While the Cabinet is once more trying to restrict citizens’ access to open data, MPs consider introducing requirements for the head of the Ukrainian Center for Educational Quality Assessment and ratifying an agreement about cooperation with NATO.
Better cooperation between Ukraine and NATO
Draft bill # 0173 of November 2, 2022
Sponsor: the Cabinet.
Who is affected: NATO, the Cabinet of Ministers, the Ministry of Defense, the General Staff, the Armed Forces of Ukraine, other military units, and service members.
Summary of the bill: the bill ratifies the Memorandum between the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and the NATO Communication and Information Agency on cooperation in consulting, management, communication, intelligence, and supervision under the framework of the Partnership for Peace NATO program.
Memorandum in a nutshell:
- short-term perspective:
- introduction of modern technologies, communication services, protocols, and data processing in the Ukrainian Armed Forces Management System
- evaluation and introduction of basic and functional services, information technologies for data processing and data representation in the Ukrainian Armed Forces Management System
- procurement of communication and information services for the Armed Forces
- medium-term perspective:
- evaluation of the needs of Ukraine to boost its capacities in defense, operations, and logistics planning
- evaluation and fulfillment of the needs of Ukraine concerning the establishment and especially mutual compatibility of its communication and information systems
- the level of cooperation will depend on the availability of financial resources of Ukraine, NATO member states, and other sources of funding offered by NATO
- the Memorandum is concluded for a period of ten years and can be terminated by mutual consent.
What is right:
- better cooperation between Ukraine and NATO, better cooperation between Ukraine and NATO member states. It is especially important considering the war with Russia
- problem assessment and evaluation of the needs of Ukraine, the introduction of modern technologies and communication services in the Armed Forces Management System
- training and learning on modern technologies and information equipment for service members.
Requirements for the Head of the Ukrainian Center for Educational Quality Assessment
Draft bill # 8188 of November 8, 2022
Cosponsors: Nataliya Pipa, her colleagues from the Holos faction, and representatives of the factions Servant of the People, For the Future, and European Solidarity.
Who is affected: the Cabinet, the Minister of Education, heads of higher education establishments, students, and prospective students.
Summary of the bill:
- provisions that the Ukrainian Center for Educational Quality Assessment is a state agency specifically authorized to conduct the external independent evaluation and participate in the certification of school teachers
- the Head of the Center will be its Director. The Director will be appointed (upon the submission of a proposal by the Ministry of Education) and dismissed by the Cabinet. A candidate for the position has to be a citizen of Ukraine who is fluent in Ukrainian, has at least 10 years of experience in education and at least 5 years of experience in management
- provisions that the Center is the agency carrying out the external independent evaluation.
Why this is important: on October 28, the Cabinet appointed Eduard Tsyrulik as the new head of the Ukrainian Center for Educational Quality Assessment. According to MP Inna Sovsun, Eduard Tsyrulik is a protégé of Maksym Lutskyi, a former MP from the Party of Regions and a godfather to Dmytro Tabachnyk’s child. According to the MP, this appointment could endanger the achievements of the higher education reform, in particular, the external independent evaluation.
What is right:
- the bill makes the Ukrainian Center for Educational Quality Assessment an official agency authorized to conduct the EIE. This will make it impossible to prevent the Center from conducting this vitally important procedure
- the requirements proposed for the position of the Head of the Center should guarantee that an unqualified person will not be appointed to lead this agency.
Justice under martial law
Draft bill # 8168 of November 1, 2022
Sponsor: the Cabinet.
Who is affected: the State Judicial Administration, courts, jurors, lawyers, plaintiffs, defendants, and the public.
Summary of the bill:
- while martial law or a state of emergency is in force, the State Judicial Administration will be allowed to restrict free access to the official web portal of the Ukrainian judiciary in order to protect the information
- if while martial law is in force or within 30 days after it ends it is impossible to make or approve a list of jurors for a territory currently recognized as a combat zone, such a list is approved by the territorial office of the State Judicial Administration
- if the jury was not impaneled within a month, the territorial office of the State Judicial Administration informs the court about this fact. If this happens, the jury is impaneled with jurors from the previous list of jurors.
What is wrong: the Cabinet is trying to restrict citizens’ access to open data while proposing changes to legislation on jury courts. In particular, if martial law or a state of emergency is declared, the State Judicial Administration will be able to restrict access to the Unified Register of Court Decisions, data on the automatic distribution of court cases, information about the court proceedings, etc. This information is of public importance and poses no danger to courts or government bodies.
Alternative solution: even with the war going on, the data of public importance should remain open. By shifting the responsibility for restricting access to such data onto the State Judicial Administration, the Cabinet risks depriving the citizens of information that helps to hold the judiciary accountable. That is why this part should be either excluded from the bill or significantly amended: clarification should be included about which information can be concealed, on what grounds, and for how long.
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