Rating of Vinnytsia 2014:
City Mayor publicity
Executive bodies publicity
Publicity of council deputies
The results of Publicity Index measuring at local self-government bodies in Vinnytsia region placed it in the all-national rating to the second position while giving way only to Ivano-Frankivsk city council. The total Publicity index of Vinnytsia is 67% (out of the maximum 100) which can be classified as the satisfactory publicity level.
The generalized index, though, is the result of adding the publicity indices of a City Mayor, executive bodies, and the council deputies. Even though the Vinnytsia city council also holds the second position in the all-Ukrainian rating, the publicity level of each of the three objects is different.
Thus, the City Mayor publicity index is 67% out of the maximum standard. Personal and contact information, list of powers, the declaration on property, income, spending, and financial liabilities of the city head (the acting mayor at the moment of measuring) are freely accessible. The city head pays sufficient attention to establishing quality communication with the community. For example, there are advisory and consultancy bodies established and functioning at the City Mayor, such as public councils and specialized working groups. To communicate with the citizens, the City Mayor is actively using modern information communication technologies. Also, it is also possible to send an electronic request addressing not only the city head, but also his deputy heads, directors of all structural units (35 officials of the city council in total). Another positive practice is the functioning online chat with the operations control center of the city. Significant attention is paid to making public the information on the city budget, on procedures, terms and results for vacancy competitions. Also, regulatory and strategic documents of the city council are posted publicly.
At the same time, there is no information available for public access about assistants and advisors of the City Mayor. Most of the city master plan documents are not made public, nor are there any forecasts for social and economic development of the city for the mid-term period (5 years), etc. It is worth noting that the procedures for making appointments for visits of City Mayor is too complicated. It is hardly possible to get a visit to the City Mayor on first attempt, while there is no alternative for a separate procedure of receiving proactive citizens or other interest groups have not been developed. In order to raise accountability and publicity levels of the City Mayor, it is also important to legally regulate and introduce the practice of reporting for the City Mayor about his performance at the open meeting with local community members at least once a year.
Publicity level of executive power of Vinnytsia city council amounts to 69%. The web portal contains information on all companies, institutions and organizations within administration of the city council. It also has available all resolutions and documents of executive bodies, and data on land auctions. They also inform about time and place of executive committee meetings, while any citizen may attend the meeting after due registration procedures.
Starting from 2008, the city has acting Centre for Administrative Services ‘A Transparent Office’. It is peculiar in active use of modern information communication technologies. They have installed the system of electronic waiting lines, information terminals for self-service of citizens, electronic assessment tools, a video surveillance system. With the help of a “Personal Citizen Room’ you can order some administrative services at a distance. Another positive practice is the functioning of online chat to contact the Center employees, and also the tool ‘Subsidy Calculator’ anyone can use online to calculate the provisional eligible amount on entering the relevant data.
Besides, some drawbacks include lack of information on the powers of executive committee, data on the cost of services provided by municipal companies, on privileges for different categories of citizens as to different types of services, calculation formula for tariffs for utility services, protocols or minutes of the public hearings held. There are no practices for reporting by executive bodies on their performance before the community (at open meetings). Executive bodies should try to increase the culture of answering to information requests. They should make sure all answers to the requests be clear and full, as well as sent within the terms stipulated by the acting law. Information reference materials distributed by the Center for Rendering Administrative Services on provision of services need significant amendments (information and technological cards, etc.).
Even though the publicity rating of Vinnytsia city council deputies is among the highest of all other regional centers, the 55% index is classified as the low publicity level. Main drawbacks detected by the monitoring include the lack of written reports by deputies and no unified procedures for reporting to voters; no free access to some important information on activities of the council deputies such as declarations of property, income, spending and financial liabilities; individual voting results by deputies; resolution regulating the amount of deputy funds for the execution of powers and the procedures of their use; implementation plan for voters’ mandate execution by the deputies, etc. Transparency and accountability of the deputies can be increased by the introduction of online broadcasts of the city council sessions, as well as the improvement of the procedure and the introduction of practice of regular reporting of all deputies to the voters.
It is positive that the website contains exhaustive bios and contact details of the city council deputies, also data on place and time for citizen visits. Decisions on the convening of meetings, draft agendas for the plenary sessions and resolutions of the city council, minutes of the commission meetings are publicized on time. Citizens have an opportunity to attend the city council sessions and the meetings of deputy commissions after prior registration. There is a procedure in place to allow citizens unimpeded addresses at the city council plenary sessions, participate in deputy commissions meetings. Disabled persons can enjoy due access to the city council facilities.
Due to the fact that on February, 27, 2014, Vinnytsia city mayor Groysman Volodymyr Borysovych was appointed as a Vice Prime Minister, a Minister for Regional Development, Construction, and Housing, the duties of the city mayor at the moment of measurement were performed by Vinnytsia city council secretary Morhunov Serhiy Anatoliyovych. That is why, the focus of measurement for publicity levels was on the acting city mayor of Vinnytsia.
Vinnytsia city council website has a photograph and almost full biographical data of the acting city mayor but there is no date of birth, data on any criminal record, or political party affiliation.
A scanned declaration on property, income, expenditures and financial liabilities of the acting city mayor is published on the city council web portal. The official printed edition has all data mentioned in the declaration.
The schedule of the mayor to meet citizens and the application procedure are published only on the website while the notice board lacks the information. There is no separate procedure for the city mayor to receive initiative groups of citizens or other interest groups (NGOs, trade unions, religious organizations, etc.). Therefore, initiative groups of citizens can meet the mayor pursuant to general procedures.
The acting city mayor regularly contacts journalists in person (two to three times a month) at press-conferences, briefings, interviews, live broadcasts at local television stations, etc. The official website also regularly covers activities of the acting city mayor. However, it takes place not on a daily basis but at least twice or three times a week.
The official website has detailed contacts of officials of the city council and the subordinate units. As to each department and unit, there is information available on the managerial staff, structure, tasks, and provisions of the respective unit. Information is provided about each employee such as position, telephone number, email, office number, a photo. At the same time, there is no any information on assistants and advisors of the city mayor (full-staff – executive support services, and part-time ones).
Detailed information on the procedures and terms for participating in a competition for vacancies is also publicized on the city council official web portal. Announcements on all valid competitions for managerial vacancies (heads of units, departments and boards) is timely publicized by all possible means such as in a printed edition and on the official website. There is free access (on the website) to resolutions by the city mayor on appointments to managerial positions / holding vacancies. Upon submitting a relevant information request you can receive minutes of meetings of competition commissions for vacancies with the number of candidates and the composition of a competition commission indicated.
The official website has a plan for strategic development of the city ‘Vinnytsia 2020’. The document contains a description of the goal, tasks, strategic development trends for the city, and the action plan.
The master plan of the city published on the official website lacks all necessary information. There is a general drawing of the Master plan, city zoning plan, lists of architectural monuments, catalogue of streets, etc. At the same time, there are no graphic materials stipulated by the acting law while the descriptive part of the Master plan is not full, either. The Master plan of the city has restricted access information such as information classified for official use only.
There is only one map on the premises of a local self-government body. Access to other materials of the Master plan published on the website can be obtained by using self-service information terminal installed on the ground floor of the city council building.
The official web portal hosts a resolution by the council on adopting city budget for the current year (with all appendices). Also, there are resolutions on adopting changes to the city budget. At the same time, up-to-date version of the city budget (expenditures, income) is not available on the website.
The official website of Vinnytsia city council hosts a short-term programme for social and economic development of the city (1 year long), while the mid-term forecast for social and economic development of the city (for 5 years) is not published.
Since June 2006, Vinnytsia city council executive bodies have been gradually implementing a quality management system in accordance to the standard EN ISO 9001:2000. In May 2007, certification audit took place for the implemented quality management system. In 2010, re-certification audits were conducted by BSI Group Polska auditors. As a result, certificates of compliance of local self-government body powers with an international standard ISO 9001:2008 were issued. The last certificate is valid until July, 29, 2016.
The city council pays sufficient attention to timely publication of municipality’s regulatory documents. All resolutions by the city mayor are published on the council official website in a timely manner. The website has an option for convenient document search by different criteria such as date, document title, words from the text, format, etc. Moreover, the current Statute of Local Community of the city is published on the city council website. It is also published in the printed edition, the Vinnytska Hazeta newspaper.
Pursuant to the resolution by the city mayor #129-р of May, 06, 2011, the unit for processing requests at the city council and its executive committee is identified as a special unit for providing access to public information in accordance with the set procedures; it is also in charge of consideration, processing, keeping records, systematizing, analysis and offering replies to information requests submitted to the city council and its executive bodies. It also offers consultations while filing the requests. The website has detailed information on the structural unit.
The city council web portal hosts detailed information on location, contact telephone numbers, emails, office hours of the council executive bodies, as well as details on their structure and personnel composition. There is also full information on all heads of executive bodies (departments and boards), and the schedule for heads of executive bodies to meet citizens but there is no explained application procedure for appointments.
The official website hosts scanned copies of declarations on property, income and expenditures of deputy city mayors which also include information on property, income and financial liabilities of their family members. The official printed edition of the council publishes information from declarations.
The web portal contains details on all companies, institutions and organizations (heads, contact details, areas of responsibility) within the city council administration. Also, there is information (heads, contacts) on social sphere institutions and organizations (educational, medical, social security, cultural establishments, etc.) within the city council administration.
The official website of the city council has information on the place for meetings and telephone numbers of the executive secretary. Also, the council website contains information on personnel composition of executive committee. There are photographs and biographical data of circa half of executive committee members.
There is free access to the resolution by the city mayor on distribution of functions between the city mayor, the city council secretary, first deputy mayor, deputy mayors, and the executive committee secretary. At the same time, information on powers and of executive committee is not available on the website.
Relevant up-to-date information on place and time for executive committee meetings is timely published on the city council website in the section on ‘News/Planned Media Events’.
All executive committee resolutions are publicized on the city council website in a timely manner but printed media only publish part of executive committee regulatory legal acts. Draft agendas are also published on the website.
The official printed edition publishes all information on plan of actions to prepare draft regulatory acts for the next calendar year. All draft regulatory acts with the respective analysis of regulatory effect are posted on the council website or in the Vinnytska Hazeta newspaper. Resolutions on a regulatory act coming into force and on their contents are also published in an official printed edition.
Annual procurements plan and the amendments thereto are published on the council website.
The city council website has information on all services rendered by municipal companies but there is no information on their cost, on privileges for different categories of population and as to different kinds of services, tariff calculation formulae for utilities services. At the same time, the website offers an option for ‘Subsidy Calculator’. Upon entering the respective data anyone can calculate online the provisional amount of subsidies s/he is entitled for.
The council official website has a published short-term programme for social and economic development of the city with all appendices. Also, there is information on local special purpose programmes funded from local budget.
The city council website has the following information on city council deputies such as location, contact telephone numbers, photographs, and detailed biographical data (date of birth, educational background, work experience, family status, criminal record, a photo, political party affiliation). There is also information on the schedule to receive citizens (days, hours and place for appointments) by the city council deputies.
However, there is no email and mailing address of deputies. There are no details on their property status (declarations on property, income and expenditures), or on rights and duties of the city council deputies.
Regulations of work of the city council and provisions on the work of permanent commissions are available in free access on the council website. The website also has up-to-date information on schedules of meetings of all permanent deputy commissions and on their composition. At the same time, there is no information on changes in the composition of commissions and on composition of deputy factions and changes therein.
The city council website hosts information on powers, schedule of meetings with the council secretary and his biographical data. Declaration on property, income, expenditures and financial liabilities of the council secretary (with the relevant information on family members) is published on the council website and in an official printed edition.
Also, the web portal hosts lists and description of boundaries of the majority based constituencies the city council deputies were elected from. There is information on location, mailing address, contact telephone numbers and emails, as well as duties and functions of the council secretariat.
Resolutions on convening the council are published on the city council website and in the city council printed edition in a timely manner (at least 10 days before the session). Draft agendas of the session and plenary meetings are publicized on the website in due time. All draft resolutions of the council are also posted on the city council web portal in a timely manner (at least 20 days before the session).
The city council uses a Viche electronic voting system. Information on registration of deputies at plenary sessions and personal voting results are not made public.
All resolutions adopted at plenary sessions are publicized on the city council website within 10 days after the session. The website also has minutes of all meetings of commissions. At the same time, there is no available the following information: resolution to regulate the amount of deputy funds for the fulfillment of their duties and the procedure of their use, deputy requests, implementation plan of voters’ mandate by the deputies.
Online streaming of the city council sessions is not available. However, all sessions are recorded and broadcast on the same day on a local television station in prime time, and also on the next day. Recordings of meetings of previous sessions are not posted on the website.
The city mayor / acting city mayor hold meetings with citizens on a regular basis. They meet citizens at a set time, and at a fixed address. At the same time, the application procedure for an appointment with the city mayor is complicated enough. First, you need to get an appointment with the relevant dedicated deputy mayor. In the case he is not able to settle the problem a citizen can apply for a meeting with the city mayor. The city mayor personally meets a citizen in the presence of the relevant deputy mayor who had been considering the case but failed. A drawback to this is that the meetings are held not systematically, and they do not always meet the schedule indicated on the website. A citizen who had applied for the meeting to the acting city mayor receives a telephone call in advance to be informed about the time and place for the meeting.
From time to time, at least once in a month, the acting city mayor conducts field visits with community members.
There are all necessary conditions provided for the disabled persons in the premises of the city council, including also to the office where the mayor meets citizens.
The acting city mayor is quite active to use modern ICT to communicate with citizens. Even though the Facebook profile and profiles in other social media are not presently active, citizens can communicate with him via the resources available on the city council website such as ‘Citizen Requests’ and ‘City Map’. Also, you can submit an online request to the city mayor through the website Moya Vinnytsia (My Vinnytsia) which has allocated pages for that.
The city council has a functioning ‘hot line’ for urgent addresses from citizens to the city operations control centre Tsilodobova Varta (Round-the-clock Guard). Since May 2014, the website has started an option of an online chat for more urgent and convenient communication with the ‘hot line’ operators.
There are established and functioning advisory consultancy bodies at the city mayor such as public councils (the Council of Entrepreneurs, the Council of Vinnytsia Producers, Vinnytsia Youth Council) and specialized working groups (task forces).
Over the last year, there have been no public discussions (public hearings, general meeting) initiated by Vinnytsia city mayor. Consultations with the public initiated by the city mayor have not been numerous, either.
There is free access in Vinnytsia city council to the premises located on the ground floor which host the centre for rendering administrative services ‘Transparent Office’, office for citizen requests, and an administrative support office. Access to other facilities is restricted with turnstiles. Thus, citizens can access other offices only when accompanied by a city council officer.
Citizen can attend executive committee meetings upon registering in advance at the Office for Citizen Requests of the city council by submitting the written application.
The city council website has detailed information on the procedures for public hearings such as a procedure for initiating and holding the hearings, and also accounting for their results, etc. Also, there is free access (in the Statute of the City) to information on other public participation mechanisms (local initiative, general meeting of citizens).
The city council official website has a separate section ‘On Access to public Information’ with all relevant information such as the procedure to file and submit an information request, the procedure for disputing resolutions (acts or inactivity) of an information administrator, list of official use information, etc. There is also a functioning system for keeping record of public information.
A request for information can be submitted by all possible means such as by mail, by an email, via telephone, and in person, but the website does not offer any special online request form.
In most cases, executive bodies managed to meet the deadlines replying to the requests. However, some replies to requests submitted by regular mail arrived with some delay.
Since 2008, Vinnytsia has had a functioning Centre for Rendering Administrative Services ‘Transparent Office’. Presently, the city has a functioning chief office and three district offices of the Centre.
The CRAS has a separate website with information on the procedures for rendering administrative services, access mode to the premises where requesters are received, and other important information on the CRAS operations.
The Centre for Rendering Administrative Services ‘Transparent Office’ is open from Monday to Friday, eight hours a day (7 hours on Friday) with no lunch breaks. However, there is no day for the Centre to be open until 8 p.m., or on Saturday.
The CRAS has n electronic waiting line. There are information self-service terminals, equipped boxes for citizen remarks and suggestions as to improving quality of rendering administrative services. Every work place is equipped with an automated quality assessment system. The CRAS management continuously analyze the remarks, assessments and suggestions received. They also take the required measures to improve quality of public services rendered by the CRAS.
A visitor can apply in advance to access the Centre upon personally addressing an administrator (consultant, expert) in an on-line mode on the personal profile page or by a telephone contacting the consultant of the ‘Transparent Office’.
The city has a functioning Legal Consultancy Centre ‘Vinnytsia City Legal Clinic’. It offers free of charge legal aid to citizens. Vinnytsia City Justice Department has a functioning Public Office to offer free of charge legal aid to all categories of population.
Citizens have a chance to attend city council sessions and meetings of deputy commissions upon prior registration by submitting a written application to the office for citizen requests at least a day before a session or a meeting (due to a limited amount of seats available).
There is a procedure to allow citizens freely speak at the city council plenary sessions and participate in meetings of deputy commissions. However, the information is not available on the website.
All city council deputies conduct regular meetings with voters at a set time and in a fixed place. In most cases, these are personal appointments with the deputies but sometimes the meetings are also held (or completed) by their assistants. Some solitary cases when deputies and their assistants left the meetings place before the end of the allocated time for appointments.
The procedure for public hearings, local initiative and general meeting of citizens are regulated in the Statute of Local Community and separate provisions of the city council.
Vinnytsia city council website has an annual report adopted by the council on budget implementation with all necessary details on the current implementation status for the main financial document of the city. There are some separate pages with information on general and economic structure of city budget expenditures, information on spending for social security issues and welfare provisions, information on execution of the city budget according to income and expenses.
The city mayor regularly informs citizens on implementation of social and economic development programmes at the city council session and during public hearings (which can be attended by anyone willing to). The event is usually preliminary announced in the Vinnytska Hazeta newspaper.
Reports on implementation of special purpose local programmes are brought forward for the consideration of the city council and the executive committee while the adopted resolutions are published on the website.
The city mayor annually reports to the city council on implementation of state regulatory policy by the council executive bodies. Printed media and the website publish the annual report on the implementation of state regulatory policy by executive bodies.
Moreover, the city mayor reports to the council on the work of executive bodies. However, the respective report by the city mayor is not published on the council website.
Vinnytsia city mayor annually reports on his work at the city council session which can be attended by anyone willing to. At that, the city mayor’s report is broadcast on the VITA television channel and published in the official printed edition. At the same time, there is no practice in the city to hold open meetings with the community for the mayor to report to them.
All executive bodies report on their performance to the city mayor. However, the reporting of executive bodies to local community is not practiced, while information on place and time of reporting of executive bodies is not publicized. The city council website only has reports for part of executive bodies over the last year. Besides, they are posted in the general section on ‘City Council Resolutions’. Therefore, they can only be found through the website search system.
The city council web portal has a report on implementation of programmes for social, economic and cultural development of the city, and final reports on implementation of special purpose programmes. However, they are posted not on a separate page but in the section on ‘City Council Resolutions’ and on the pages of respective departments. Interim reports on the course of implementation of local special purpose programmes are not offered upon request and, therefore, are not made public. Executive bodies submit to the council written reports on the course and results of municipal property alienation.
The council website publishes reports on processing requests for public information which only contain general data.
The city council website has information on the scope and structure (general and economic) of local budget expenditures but no administrators of budget funds are indicated. There are also published quarterly reports on the fulfillment of local budget over the current year.
There is no published detailed information on financial resources (structure and scope of expenditures of local budget, procedures and mechanisms of their spending) spent to support operations of a local self-government body, and executive bodies in particular. The city has implemented practice for public presentation of information on execution of local budget over the previous year.
Reports on monitoring the effectiveness of regulatory acts are published on the council website.
All permanent deputy commissions report to the city council. Reports on the work of permanent deputy commissions are posted on the city council web portal.
The Statute of Local Community and the Regulations of Vinnytsia city council stipulate the general principle for deputies’ reporting. Every deputy (and a political party faction in the city council) shall regularly (not less than once in a year) report on their performance to the voters of the respective constituency. At the same time, no detailed procedure or specific deadlines for reporting are stipulated additionally. Also, there is no schedule for reporting available or any relevant up-to-date reports on the work of deputies on the website.
Also, the website lacks information (report) on the sums allocated from deputy funds for citizen needs.