Draft bill #9303 of May 16, 2023
Cosponsors: a group of MPs from the Servant of the People faction
Who is affected: community heads, local self-government bodies, MPs, and Ukrainian citizens
Summary of the bill:
- it will be allowed to dismiss early village, settlement, and city heads in the following cases:
- the fact that the community head had failed to provide or provided inaccurate or incomplete information in response to a request for public information was established by the court
- the fact that the community head had failed to reply to a request for public information submitted by MPs or members of the Accounting Chamber in time, failed to provide information, provided inaccurate or incomplete information was established by the court and the community head was found guilty
- in such cases, the community head is dismissed on the next day after the local council or its executive committee receives a copy of the court’s decision.
Why this is important: Ukraine has significant problems with access to public information. Officials fail to provide the requested information on time, provide incomplete information, or just refuse to provide information, demanding payment for scanning documents, etc. After the beginning of the large-scale invasion by Russia, the situation has only worsened: access to public registries, government websites, etc., has been restricted.
What is right: community heads will be more motivated to provide complete and accurate information in response to requests for public information from citizens, MPs, and the Accounting Chamber.
What is wrong:
- the proposed penalty is too severe. The dismissal of the community head is a punishment not only for the politician but also for their voters and the entire community. Also, some people abuse their right to access public information by requesting from authorities large volumes of information, which are impossible to process in time and in full, and then try to sue the authorities for the failure to provide the requested information
- the bill will make local self-governance less independent. It will introduce leverage to dismiss inconvenient local government officials or eliminate political rivals.
Alternative solution: to restore open access to public information that does not contain state secrets and will not give an advantage to the enemy. In particular, to restore open access to the agendas of the Verkhovna Rada and local councils, the work of parliamentary committees, information about MPs, local councilors, etc.
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