Interpellation, remuneration cuts, and civil service applicant pool database: new parliamentary initiatives

25 May 2020
Interpellation, remuneration cuts, and civil service applicant pool database: new parliamentary initiatives
Home > Monitoring > Interpellation, remuneration cuts, and civil service applicant pool database: new parliamentary initiatives

Parliamentary interpellation (3499)

Initiators: 72 MPs, including Yaroslav Zhelezniak (Deputy Chairperson of Holos faction), Dmytro Razumkov (Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada), Ruslan Stefanchuk (Deputy Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada), Davyd Arakhamiia (Chairperson of the Servant of the People faction), and Oleksandr Korniienko (First Deputy Chairperson of the Servant of the People faction).

Who is affected: cabinet ministers, MPs, citizens.

What does it change:

  • the bill proposes to introduce a mechanism of interpellation — to give the Parliament a power to request a meeting with any cabinet minister on a specific issue. If MPs find minister’s work unsatisfactory, they can call for a vote on his or her dismissal.
  • an interpellation can be initiated by at least 45 MPs or a designated Committee;
  • the Chairperson of the Parliament considers a request during 15 days and appoints interpellation date. The consideration period may be extended up to a month;
  • cabinet minster’s dismissal can be initiated by either the Prime Minister or the Parliament.

What is right:

  • Ukraine will benefit if the bill is passed: in a semi-parliamentary semi-presidential republic, it is essential for the Parliament to control the Government;
  • interpellation is a widespread democratic mechanism to hold cabinet ministers accountable to the parliament.

Remuneration cuts for a number of state-paid employees during the lockdown (3492 and 3495)

Initiator: Serhii Hryvko, Servant of the People faction.

Who is affected: civil servants, local government officials, heads and employees of state utility companies, MPs, CEC and National Commission for State Regulation of Energy and Public Utilities members (draft bill 3492); judges and prosecutors (draft bill 3492).

What does it change:

  • the bills propose to set a maximum remuneration limit at 12 minimum wages (near ₴56,676) for civil servants, local government servants, heads and employees of state utility companies, CEC and NCSREPU members, prosecutors, and judges during an emergency situation and 9 months after it ends;
  • a decision to lower the remuneration can be made by the Parliament or the President, ‘leftover’ budget should be spent on handling an emergency situation;
  • those guilty of disregarding the limit are liable to the administrative punishment and deprivation of the right to hold positions in civil service, state utility companies, or any other state-paid or state-subsidized positions.

What is wrong:

  • according to the Constitution, neither the Parliament nor the President can limit remunerations, so such a provision will be declared unconstitutional;
  • judiciary is a separate branch independent from the Parliament and the Government, so an attempt to lower remuneration for judges can be interpreted as an attempt to influence the judiciary. The Constitutional Court in one of its decisions has already indicated that;
  • the bills propose to limit remuneration in case of an emergency situation rather than an emergency state or under martial law. Emergency situation, though, gives no warrant to any restriction on human rights and freedoms;
  • it is unclear who will be punished for disregarding the limit. Persons receiving a remuneration do not decide on their payment, so to punish them will be unfair, and if people responsible for payroll are dismissed, it could cause serious delays in wage payments.

Civil service applicant pool database (3491)

Voted for: a group of MPs, Andrii Klochko (Servant of the People faction) as first signatory.

Who is affected: candidates for the civil service.

What does it change:

  • the bill proposes to create a database of candidates for the civil service that got top scores but lost their competition;
  • people included into the database will receive invitations to apply for similar positions with no need to resubmit their documents;
  • an applicant remains in the database for a year.

What is right:

  • candidates for the civil service with top scores will be able to apply for other positions without doing unnecessary paperwork;
  • the state will have a database of applicants that want to work in the civil service and have necessary knowledge.

What is wrong: the bill does not define who will maintain the database or who and how will update it. Its implementation without a substantial revision is impossible.