Rating of Kharkiv 2014:
City Mayor publicity
Executive bodies publicity
Publicity of council deputies
Kharkiv city council was measured in the Publicity Index for Local self-governance campaign with the index of 42 % and holds the 20th position in the all-national rating. According to the methodology of measurement, the result qualifies as ‘low publicity level’ category. Apart from Donetsk and Luhansk, the cities with ongoing warfare, thus there are no objective grounds to expect any publicity of local self-governance, Kharkiv is only followed by Kherson and Cherkasy. Such low publicity level of a second largest city in Ukraine cannot be treated as satisfactory.
Kharkivський city mayor turned out to be least public in Ukraine. The measurement results are 36 %. In this context, there are all relevant grounds to consider that such measurements results are not related to health condition of the city mayor. More regulation and improvement are required for the processes and procedures which do not depend on the physical health of a chief official of the city. Thus, the measurement of ‘Publicity Index’ did not on the official website of Kharkiv city council any strategy for the development of the city, or short-term and long-term program for socio-economic development of the city, or the relevant current budget. Despite the fact that the website does include the Documents section, access to resolutions o the city mayor is restricted through the use of invalid security certificate. You can only view the documents after you authorize in a Unified city register of acts.
The low results of the city mayor are also due to his interaction with the public. Only two hours are allocated to personal meetings with citizens. Even more, after a gun-shot injury the mayor has restricted his interaction with citizens and stopped receiving citizens. Field appointments or visits are not regular, either. They usually take place before elections or other important social political events.
At the same time, in terms of publicity level, Kharkiv city mayor has much higher indices. The report on the activity of executive bodies which includes the report on implementation of the program of social and economic development of the city is announced by the mayor at the council plenary session broadcast live on TV and radio. The text of the report is published on the official website of Kharkiv city council. On the other hand, no open meetings are organized to inform local community on the work of the city mayor.
More publicity is revealed in the measurement for executive bodies of Kharkiv city council. In the all-national rating, they hold the 11th position with the index of 59%. The best results for executive bodies are detected in terms of publicizing information on the powers of executive bodies, schedules for receiving citizens by heads of executive bodies and the procedure to apply for administrative services.
The problem still remains about access of local community members to the building of Kharkiv city council. To access the building you need to go through the pass control mode. There is a turn-gate on the entrance where city council employees are on duty to give consultations to visitors. Upon the whole, citizens have a chance to get inside if you provide sufficient arguments for the need or relevance of their stay there. As to mechanisms of public participation, the procedure of holding public hearings, for instance, is stipulated and regulated by the Statute of local community. However, it is not available in a special section for ‘Public Hearings’. The last hearings took place in Kharkiv on May, 23, 2011.
In terms of accountability, executive bodies comply with the requirement s of the law of Ukraine on publicizing reports for efficiency of regulatory acts, and consideration of information requests. At the same time, executive bodies do not report on their activity directly to local community.
As to the deputy corps of Kharkiv city council, their publicity level is even lower than that of the City Mayor. In the all-Ukrainian rating, deputies of Kharkiv city council hold the 20th position with the Index of 31%. The council website contains information on local community representatives and the schedule for their receiving hours. The composition of factions and permanent deputy commissions is presented but the change that had taken place is not updated yet. Despite the fact that official Kharkiv city council website has a separate section for ‘Resolutions of the City Council Sessions’ the page uses invalid security certificate. That is why no free access is available to the documents.
There is an electronic voting system on the website but the data on deputies attending the sessions, on personal voting on specific items of the agenda is not published. No information is detected about the amounts of deputy funds for their performance and the procedure of their use and reporting. The official Kharkiv city council website lacks information on deputies reporting to the voters.
The official website contains biographical data (date of birth, educational background, work experience, party affiliation) of the city mayor, as well as his photograph. However, there is no information on any criminal record (being under investigation and/or conviction), or his family status (even though there is information on the number of his children). The text is manifestly promotional since it contains judgmental statements which are not facts of biography (such as a socially oriented politician, continues to defend the interests of Kharkiv citizens, continues the initiated reforms, conducts systemic work as to providing for support of city life). That is why they would be more relevant for an assessment review, not the curriculum vitae.
In accordance with the law, the declaration on income of Kharkiv city mayor is published on the official website of Kharkiv city council. In particular, it is available in the section ‘Biography of the City Mayor’. The declaration, though, lacks information on income of all family members.
The official Khrakiv city council website only has a mailing address of the city council. There is no information on the official website about the specific location of the city mayor’s work place (such as the office number) or his contact details (such as a telephone number or an email).
Information to help apply for an appointment with the city mayor is published on the council official website in the section on ‘Feedback’. There is no separate procedure for the city mayor to receive group visitors or representatives of legal entities. There are only special requirements for written address from legal entities.
Kharkiv city council official website has no separate page describing the powers of the city mayor or providing the text of the Law ‘On Local Self-Governance in Ukraine’ with the list of powers. At the same time, the description of powers of the city mayor is included in the Statute of Local Community and the Regulations of the City Council that are posted on the website.
The structure of executive bodies of Kharkiv city council includes the unit for relations with media. It is also responsible for the work of a Press centre. Also, there is a position of a press secretary of the city mayor. The press service of Kharkiv city council is extremely active to cover his activities on the official website of Kharkiv city council. Despite the fact that the city mayor had had a gunshot injury and despite the following reduction of his activities, the news reports on his work are regularly published (at least once every several days), even though they are different in intensity. On the other hand, due to the injury, Kharkiv city mayor has significantly reduced the frequency of his meetings with the media. At present, they only take place several times a month.
The search for information on Kharkiv city council official website about full-time and/or part-time assistants and/or advisors of Kharkiv city mayor failed. At the same time, Kharkiv city council official website contains summarized contact information of the council executive bodies (including links to separate websites of these departments and the schedule of personal meetings with citizens).
Kharkiv city council official website has a separate section for ‘Vacancies’. However, announcements on vacancies have been published only since August 2014. The section lacks general information on procedures and conditions for participating in the competition. They only publish announcements on holding the competition for vacancies. The published announcements on competitions for vacancies of managerial positions have all necessary information, such as requirements to candidates, list of documents to be submitted, etc. Announcements are published 30 days before the start of competition. Announcements on competitions for vacancies of managerial positions are published both on the official website of Kharkiv city council, and in the official printed edition of Kharkiv city council ‘Kharkovskiye Izvestiya’. Information on appointments to positions is published on the Kharkiv city council official website in the ‘News’ section. It concerns only a limited number of people (usually, only members of executive committee). Minutes of meetings of competition commissions on the competition results for vacancies (while indicating the number of candidates, the composition of competition commission, etc.) can be obtained by the procedure of access to public information.
Kharkiv city council official website lacks the section on ‘Plan for Strategic Development of the City’. Search through the website for the document with such a title (or a similar document in contents and format with the description of the goal, objectives, directions of strategic development of the city and the implementation plan) via the website search engine did not yield any positive results.
Kharkiv city council official website only has published ‘Main Provisions on Master Plan’.
There is no separate section on the ‘Budget’ on Kharkiv city council official website. The section on ‘Resolutions of the City Council Sessions’ (https://doc.citynet.kharkov.ua/ru/profile/) uses an invalid security certificate. Search for necessary information with the help of a search system by the key word of a ‘budget’ only shows the results from the ‘News’ section.
Also, an invalid security certificate is used by the section of Kharkiv city council official website ‘resolutions of the City Council Sessions.’
There is no separate section on ‘Prognosis for Social and Economic Development of the City’ on the Kharkiv city council official website. The search for this document with the help of the website search system failed.
Submitting a request for public information showed that Kharkiv city council has not introduced a quality management system based on ISO 9001:2008 international standards.
Kharkiv city council official website has a published acting Statute of Local Community of the city.
The Main menu of the official website of Kharkiv city council has a separate section on ‘resolutions by the City Mayor’. However, this page uses an invalid security certificate.
To meet the requirements of the Law ‘On Access to Public Information’, they established a unit for providing access to public information within the Department of Business Records of Kharkiv city council. Information on this department is available on the official website of Kharkiv city council.
Information on the location, telephone numbers, emails, office hours of city council executive bodies and city district administrations is available from the official website of Kharkiv city council. Each department is covered on a separate page here. Some departments have their own websites.
Kharkiv city council official website contains contact details of heads of executive bodies (full name, position, receiving hours). More information on the heads is available from separate websites of some executive bodies of Kharkiv city council.
Biographical data (date of birth, educational background, work experience, family status, criminal record, a photo) of deputy city mayors is available at the city council website. Most deputy mayors are also heads of the city council executive bodies. That is why their contact details are posted on the webpages of respective authorities. Also, the website has information on receiving hours and the procedure for appointments with all heads of executive bodies.
The council website has information on objectives of departments.
Main menu of Kharkiv city council official website has a section on ‘Municipal Companies’ which in fact is a link to a separate website of ‘Kharkiv City Control and Reference Center’ ( http://www.1562.kharkov.ua/ru/enterprises/index/ ). The website contains general information on 44 companies that render housing utilities services (municipal services). It also includes descriptions of all municipal companies of Kharkiv. A separate menu of the official Kharkiv city council website contains special links to the pages on ‘Kindergartens’, ‘Secondary schools’, ‘Higher Schools’, ‘Medical Institutions’, ‘Culture and Sports’, a.o., with the relevant information on the head of each institution and the address (including an email).
Kharkiv city council official website has information on the personnel composition of executive committee. Each executive committee member is presented on a separate page, with a photo and personal details.
The only piece of information on the powers of executive committee available on the official website of Kharkiv city council is Article 35 of the Statute of Local Community on executive committee within the system of local community bodies and officials.
Kharkiv city council official website publishes information on meetings of executive committee only after they take place, in the ‘News’ section.
Agenda of executive committee meeting of Kharkiv city council is not published on the official website.
City council website does not contain a section on ‘Regulatory Policy’. The search for plan of activities to prepare draft regulatory acts for the calendar year of 2014 in the sections on ‘Announcements’, ‘Documents of Departments’, and ‘Department of Entrepreneurship and Consumer Market’ (as well as search on the separate website of the given department) failed to show any positive results.
Draft regulatory acts are published in the ‘Kharkovskiye Izvestiya’ newspaper, on the Kharkiv city council official website, and the websites of separate executive bodies and other institutions.
Announcements on publicizing draft regulatory acts on Kharkiv city council official website are placed in the section on ‘Documents of Departments’ and already contain the draft regulatory acts themselves with the analysis of their regulatory effects. However, they do not always contain information on the term for consideration of remarks.
Annual procurement plans for every executive body and municipal company (with amendments) are published on Kharkiv city council official website in the section on ‘Documents’.
Information on services rendered by Kharkiv municipal companies, as well as their tariffs and rates is available from the website of ‘Kharkiv City Control and Reference Center’. However, the links to the website are available from the official website of Kharkiv city council.
Kharkiv city council official website has information on allocation of housing subsidies: http://www.city.kharkov.ua/uk/subsidii.html. Information on preferences for the disabled persons (news mostly) is available at the website of ‘Kharkiv City Control and Reference Center’.
Information on calculation of tariffs for housing utility (municipal) services (economic justification, formulae, etc.) is not available, even from the website of ‘Kharkiv City Control and Reference Center’.
The council official website does not have published programme for social and economic development of the city. There is no separate section on the ‘Programme for Social and Economic Development’ at the Kharkiv city council official website. Search for this document in the sections on ‘Announcements’ and ‘Documents of Departments’ failed to show any positive results.
The official website of Kharkiv city council search systems only operate within the ‘News’ section.
Kharkiv city council has designed and sustains the urban development cadastre of the city. ‘Provisions on the Urban Development Cadastre of the City of Kharkiv’ were adopted by the resolution of Kharkiv city council on September, 26, 2012, #838/12. The service unit for the urban development cadastre of Kharkiv city council was established on December, 19, 2012, as part of the Department of city building, architecture and land issues.
Kharkiv city council official website only has contact details of the council deputies (public offices of deputies) such as location, mailing address, and telephone numbers.
The council website contains biographical data of all deputies (date of birth, educational background, work experience, family status, criminal record, a photo, party affiliation).
The official website of Kharkiv city council has a Statute of Local Community and Regulations of the City Council. Some articles of the above documents include descriptions of rights and liabilities of deputies.
The council website has information on receiving hours for citizens (days, hours, location) by city council deputies.
Regulations of work of Kharkiv city council and provisions on the work of permanent deputy commissions are available to the public on the council website. The website also has updated information on schedules of meetings of all permanent deputy commissions. It also contains information on the composition of permanent deputy commissions and its changes.
Personal data, descriptions of powers and information on individual appojntments with citizens by the council secretary are scattered through two different pages. As a result, information on opportunities for visits is quite controversial. Declaration on income of the council secretary is posted on the Kharkiv city council official website in the section on ‘Executive Committee Composition’.
Information on the composition of deputy factions is available on the official website of Kharkiv city council but it does not show any changes in the composition of factions, or shifts of deputies between the factions.
Kharkiv city council official website has information on the composition of permanent commissions on two pages: ‘Deputies’, and ‘Commissions’. However, this information is arranged in quite an inconvenient way which is difficult to perceive. None of these pages has any information on changes in the composition of permanent commissions.
Kharkiv city council official website even has an agenda and location for meetings of permanent commissions.
Kharkiv city council official website has information on districts the deputies are ‘allocated’ to, not the constituencies they were elected from. Moreover, they only inform on the district numbers (with no information on the territory the district covers). The map is not available, either.
Kharkiv city council official website has information on two structural units of the city council executive bodies which are responsible for the support of deputy corps. It is a unit to provide for the work of the city council within the Department of Administrative and Economic Activity, and a unit to provide for the work of the city council within the Department of Organizational Work. No information on the functions of these units is available at the council website.
Announcements on holding the council sessions are published on Kharkiv city council official website in the ‘News’ section.
The draft agenda of the plenary session is published on Kharkiv city council official website along with the resolution of the city mayor on convening the session.
The city council has a functioning electronic voting system.
Pursuant to part 6 of Article 3 of the Regulations of Kharkiv city council, ‘publicity of city council meetings shall be provided through their broadcasting on radio and TV’.
Kharkiv city council official website has a separate section on ‘Resolutions of City Council Sessions’. However, this page uses an invalid security certificate.
The council website publishes minutes of meetings of permanent deputy commissions of the city council, and a plan of implementation of voters’ mandate by city council deputies.
The council website does not have a published resolution to regulate the amount of deputy funds for the implementation of mandate and the procedure of their use.
Kharkiv city mayor holds meetings with citizens every second Tuesday of the month from 11.00 a.m. until 1.00 p.m. (i.e., two hours a month). In order to get a personal appointment with the city mayor, you need to apply for it with the officials of the Department of Business Records of Kharkiv city council who work in the regular mode of the city council.
Meetings of the city mayor with citizens beyond the individual receiving hours are quite chaotic in nature; there are some scarce interviews to famous reporters, and also some ‘staged’ meetings with the ‘community representatives’ on the eve of the election. Kharkiv city mayor holds field meetings and appointments that are not regular at all. These measures usually take place before the elections or during other important social and political events (for example, during the Euromaidan). Due to the gunshot injury and attempted assassination, the city mayor has limited his working activities and stopped receiving citizens.
During his term, Kharkiv city mayor has conducted three Internet-conferences.
In the city of Kharkiv, there functions a Kharkiv City Control and Reference Center (tel. – 1562), and also ‘hot’ lines you can use to urgently get in touch with city services. There is no single universal ‘hot line’ in Kharkiv city council for urgent addresses from citizens.
The city mayor is hardly active to initiate public hearings. Last public hearings in Kharkiv took place on May, 23, 2011.
On the official website, citizens can get acquainted with the procedure to submit requests. As to distance online addresses with the help of official website of Kharkiv city council, you can only address a city mayor in that mode.
The executive bodies of Kharkiv city council do not have any separate unit to be responsible for establishing cooperation with civil society institutions. However, the administration of each district of the city of Kharkiv has a section to work with self-organization bodies of citizens as part of Department for Organizational Work and Human Resources.
No open sources provide any information on any opportunities to attend meetings of Kharkiv city council executive committee, or any ways to obtain such an opportunity.
The building of Kharkiv city council has a permit entry system, while the entrance is equipped with a turnstile. Next to a police officer at the entrance, there are also specially assigned city council officials who consult visitors. A citizen can enter a city council building after he or she manages to provide valid arguments for his/her stay in the building.
Last public hearings took place in Kharkiv on May, 23, 2011. The public hearings announced to take place in June 2012 to discuss the master plan of the city never took place.
The procedure for public hearings is stipulated and regulated by the Statute of Local Community. All relevant documents are available in appendices to the Statute published on the official website of Kharkiv city council. Information on other tools of public participation (local initiative, general meeting of citizens) is rather exhaustive and freely available.
Kharkiv city council official website has a separate section ‘On Access to Public Information’ which contains all necessary information, such as the procedure to arrange and submit an information request.
The only available information system that could be treated as the record system for public information of Kharkiv city council is available at the official website of the city council: reestr.tk.
The website has request forms for public information prviding that the data can be obtained in different ways and from different entities. However, the request form for public information is only available in the doc-file format.
Kharkiv city council official website has three options for public information request form. They include requests for natural persons, for legal entities, and for associations of citizens with no status of a legal entity. The council website has a published procedure to dispute resolutions (actions or inactivity) of information administrators.
The website navigation system is reasonably convenient. To be more specific, sections and columns are comparatively logically structured and arranged. The website is also user-friendly for visually impaired persons: http://s.city.kharkov.ua/uk/.
Request for information can be submitted by all possible means, such as by mail, by an email, by fax, via telephone, or in person.
During the measurement of Publicity Index of Kharkiv city council in July-September 2014, no cases have been recorded of unsatisfied public information request, or illegal or unmotivated refusal to attend to a request. Executive bodies meet the deadlines for providing replies to requests which last from 5 to 20 working days, unless within 5 days they send a notice on extension of request processing. Executive bodies provide replies to requests equally on time whether the request was submitted by mail, by an email, by fax, via telephone, or in person. Replies to requests are complete and well-grounded, also when the terms for request processing are extended up to 20 days. The only problem is a complicated and cumbersome procedure to refuse processing public information request. Such a refusal is sent in the written form only (pursuant to the law). That is why those are sent by mail. It takes much more than 5 days for the letter to reach an addressee. Therefore, you can only learn about the refusal much later than within the time allocated for the request processing. However, upon a special request from the requester, officials of the unit for providing access to public information can send a scan copy of the letter of refusal.
The city council has allocated special facilities (room) to work with documents.
The council defined a set amount of costs needed to copy and print a reply to a request over 10 pages. It does not exceed 0.1 % of the minimum salary rate (А4), though. Executive bodies do not take any extra pay for copying and printing of request replies.
The city has established a functioning Center for Rendering Administrative Services.
CRAS has an acting website with information on the procedure for rendering relevant administrative services, the mode of access to a building where requesters can be received, public transportation options, access routes, and parking options. The CRAS website has detailed information on all services provided by executive bodies. The CRAS website and information stands have published information cards on the procedure to receive each administrative service available.
The Centre also has set specific receiving hours for citizens. They are available at least 6 days a week and 7 hours a day, with no lunch breaks. At least 2 days a week the receiving hours are extended until 8 p.m. The CRAS has available an electronic waiting list.
In the building of CRAS, they disseminate free of charge information and reference materials on administrative services. There is an opportunity to receive information on services with the help of telecommunications means (a telephone, an email, other communication means). The building of CRAS has equipped information stands with samples of relevant documents and information required to receive an administrative service without anyone else’s assistance. There are available forms to fill in (samples) to apply for an administrative service.
The building of CRAS has equipped boxes for requesters’ remarks and suggestions on the quality of rendering administrative services. In addition to the box for remarks and suggestions provided by the law, the CRAS also has a conventional (and more common) Book for Remarks and Suggestions.
The city does not have any institution to offer free of charge primary legal assistance to citizens. Even Euromaidan participants are sent by official Kharkiv city council website for primary legal assistance to local units of the Ministry of Justice.
Citizens cannot attend city council plenary sessions in a free and unrestrained manner (with no prior registration). Official documents of Kharkiv city council do not contain any special procedures to regulate opportunities for citizens to speak out at the sessions.
The website does not have any information on the procedure to regulate access of citizens to deputy commissions meetings. Citizens cannot attend meetings of deputy commissions without prior registration, or through the procedure of formal registration (such as giving a notice via telephone).
In fact, monthly personal appointments are held only by few Kharkiv city council deputies out of a hundred. Most deputies perform this duty with the help of their assistants.
The procedure for public hearings, local initiatives, and general meetings of citizens is stipulated in the Statute of Local Community or in a separate council provision. Provisions on public hearings are available in a separate Appendix to the Statute of Local Community. Provisions ‘On Local Initiatives in the City of Kharkiv’ are available in an Appendix 2 to the Statute of Local Community. Provisions ‘On General Meeting of Citizens According to Their Residence in the City of Kharkiv’ are available in Appendix 1 to the Statute of Local Community. Neither the Statute of Local Community, nor any other separate document stipulates the procedure for establishing and/or functioning of collegiate advisory bodies at Kharkiv city council.
In the current year, there have been no public hearings in Kharkiv.
The report on execution of budget is published on the Kharkiv city council official website in the section of ‘Documents of Departments’. There is no single mark on the adoption of this report.
Reporting of Kharkiv city mayor on the execution of programme for social and economic development of the city takes place in the framework of annual general report on the performance of executive bodies of Kharkiv city council.
The report by Kharkiv city mayor on the activities of executive bodies of Kharkiv city council which also includes the report on the execution of the programme for social and economic development of the city is presented by the city mayor at the city council plenary session broadcast live on radio and TV. The text version of the report is published on the official website of Kharkiv city council.
Kharkiv city mayor reports on the implementation of all target programmes as well as on the implementation of state regulatory policy within the annual report on the performance of executive bodies of Kharkiv city council.
City mayor’s report on the work of executive bodies is published on the council website. Statute of Local Community of the city of Kharkiv does not contain any norms on the reporting procedure of the city mayor to local community. There is no separate provision on such reporting, either. City mayor reports on his performance at an open meeting with the local community.
Upon the whole, according to the criteria of ‘Accountability of the City Mayor’, Kharkiv city mayor shows some of the highest results in Ukraine – 47%. In the all-Ukrainian rating, Kharkiv holds the fifth position according to this parameter. It is only preceded by Poltava, Vinnytsia, Kirovograd, and Khemlntskyi. However, some items in the work of Kharkiv city mayor in terms of his reporting need significant improvement.
Executive bodies of Kharkiv city council do not report on their performance directly to the community. Reports by executive bodies to a deputy corps are published on the Kharkiv city council official website in the section on ‘Documents of Departments’.
Reports by executive bodies of Kharkiv city council on the state of affairs are regularly published (usually every three months) on the official city council website in the section on ‘Documents of Departments’.
Reports on results of work with public information requests in Kharkiv city council are published every three months.
Kharkiv city council official website has available detailed information (with mentioning of budget funds administrators) on the structure and scope of local budget expenditures. However, the website publishes quarterly reports on the execution of local budget.
Public presentations of information on local budget execution for 2013 took place at the city council plenary sessions as part of reports by executive bodies.
Information on alienation of municipal property is published on Kharkiv city council official website in the section on ‘Documents of Departments’.
Reports to trace the effectiveness of regulatory acts are published in an official printed matter of Kharkiv city council ‘Kharkovskiye Izvestiya’.
Reports on performance of deputy commissions of the city council are not publicized on the council website.
Neither the Statute of Local Community, nor any other separate special provision defines a procedure for reporting of deputies of Kharkiv city council to the public.
All deputies have informed the city council and the executive bodies on the results of their reporting on performance. Reports by city council deputies are not available from the council website.
Kharkiv city council official website does not have any information on budget funds allocated to the city council deputies’ disposal to tackle problems of citizens. Consequently, there are no reports on the website on spending this money.