Rating of Chernihiv 2014:
City Mayor publicity
Executive bodies publicity
Publicity of council deputies
Upon the whole, Chernihiv municipality has low publicity level of 44 %. As compared to last year measurement, it is 7% lower. Therefore, city authorities only take 16th position out of the 24. It is mostly due to nonpublic nature of activity of the deputy corps as supported by last year results, too. It must be noted that in 2013 Chernihiv shared the fifth position in an all-Ukrainian rating of cities with Mykolayiv and Luhansk.
Chernihiv City Mayor also has low publicity level (43 %). Despite introducing to the website of information on services of the mayor, biographical notes on executive committee members and other important data activity of city chief official has not become more public according to the measurement methodology used. Thus, in the experiment it was detected that the website publishes not all resolutions of the City Mayor. There is no information on most assistants and advisors of the mayor. There are no efficient tools to engage citizens to participate in decision making process. Nevertheless, Chernihiv can also boast of good practices to indicate transparency of activity of the City Mayor. Thus, a typical form of declaration on property, income, spending and financial liabilities of the City Mayor is available at the council web portal. The section on ‘City Development’ has a Strategy For Development of Chernihiv City for 2007–2015, and the relevant program for social and economic development of the city.
As to publicity measurement of Chernihiv city council executive bodies, it is the highest among other local objects under measurement (61 %). Activity of executive bodies is more than half more public than that of the deputy corps and 18 % higher than the City Mayor index.
Publicity level of executive bodies is classified as satisfactory. It is due to high indices by the criteria of ‘Administrative services’ and ‘Access to public information’. At the same time, it would be worth introducing the practice of posting separate notices on local special purpose programs and privileges for different categories of population as to different types of services.
In order to make interaction of authorities with the community more efficient through submitting information requests it would be worth publishing detailed reports on processed requests for public information or all responses to requests. The creation of a special form to submit an information request online would also facilitate communication both for the administrator of information and the request sender.
The lowest index in the all-Ukrainian rating is with the representative body (27 %). A similar tendency was traced in the 2013 monitoring when the low publicity level of municipality was due to close nature of deputies activity. Official city council website lacks bios of deputies, typical forms of declarations of all deputy corps representatives, relevant information on the schedule for appointments with citizens. There is no free access to information on the composition of deputy factions and its changes, boundaries of constituencies deputies represented. To make the website more user-friendly, it would be worth creating a separate section with information on the functions and duties of deputies.
Decision making process by a representative body in Chernihiv city council has not yet been organized through the electronic voting system. Therefore, no personal voting results for every item on the agenda can be made public. No audios or videos are available either for live broadcast or in recordings on the official web portal. In 2013, the Publicity Index measurement campaign did recommend to arrange the reporting process for deputies to the community and publicize the schedule and contents of deputy reports on the city council website, as well as reports on the use of deputy funds. The recommendations have not yet been taken into consideration.
Information on the city mayor is available only on the official web portal of Chernihiv city council and has somewhat been updated in comparison with last year. It can be found in the subsections ‘City Mayor’ and ‘Executive Committee’ (in the main section ‘City Council’). The biographical data for Chernihiv city mayor are presented in full scope; however information on his party affiliation is missing. The subsection ‘Executive Committee’ contains information on the city mayor’s location, mailing address and telephone numbers, as well as outlines his main functions and areas of activity.
The city mayor’s declaration of property, income, expenditures and financial liabilities is published in the print medium of the council, The Chernihivski Vidomosti, and is also available on the council web portal. However, while the official website contains a typical declaration form established by the Law of Ukraine ‘On the Principles of Preventing and Combating Corruption’, in the print medium this information is presented as a summary that does not include all the chapters (for example, data about bank deposits, securities and other assets, data on financial liabilities, etc.).
The official website of Chernihiv city council offers a schedule of receiving citizens by the city mayor according to which the city mayor receives citizens twice a month during four hours. Information on the procedure of applying for an appointment with the city mayors (place, days and receiving hours) is available in the tab of the Department for Citizen Requests and Social Issues of Chernihiv city council. As indicated on the official council website, such appointments take place in the office of this structural unit. At the same time, the schedule of receiving citizens is outdated. Specifically, the official web portal of the city council contains the last year’s schedule of receiving citizens by the leadership of the city council and its executive committee.
The Department for Public Relations of Chernihiv city council is a structural unit responsible for informing the public about the city mayor’s activities. The city mayor also has a dedicated advisor responsible for public and media relations. The ‘News’ section on the city council web portal is updated in a swift and systematic manner, but less than half the information posted there is related to the city mayor’s activities.
Chernihiv city mayor regularly communicates with the mass media through briefings held after city council plenary sessions. Press conferences and live programmes are organized very rarely, but the city council was active in media relations throughout the assessment period.
Compared to last year, the official web portal of Chernihiv city council has a new subsection – ‘Executive Support Service’ containing information only on one advisor to Chernihiv city mayor – Iryna Synelnyk. At the same time, the response to the information request submitted within the campaign indicates that the city mayor has three full-time and five outside advisors. It would be recommendable to update this section and publish information on all full-time and outside advisors to the city mayor.
Concerning information on chief heads of executive bodies, it is available for public access. At the same time, data on city council employees and entities within the administration of the city council are missing.
Information on the procedure and conditions of competitions to fill vacancies and all vacancy announcements are published both in The Chernihivski Vidomosti newspaper and on the official web portal in the subsection ‘Vacancies’.
The city mayor’s resolutions on the appointment of municipal officials / filling of vacant management positions are not properly structured (accumulated in a separate section). Such information is posted in the form of information messages in the ‘News’ section. Texts of resolutions are published in The Chernihivski Vidomosti, the council’s official newspaper.
Minutes of competition commissions’ meetings containing results of competitions to fill vacancies and indicating the number of candidates and composition of the competition commission can be received upon request.
Accumulate information on all assistants and advisors to the city mayor in a separate section of the official website of Chernihiv city council.
Publicize data on city council employees and entities within the administration of the city council.
Disseminate information on vacancy announcements via the official website and implement the practice of publicizing the city mayor’s resolutions on the appointment of municipal officials to management positions.
Minutes of competition commissions’ meetings should be available for public access.
The current Strategy of Chernihiv City Development for the Period of 2007-2015 is made public on the official website in the section ‘City Development’.
At the same time, the city’s master plan is not available for public access now; only some city planning/ development documentation can be found.
The city council resolution on the approval of the city budget for the current year is available on the council webpage in the section ‘Regulatory Documents’. Resolutions on amendments to the city budget are also published on a regular basis.
The mid-term programme for social and economic development of the city for 2014 was made public on the official website during the assessment period.
The city council has not implemented a quality management system (ISO).
Compared to last year, the situation in this area has improved only in terms of timely and up-to-date publication of programmes for social and economic development.
Post the city’s master plan on the official website of Chernihiv city council.
Publicize a long-term city development programme.
Implementation of a quality management system for municipalities is a new requirement that is not common practice in Ukraine yet, but municipalities should strive to apply it if they declare their activities transparent and open.
The Chernihiv Local Community Statute is made public on the official website in the section ‘City Development’, but it is not available in printed form.
The city mayor’s resolutions are duly published on the official website of the council immediately after their technical signing (not later than 5 working days following the signing). However not all resolutions were publicized over the assessment period, which was ascertained through an information request. The same tendency was observed last year.
The website features a ‘Search’ option with an extended search function that allows identifying documents and information messages by website sections and time of their publication.
The city mayor adopted and publicized a resolution on the implementation of the Law of Ukraine ‘On Access to Public Information’ that assigned the function of providing requesters with access to information on the city council to the Department for Public Relations of Chernihiv city council, which is indicated on the official web portal.
Publicize all resolutions of the city mayor.
Upgrade the search options of the website. The existing search system cannot be deemed convenient regardless of some additional opportunities created by the “Extended Search” option. For example, the system does not allow for contextual search in all textual information based on key words.
Information on location, telephone numbers, the schedule of office hours of executive bodies, including chief of executive committee of Chernihiv city council is available on the official website. There is also information on the structure and personnel composition of executive bodies but it cannot be treated as full and complete. There are published general information pieces on heads of executive bodies, including on their powers, as well as main functions and directions of work of the head of executive committee. Compared to the previous year, biographical details on deputy mayors have been posted.
Declaration on property, income, expenditures and financial liabilities of deputy mayors are available in the printed medium The Chernihivski Vidomosti and also on the website of the council. However, a typical declaration form stipulated by the Law of Ukraine ‘On the Principles of Preventing and Combating Corruption’ is not published. The information is presented in a summarized form which only includes some sections of the declaration.
The council website has information on companies, establishments, organizations, and also social sphere institutions within the administration of the city council.
The council website has information on personnel composition of executive committee and its powers. Also, upon the publication of last year measurement results, biographical data on executive committee members was added. Information on location (place of meetings) and telephone numbers of chief of executive committee is also freely accessible.
Over the period under measurement, Chernihiv city council website has updated information on place and time of executive committee meetings with some delay, in the section on ‘Public Information’, subsection on ‘Planned Executive Committee Meetings’.
Draft resolutions by executive committee are available in the section on ‘Regulatory Policy’, in the subsection on ‘Publication of Draft Regulatory Acts’. As to the resolutions themselves, they are timely published in the section on ‘Regulatory Documents’. The printed medium does not fully cover the regulatory legal acts.
Draft agenda of meetings during the period under measurement has been published in the section on ‘Public Information’ (subsection on ‘Planned Executive Committee Meetings’) one day before the meeting while the legal requirement is 5 days in advance.
As to media coverage of regulatory policy implementation by city authorities, it is being implemented on the proper level. The council website has a separate section on ‘Regulatory Policy’ which published the plan of actions to draft regulatory acts for the current calendar year (section on ‘Planned Regulatory Activities’). Announcements with all necessary information and draft regulatory acts are publicized in the ‘News’ section. All draft regulatory acts with the due analysis of regulatory effects are timely published (within 5 working days from the date of announcement publication) on the council website in the section on ‘Publication on Draft Regulatory Acts’.
Annual procurement plan with amendments is also published on the council website.
At the same time, the official web portal of the city council lacks information on services rendered by municipal companies, as well as on privileges for different categories of population. In that respect, only some sporadic announcements are published in the ‘News’ section. The information can be obtained by submitting an information request.
Up-to-date short-term programme for social and economic development of the city (2014) was published on the official web portal. As to local special purpose programmes, the information thereon is available in appendices to the budget (subsection ‘Regulatory Documents’, section ‘City Budget’).
The website has a search system available. However, the system classifies the content in a rather situational manner, thus not always identifying the required requested information. The option for a separate search in the database of regulatory legal acts is available via the Advanced Search function.
Over the last year, no land auctions have been held in the city of Chernihiv.
There is a functioning land cadastre in the city. The unit of urban development cadastre at the Department of Architecture and Urban Development of the city council is in charge of creating, filling in, developing, and keeping records of the urban development cadastre of the city of Chernihiv.
Introduce the practice of land auctions in the city of Chernihiv.
In fact, all information on the deputy composition of Chernihiv city council is available in the ‘Deputy Corps’ section (subsection ‘City Council’) of the council official website. Thus, 80% of all deputies’ profiles have information on location, mailing address, telephone numbers, receiving hours, position in the council, membership in a permanent commission, and some other sporadic biography facts. Most of the information is outdated.
Some information on rights and duties of the city council deputies is summarized in the city council resolution ‘On Regulations of Chernihiv City Council of the 6th Convocation’.
Declarations on property, income, expenditures and financial liabilities of the deputies are not publicized in official media.
Add to the city council website biographical data about all deputies (educational background, work experience, family status, any criminal record, etc.).
Publish typical dorms of declarations of all deputy corps representatives.
Add more contact details for every deputy and publish up-to-date information on the schedule for receiving citizens.
Create a separate section for the convenience of users with information on rights and duties of the deputies.
The Regulations of work of the city council and provisions on the work of permanent commissions are published in the subsection on ‘Regulatory Documents’, in particular in the resolutions by the city council.
Information on the meetings of permanent deputy commissions is regularly published in the ‘News’ section but no separate up-to-date schedule of the meetings has been published during the period under measurement. The schedule is posted only on the entrance to the General Department of Chernihiv city council.
Changes in the composition of permanent deputy commissions are added to a separate entry of a deputy’s profile available on the council official website.
The website also has information on powers and receiving hours of the council secretary. There are also biographical data which was not available last year. Declaration on property, income, expenditures and financial liabilities of the council secretary is published on the council website and in the city council printed paper, but only as a summary. There is no typical declaration form.
Lists and boundaries of majority based constituencies the deputies were elected from were published immediately after the election process in the ‘News’ section. Since presently the website search system fails to identify such information by key words, it is not feasible to find the information. However, it can be found in the department for facilitation of deputies’ activities of Chernihiv city council.
The website has information on major duties and directions of work of the department for facilitation of deputies’ activities which is the body to support the operations of the deputy corps.
Publish in a separate section of the city council website updated information on the composition of deputy factions and any changes therein.
Add information on majority based constituencies the deputies were elected from (they may also be in the form map of constituencies).
Include in the city council website biographical data of the city council deputies.
Resolutions on convening the council session are published on the official website in a timely manner. Draft agenda for the session is published in advance on the council website (pursuant to the regulations). Not all draft resolutions of the council are published on the official website (in particular, those on land issues). They are not always published on time. Instead, the publications are rather sporadic in nature. At times, draft resolutions by the city council are not published 20 days before the commission meeting even though the terms are stipulated by the Law of Ukraine ‘On Access to Public Information’.
Despite the promises on the part of the city council, no electronic voting system has been installed during the period under measurement.
As to deputies’ requests, only some of them are publicized on the website of Chernihiv city council.
The council website contains a resolution stipulating the amount of deputy funds allocated for the execution of deputies’ duties, as well as the procedure of their use.
City council sessions are open for audio and video recordings but the city council website does not broadcast the session. Other mass media use some recordings of some pieces showing them in their reports or programmes.
The voting process had rather been organized with the help of electronic voting system. The city council website shall in timely manner publish personal voting results on all items of the agenda.
The website shall have the plan for reports of city council deputies on their work, as well as all their requests.
Audio and video recordings of the sessions shall be available for viewing live and in recordings.
There is no free access to the minutes of meetings of permanent deputy commissions. As to resolutions adopted at the city council plenary sessions, not all of them are published. Resolutions on land issues are not available in free access.
Provide open access to minutes of meetings of permanent commissions and all resolutions of the city council plenary sessions.
Publish all resolutions in a timely manner.
Chernihiv city council website has a schedule to regulate receiving sessions of the city mayor for citizens which take place twice a month for four hours each. However, as based on the facts we have learned during the period under measurement, it would not be relevant treating this information as up-to-date. Consequently, during the assessment period it has been found out that the procedure of receiving citizens by Chernihiv city mayor fails to meet the schedule or does not take place at all. Thus, volunteers were trying to get an appointment in accordance with the procedure and also visited the building of the relevant structural unit to make sure the meetings do take place. A similar trend was typical of the previous measurement period, too.
Despite the gained experience the website and the official printed paper of Chernihiv city council do publish from time to time information on holding meetings of the kind. As evidence, they provide photographs of the city mayor holding the meetings since he does not delegate this duty to his deputy subordinates.
No separate meetings for some categories of citizens or associations of citizens (such as NGOs) take place, either. It has not become a regular practice of the city council.
The premises where the city mayor is supposed to hold meetings with citizens (the Department for citizens’ requests and social issues of Chernihiv city council) is friendly for disabled persons due to peculiarities of construction design.
The city mayor does not employ any modern ICT such as social media to communicate with citizens.
The city council has a sporadically functioning ‘hot line’ for urgent addresses from citizens but this way of communication of citizens with the city mayor is rarely used.
Over the past year, the city mayor has not initiated any public hearings. However, Chernihiv city council executive committee informed that in August 2013 Serhiy Andros, a former first deputy mayor of Chernihiv city council, organized and held public hearings on public transportation system in the city of Chernihiv even though they resulted in no resolution adopted.
The official website lacks any comprehensive information on the procedure for citizen requests. Citizens do not have any opportunity to learn about the procedure. However, some general information (contact details, receiving hours, etc.) is freely accessible.
There is also an option to file an online request (also to the city mayor) via the website. The section on ‘Ask a Question to Authorities’ is updated on a regular basis. The system duly functions. However, no question submitted during the experiment was published on the city council website since the process is administered.
There is an established Public council at the city mayor in charge of openness and freedom of expression issues. However, it is hardly feasible to record any efficiency of this institution. The conclusion can be made on the basis of comments from mass media.
Other advisory and consultancy bodies such as working groups (task forces) and commissions are headed by the city council secretary and deputy mayors in accordance with their functional authorities.
The body in Chernihiv city council in charge of establishing cooperation with civil society institutions is the Public Relations Department.
Provide for equal opportunities for citizens to get for an appointment with the city mayor.
Create a separate queue for categories of citizens and associations of citizens such as civil society organizations to be received by the city mayor.
Use modern information communication technologies to establish communication with citizens.
Increase the number of ‘hot lines’ with the city mayor.
Decide upon the relevance of functioning of the Public council for openness and freedom of expression issues. Instead, implement efficient public participation tools in local self-government.
It was found out by experiment that citizens can attend executive committee meetings subject to receiving permission to do so, i.e. by submitting a relevant application in writing.
There is free access to the council facilities (offices of structural units).
Information on the procedure for initiating and holding public hearings, as well as for considering their results is consolidated in the Regulation “On Public Hearings in the City of Chernihiv” that can be found on the official website of Chernihiv city council. The Chernihiv Local Community Statute contains information on other public participation mechanisms (local initiative, general meeting of citizens). However the procedure thereof is not properly outlined.
As practice showed, the last public hearing was held in violation of the procedure, and the corresponding resolution was not made.
There are advisory and consultative bodies under the auspices of executive bodies – task forces (working groups). The latter and committees are headed by the city council secretary and deputy mayors depending on the distribution of their functional powers.
Review and refine the Regulation “On Public Hearings in the City of Chernihiv” and the Chernihiv Local Community Statute to eliminate any contradictions.
Adhere to the norms fixed in regulatory documents on the procedure for holding public hearings.
Publish minutes/ shorthand reports on the results of all public hearings held.
Define a detailed and clear procedure for citizens’ access to executive committee meetings by means of policy-making.
Develop and approve legal and regulatory documents that would regulate adequate tools of public participation in local self-governance.
The section “Public Information” contains all necessary data regulating access to public information, specifically data on the procedure for preparing and submitting an information request. This section also features a public information accounting system. The procedure for disputing resolutions (acts or inactivity) of information administrators is published on the council website, as well as request forms to receive public information.
Processes associated with submitting information requests can receive a positive, but not the highest appraisal. An information request can be submitted by all possible means, but the website does not feature a special online form for submitting an information request. Replies to requests are provided within specified time limits, but not with regard to all issues. For example, resolutions on so called land issues are not publicized on the official website, and such information is not provided in response to an information request.
The city council has dedicated places (rooms) to work with documents, specifically the Organization Department (officially designated for this purpose). There are also tables that can be used for this purpose in the General Department and in the Department for Public Relations.
Executive bodies do not charge extra for copying or printing a request response.
Regarding the official web portal of Chernihiv city council, it can hardly be deemed user-friendly. As practice shows, average users are often puzzled by its structure.
Create an online form for submitting an information request on the official website.
Make information on the alienation of land plots public.
Implement a convenient website navigation system. The website interface should be intuitively clear to users, sections and rubrics should be logically organized.
Make it possible and convenient for people with special needs, in particular visually impaired persons, to use the website.
The Center for Rendering Administrative Services (CRAS) has been functioning in the city of Chernihiv since September 26, 2012. The CRAS has its own website that contains information on the procedure for rendering different administrative services and services provided by executive bodies. The CRAS information stands contain information cards describing the procedure for applying for each specific administrative service.
The CRAS receives citizens pursuant to the applicable legislation. It also boasts an electronic queue management system.
Reference and information materials about administrative services are available in the CRAS building. It is also possible to receive information about services via means of telecommunication. The CRAS building houses information stands with samples of relevant documents. There are also application forms (samples) for administrative services.
Besides, the CRAS building is equipped with boxes for feedback and proposals by requesters as to the quality of rendering administrative services.
Local residents who want to attend a city council session have to submit an application addressed to the city council secretary at least one day before the session. The city council grants permission to attend for each individual application. As practice shows, citizens often come without having fulfilled the aforementioned formal requirements.
The city council facilities do not have special conditions in place for the disabled.
Forms of attendees’ participation in the work of the session (questions, speeches, submission of proposals) are defined by the rules of procedure of the city council. The procedure for allowing the attending citizens to speak out during city council plenary sessions is fixed in the Chernihiv Local Community Statute. However it is not clearly outlined and is not made public on the city council website.
The procedure regulating citizens’ access to deputy commissions meetings is also missing on the council webpage, but it is basically the same as the procedure for allowing citizens to attend city council sessions.
Most city council deputies personally receive voters, but practice shows that often the place and location specified in deputies’ personal profiles on the official web portal do not correspond to reality. The lion’s share of contact information posted in this section of the website is outdated.
The procedure for holding public hearings, local initiative and general meetings of citizens is set out in the Local Community Statute. There is also a separate Regulation “On Public Hearings in the City of Chernihiv”. According to experts, this document needs to be reviewed as it is full of contradictions.
The procedure for establishing and operating advisory and consultative bodies is regulated by the Local Community Statute.
City council deputies have not initiated public hearings in the recent year.
Provide the disabled with access to the city council facilities.
Publicize a clear-cut description of the procedure on the website that would enable citizens to participate in the work of council plenary sessions and attend permanent deputy commissions meetings.
Review and refine the Regulation “On Public Hearings in the City of Chernihiv” and the Chernihiv Local Community Statute to eliminate any contradictions.
Develop and approve other legal and regulatory documents regulating other forms of public participation in local self-governance such as local initiatives, general meetings, etc.
The council webpage contains the approved annual report on budget execution with comprehensive information on the status of executing the city’s core financial document.
Programmes for social, economic and cultural development of the city are adopted once a year; results of their implementation are considered at executive committee meetings and laid down in the form of executive committee resolutions; later they are approved by the city council session and consolidated in the form of city council resolutions.
This year, the city mayor has not reported on the work of executive bodies and the implementation of state regulatory policy. There is no practice of the city mayor’s reporting on the work of executive bodies, the implementation of programmes for social, economic and cultural development of the city and special-purpose programmes at an open meeting with the local community.
Chernihiv city mayor does not report on his performance at an open meeting with the local community even though such an obligation is fixed in Article 64 of the Local Community Statute. At the same time, it should be noted that the procedure for the city mayor’s reporting is regulated.
Implement the practice of regular open meetings with the local population where the city mayor reports on the work of executive bodies and the implementation of local special-purpose programmes, etc. Clearly outline this procedure in the Chernihiv Local Community Statute.
Separate the city mayor’s reports.
Publish the city mayor’s reports both on the official web portal of the city council and in its official print medium.
Create a separate section on the official web portal designated for posting reports for various periods and by different entities so that it will be easier for users to search for information.
Executive bodies do not report on their activities to the local community although this obligation is fixed in the Local Community Statute. Reports of executive bodies are not available on the council webpage.
The official print medium of the council does not contain reports of either executive bodies or the city mayor.
Reports on local budget execution are made public, but reports on the status of implementing local special-purpose programmes are not publicized separately.
Executive bodies submit to the council written reports on the process and results of municipal property alienation, but this information is not made public.
Implement the practice of regular public reporting of executive bodies to the local community and to the representative local self-government body.
Publish detailed reports on public information requests processing or publicize all request replies. It would be desirable to create a separate section on the official web portal of Chernihiv city council designated for posting reports by different entities and of various forms.
The city does not have a practice of publicizing information on local budget execution, except the city mayor’s reporting to city council deputies.
Executive bodies’ reports on the process and results of municipal property alienation are not published on the council webpage.
Disseminate information on local budget execution to the local population.
Provide public access to reports on the process and results of municipal property alienation.
All reports on monitoring effectiveness of regulatory acts are published on the council website or in the print media.
Reports on the work of permanent deputy commissions are not published on the council webpage.
The reporting procedure of deputies to the local community is not regulated.
The city council resolution “On Reporting of Deputies and Deputy Factions of Chernihiv City Council to Voters” approved time limits for deputies’ reporting to voters. Last year such reports were posted in the section “Deputy’s Tribune”. However during the current assessment period, not a single deputy’s report was published.
The website lacks information on the amount of money allocated from the deputy funds for citizen needs. Should the need arise, such information can be obtained from the Finance Department of Chernihiv city council.
Fine-tune the process of deputies’ reporting to the local community and post the schedule of deputies’ reporting and actual reports on the web portal of the city council, as well as publish reports on the use of deputy funds.