing and in which ways.
- publish on the council website resolutions adopted at city council plenary sessions (at least 10 business days after the sessions).
- publish on the council website minutes of meetings of permanent deputy commissions.
- publish on the council website requests by city council deputies.
- publish on the council website resolution regulating the amounts for deputy funds to execute their powers and on the procedure of their use.
5. publish on the council website the implementation plan for voters’ mandate by city council deputies.
Citizens are received by the city mayor on a regular basis. Serhiy Odarych meets citizens in person. However, there is no published information on the procedure / guidelines for application and the meetings themselves. It makes the procedure more complicated for citizens. There is no procedure for regular receiving other categories of citizens (groups of citizens) such as NGOs, for example.
- introduce an option to apply for an appointment with the city mayor via the official website of the city council.
- provide for regular meetings of the city mayor with other categories of persons / associations, such as civil society organizations: representatives of trade union, NGOs, religious associations, universities, etc.
- introduce a procedure and the schedule for field meetings (appointments) of citizens by the city mayor (at least once a month).
- use an opportunity of the city mayor to independently initiate public discussions (public hearings, general meeting) on relevant problems of local self-governance and headline-making problems on a local scale.
- publish on the official website the procedure for citizens to submit requests.
- establish and provide for the operation of advisory and consultancy bodies under the auspices of the city mayor: public council and specialized working groups.
7. publish on the council official website information on tasks and duties of a unit in charge of establishing cooperation with civil society organizations.
City council pays insufficient attention to engaging citizens to participate in local politics through employing mechanisms of public hearings, local initiatives, and general meetings. Such mechanisms are hardly ever used while the process of their implementation is not regulated in local regulatory legal acts. City authorities scarcely ever use the option of consultations with the community.
- publish on the council website in separate documents detailed information on the procedures for public hearings such as the procedure for initiating and holding the hearings, taking their results into account. Also, publish such information on other public participation mechanisms (local initiative, general meeting of citizens).
- inform on holding public hearings at least two weeks in advance. The announcements shall include detailed information on the subject matter for discussions (agenda, draft documents).
- publish on the website information (minutes / shorthand reports) on the results of all public hearings held (at least over the previous year).
4. initiate establishing at executive bodies some advisory consultancy bodies such as working groups (task forces) and public councils.
Access to public information through the mechanism of information requests functions on the proper level. Mostly, information is offered in a timely manner but the responses to requests are not always complete and substantial. City authorities uses the option of publicizing all public information via the website with low efficiency, thus information administrators are highly loaded with work. There is no opportunity to process information at the premises of information administrators.
- publish on the website written request forms for public information including different options and different requesters. Publish the procedure for disputing resolutions (acts or inactivity) by information administrators.
- create on the website a system for keeping records of public information.
- create a user-friendly navigation system on the website; structure sections and chapters in a logical manner and arrange them; spare the website from extra multimedia information.
- make the website more friendly for visually impaired persons such as introduce options to adjust the brightness, change fonts, and use sound accompaniment for user actions, introduce a keyboard access.
- offer a control system for responses to information requests in order to provide for full and substantial responses offered to requests.
6. allocate some special room (offices) in the city council to work with documents.
The city has an established and functioning CRAS. Its performance can be highly assessed. One of the few disadvantages in the work of CRAS is lack of their own fully functional website or the respective section on the city council website. The tool would allow facilitating interaction with the CRAS for many citizens and raising its efficiency.
1. the city needs establishing an institution to offer free of charge primary legal aid to citizens.
Access of citizens to session meetings of city council deputies is free which means basically anyone could attend. Despite the fact, many things still take place in quite a random manner. Thus, there is no procedure for common citizens to speak out at the deputy meeting. This is the reason why this need can only be satisfied on site. You need to address a city mayor or deputies so that they helped implementing the need.
The unregulated procedure for establishing advisory and consultancy bodies at the city council makes it more complicated for civil activists and other citizens. All the things take place sporadically enough but not pursuant to regulatory acts.
- create convenient conditions for the disabled persons to access premises hosting council sessions.
- introduce and adopt a procedure for citizens to freely speak out at the city council plenary sessions.
- timely publish on the city council website information on time and place for deputy commissions meetings.
- develop and adopt a procedure for establishing and functioning of advisory and consultancy bodies of the council. It can be stipulated by the Statute of Local Community or in separate provisions by the council.
5. deputies shall initiate holding public hearings on burning local issues.
City council adopts a number of important documents aimed to report to the community on the work done but the community is not largely informed thereon. The report on executing the budget is adopted but it is not published in the relevant section on the council website.
1. publish an annual report on budget execution adopted by the council in a specially allocated section on the website.
Public reporting on the work of the city mayor or implementation of significant city programmes is actually not taking place. It significantly reduces awareness of citizens on the performance of city authorities. Accountability of the city mayor to the community is stipulated in the city statute but unfortunately there is no detailed implementation procedure of this duty.
- provide for annual reports by the city mayor (at least twice a year) in an open meeting format in order to report to citizens on implementation of programmes for social, economic and cultural development of the city, as well as local special purpose programmes.
- introduce an annual report by the city mayor to the city council on implementing state regulatory policy by the council executive bodies. Also, the text of the report shall be published in the city council printed media.
- publish on the council website written reports by the city mayor, including the performance report of the council executive bodies.
- provide for annual report by the city mayor on the performance at an open meeting with local community.
5. regulate a detailed reporting procedure of the city mayor in the Statute of Local Community or other regulatory document.
Reporting by the council executive bodies can be assessed on a very low level. Citizens do not receive any information on the results of their work. Reporting does not take place either on open meetings with the community or through publishing written reports on the council website.
- provide for the procedure and schedule for reporting by executive bodies (boards) on their work directly to local community at least twice a year.
- publish on the council website reports by executive bodies (boards) over the last year. Inform on place and time for reporting by all executive bodies in advance (at least 5 days before).
- publish a report on implementation of programmes for social, economic and cultural development of the city on the council website.
- publish interim and final reports on the implementation course of special purpose programmes for the current year.
5. make and publish reports on processing public information requests.
City council uses an advanced method of reporting on the daily spending of budget funds but the practice is unfortunately not sufficient to inform citizens on actual structure and scope of expenditures. City budget is published only in the database of resolutions of the city council which requires additional skills and knowledge from the website users. It must be noted that a separate section is created on the website for this document and the respective information. There is no public access to information on expenditures for support of the self-government body itself.
- publish in a separate section on the council website detailed information (indicating budget funds administrators) on the structure and scope of expenditures of local budget.
- publish on the website quarterly reports on local budget execution.
- publish on the council website detailed information on financial resources (structure and the scope of expenditures of local budget, procedure and mechanisms of their spending) spent for supporting operations of the local self-government body, and also specifically for executive bodies.
- introduce the practice of public presentation of information on local budget execution over the previous year and adopt the practice with the relevant regulatory act.
5. publish reports of executive bodies on the course and results of municipal property alienation on the council website.
All reports on tracing effectiveness of regulatory acts are published on the council website or in the printed media.
Deputies do not report to other deputies on their activities within deputy commissions. No reporting of deputies to the voters takes place. They do not report on the work done, or for the money spent from deputy funds. However, pursuant to the Statute of Local Community of the city of Cherkasy they must do it.
- permanent deputy commissions shall report to the council. The website shall have published written reports on the work of all permanent deputy commissions of the city council.
- develop and adopt the reporting procedure for deputies to local community in the Statute of Local Community or in separate provisions. Adopt with the resolution of the city council deadlines for deputies’ reporting to the voters, as well as the reporting schedule for deputies.
- develop and adopt a resolution on the duties of deputies to inform the relevant unit of the council on the fact of holding reports to voters, as well as publish the reports on the council official website. The deputies’ report shall be detailed and exhaustive and shall contain information on activities of a deputy in the council and its bodies, implementation of his election campaign, work with the voters, participation in hearings, execution of voters’ mandate.
4. publish on the council website information (report) on the amount of funds allocated from deputy funds for citizens’ needs.