"E-Governance At The Local Level"
The 11th Forum of the Network for Free Local Politicians took place in the central Ukrainian oblast centre Dnipro from 10-12 March 2017 on the topic "E-Governance At The Local Level", bringing together forty local councillors and activists from all regions of Ukraine.
On day one, Serhii Loboyko, expert with the Reanimation Package of Reforms and Kyiv-Mohyla-Academy, presented what he sees as the main trends and challenges of the year 2017 in Ukraine in terms of e-governance. For example, the development of citizens’ participation in Ukrainian communities via a “participatory budget” – a presentation of projects, their coordination and implementation. In order to organise such a procedure online technologies are indispensable. But apart from the allocation of funds, the organisation of the projects’ submitting and voting process remains difficult, a problem of the participation of citizens in the control of the implementation of winning projects.
With the chairman of the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Council Hlib Pryhunov the participants had an interesting exchange and discussion on challenges of his work in the oblast.
On day two, participants were introduced to the digitalisation practices of the Dnipro and Lviv municipalities, the e-democracy tools for monitoring and communicating with authorities as well as the practices of the use of e-instruments for public control in Dnipro. The city of Dnipro, as one of the first in Ukraine, has introduced the pre-threshold procurements in the PROZORRO system starting as of 3000 UAH (just over € 100). In addition, indicative prices (prevention of price excess) and pre-contractual monitoring (recommendations for the value of goods/services before procurement) were introduced.
On day three all came together for the #ELFevent „DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES IN THE SERVICE OF COMMUNITY: E-FORMAT OF LOCAL DEMOCRACY“.
Visiting panelists from the Committee of Regions – ALDE were Dainis Turlais from Latvia and Victor Guzun from Estonia; from Ukraine there were Ivan Korzhov, Head of the IT-Department of Lviv City Council and Serhii Karelin, expert with the Kyiv NGO “Eidos”.
Victor Andrusiv from the “Ukrainian Institute for the Future” moderated the debate.
Dainis Turlais mentioned the achievements of his city Riga that holds 1st place in Europe in terms of offering its 700.000 inhabitants internet access from practically everywhere. Moreover, the city police are open and accessible for all citizens, i.e. via a smart phone application that citizens can use, for example, to report a crime. The police promptly react to such notices. Thanks to its high degree of openness and professionalism the police has been voted to be the second most trusted institution in Latvia right after the church!
Victor Guzun informed on Estonian best practices. The Freedom on the Net 2016 Index, compiled by Freedom House, ranked Estonia first in the world. Indeed achievements are impressive, from filing tax returns to voting. 98% of all bank transactions are done on the internet. Prescriptions are handled this way, too, and a personal ID-card is the prerequisite for taking part in all kind of services. e-technologies save time and account for 2% of the country’s GDP. Access to the internet is a state-guaranteed social right of every citizen. In short: All administrative services except for marriage, divorce and real estate purchase are feasible online!
Ivan Korzhov mentioned that Lviv is one of the cities that illustrate new positive trends in implementation of e-tools for development of e-governance and e-democracy in local level. “But we have to go by our own way and not always simply adopt someone's experience and practices in our communities. As well as what is good for Barcelonan citizen not always can be good for citizens of Lviv”, said Ivan Korzhov.
Serhii Karelin informed that Ukraine still has a lot of problems and obstacles must be overcome. But a lot were done over the last 3 years. For example system of public procurements ProZorro, local petitions, participation budgets, open data ets. Citizens finally have access to a large amount of data on state and local finances, different registers and more. All this changes has positive effect on the development of local governments and involvement of citizens in decision-making.