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Ukraine

Access to Communist-Era Archives (UA0037)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Not Attached

Action Plan Cycle: 2014

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ukranian Institute of National Remembrance

Support Institution(s): Ministry of Culture, State Archive Service, Ministry of Justice, NGO "Centre for Researching Liberation Movement," other unspecified NGOs and international organisations

Policy Areas

Legislation & Regulation, Records Management

IRM Review

IRM Report: Ukraine End-of-Term Report 2014-2016, Ukraine IRM Report 2014 – 2015

Starred: Yes Starred

Early Results: Outstanding Outstanding

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Ensuring citizens’ unhindered access to public information by means of: developing and submitting to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine in due course a draft law regulating the procedure and conditions of access to archives of the USSR internal affairs bodies and secret services of 1917-1991 Expected result: relevant draft law endorsed by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, submitted to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, and followed up until adoption Lead institution: Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance Supporting institution(s): Ministry of Culture, State Archive Service, Ministry of Justice, NGO "Centre for Researching Liberation Movement," other unspecified NGOs and international organisations Start date: Not specified End date: 31 December 2014

IRM End of Term Status Summary

✪ 5.3. Access to Communist-era archives

Commitment Text: 5.3. Ensuring citizens’ unhindered access to public information by means of: developing and submitting to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine in due course a draft law regulating the procedure and conditions of access to archives of the USSR internal affairs bodies and secret services of 1917-1991.

Expected result: relevant draft law endorsed by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, submitted to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, and followed up until adoption.

Lead institution(s): Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance

Supporting institution(s): Ministry of Culture, State Archive Service, Ministry of Justice, NGO “Centre for Researching Liberation Movement,” other unspecified NGOs and international organisations

Start date: Not specified                                                         End date: 31 December 2014

Commitment aim

The commitment sought to grant access to documents the Soviet regime kept secret for many years, as well as post-independence documents from 1991 onward. It set an ambitious goal of breaking from Ukraine’s totalitarian past, by allowing researchers and others to examine archives that document crimes of the previous regime, and enforce the right to truth.

Status

Midterm: Complete

The government exceeded the planned implementation of the commitment. It submitted the draft law developed by NGOs and the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance to Parliament in early April 2015 and, days later (on 9 April 2015), Parliament adopted the law in the first and final reading.[Note 21: http://bit.ly/1hKjXrb. ] The Law on Access to Archives of Repressive Bodies of the Communist Totalitarian Regime of 1917-1991 determined special procedures for accessing relevant archives, and lists grounds for restricting such access.

The law mandated that law enforcement, security, and other agencies transfer relevant archives they possess to a special state archive, to be set up and managed by the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance.[Note 22: Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) Progress Report 2014-15: Ukraine, 36-37. ] The new law includes information about the struggle for Ukrainian independence in the 20th century, political persecutions carried out by repressive Soviet bodies on Ukraine’s territory from 1917-1991, human rights violations committed by Soviet agencies, World War II events in Ukraine, and technological incidents and catastrophes in the country between 1917 and 1991. All this information is of high interest to the public, and was suppressed for a very long time.[Note 23: Ibid, 37. ]

Did it open government?

Access to information: Outstanding

Since the midterm assessment, government agencies took additional steps to implement the new law. In particular, the Ministry of Justice (which is in charge of the State Archive Service) updated its procedures for the use of archives held by state bodies or local communities, to align them with the new law. Public archive institutions published on their websites information regarding the employees responsible, by law, for allowing access to the archives of repressive bodies; lists of archives of repressive bodies in their possession; as well as information about valid restrictions on access to such archives. After a significant delay, the government issued a decision, in December 2016, to set up the Sectoral State Archive of the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance to track, keep, restore, and provide access to the records covered by the law.[Note 24: See text of the decision at http://bit.ly/2iw7HPY.]

The law on access to the archives of repressive bodies transformed ‘business as usual’ in the area of national archives and remembrance by opening government. It allowed dispersed archives of high public interest to be consolidated under one institution, and simplified access to such archives for researchers, relatives, and others. The law provided an effective mechanism to ensure respect for the right to truth. According to one of the drafters of the law and current head of the Security Service’s Archive, the implementation of the law resulted in a significant increase in the number of access requests addressed to archives. It also resulted in the proactive publication by archives of the descriptive list of relevant collections and documents they hold. Another result was the increase in the number of requests to obtain rehabilitation of persons whose rights were infringed by the totalitarian communist system.[Note 25: Written interview with Andriy Kohut, head of the specialised archive of the Security Service of Ukraine. See also reports and analytics on the access to archives following adoption of the Law: http://bit.ly/2nw0nUg, http://bit.ly/2nhlp7u, http://bit.ly/2nMFOVP. ] According to the head of the Security Services Archive, more than 87,000 individuals accessed the archive in 2015. Compared to the first quarter of 2014, the number of requests in the first quarter of 2016 increased threefold.[Note 26: Ukraine Crisis Media Center, Open Access to Archives Allows Citizens to Learn about their Families, 20 April 2016, http://uacrisis.org/ua/42323-dostup-do-arhiviv.]

The law also permits citizens to copy archives free of charge, which furthered access and interest in the archives.[Note 27: Written interview with Andriy Kohut. ]

Carried forward?

The commitment was completed, hence, was not carried over to the new action plan.


Commitments

  1. Expand budget transparency system

    UA0087, 2020, Anti-Corruption

  2. Transparency of public assets

    UA0088, 2020, Access to Information

  3. Create general education distance learning system

    UA0089, 2020, E-Government

  4. Open Science

    UA0090, 2020, Access to Information

  5. Online platform for patents and innovation

    UA0091, 2020, Capacity Building

  6. Audit of beneficial ownership register

    UA0092, 2020, Anti-Corruption

  7. Expand uses for e-democracy platform

    UA0093, 2020, Access to Information

  8. Electronic system for transparency in extractive industries

    UA0094, 2020, Anti-Corruption

  9. Establish National Centre for Open Data Competence

    UA0095, 2020, Access to Information

  10. Digital accessibility for persons with disabilities

    UA0096, 2020, E-Government

  11. Increasing youth participation in policy

    UA0097, 2020, Capacity Building

  12. Publish information related to road system

    UA0098, 2020, E-Government

  13. Register for infrastructure contract information

    UA0099, 2020, Anti-Corruption

  14. Publish gender-disaggregated open data

    UA0100, 2020, Access to Information

  15. Infrastructure Data Portal

    UA0070, 2018, Anti-Corruption

  16. Open Standard for e-System

    UA0071, 2018, E-Government

  17. Ensuring Openness and Transparency of Selling Public Assets and Property

    UA0072, 2018, E-Government

  18. Transparency in Public Procurement (Prozorro)

    UA0073, 2018, Access to Information

  19. Awarenss Raising About Social and Economic Development

    UA0074, 2018, Aid

  20. e-Calls for Proposals to Support CSOs

    UA0075, 2018, Civic Space

  21. Beneficial Ownership Registry

    UA0076, 2018, Anti-Corruption

  22. Anti-Corruption Training

    UA0077, 2018, Anti-Corruption

  23. Publishing Environmental Information

    UA0078, 2018, E-Government

  24. Database of Natural Resources

    UA0079, 2018, Access to Information

  25. Interactive Map of Mines

    UA0080, 2018, E-Government

  26. Priority Electronic Services

    UA0081, 2018, Citizenship & Immigration

  27. Online Platform for Executive Bodies and CSOs

    UA0082, 2018, Civic Space

  28. EITI Online Data

    UA0083, 2018, Access to Information

  29. Electronic Resources for Education

    UA0084, 2018, Access to Information

  30. Online Verification of Education Certificates

    UA0085, 2018, E-Government

  31. Free Access to National Repository for Academic Texts

    UA0086, 2018, E-Government

  32. Administrative Service Decentrilisation and Improvement

    UA0057, 2016, Capacity Building

  33. United State Portal Extension; Electronic Government Information Services Unification; Modern Tools for Electronic Identification

    UA0058, 2016, Capacity Building

  34. System for Entities Performing Government Functions

    UA0059, 2016, Anti-Corruption

  35. Free Urban Planning Documentation

    UA0060, 2016, E-Government

  36. Beneficial Ownership Verification System

    UA0061, 2016, Anti-Corruption

  37. CoST Beneficial Ownership Standards

    UA0062, 2016, Anti-Corruption

  38. Transpartent Budget System

    UA0063, 2016,

  39. Starred commitment Open Public Procurement

    UA0064, 2016, Access to Information

  40. Starred commitment Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative

    UA0065, 2016, Anti-Corruption

  41. Environmental Public Monitoring

    UA0066, 2016, Access to Information

  42. Community Policing System

    UA0067, 2016, Education

  43. Draft Law on Public Consultations

    UA0068, 2016, Legislation & Regulation

  44. Development of E-Democracy.

    UA0069, 2016, Anti-Corruption

  45. Improve Government Rules on CSO Involvement

    UA0031, 2014, E-Government

  46. Financing of Charities

    UA0032, 2014, Civic Space

  47. Not-For-Profit Status for CSOs

    UA0033, 2014, Civic Space

  48. Public Participation Law

    UA0034, 2014, E-Government

  49. Establishing Rules on Processing Official Information

    UA0035, 2014, Access to Information

  50. Access to Urban Planning Documents

    UA0036, 2014, E-Government

  51. Starred commitment Access to Communist-Era Archives

    UA0037, 2014, Legislation & Regulation

  52. Starred commitment Draft Law on Open Data

    UA0038, 2014, Access to Information

  53. Starred commitment Supervisory Mechanism for the Right to Information

    UA0039, 2014, Access to Information

  54. Compliance with EITI

    UA0040, 2014, Anti-Corruption

  55. Monitoring of Infrastructure Projects

    UA0041, 2014, Anti-Corruption

  56. Adopt Regional Anti-Corruption Programmes

    UA0042, 2014, Anti-Corruption

  57. Corruption Risk Assessment Methodology

    UA0043, 2014, Anti-Corruption

  58. Starred commitment Asset Disclosure on a Single Web Portal

    UA0044, 2014, Anti-Corruption

  59. Law on Administrative Procedure

    UA0045, 2014, Legislation & Regulation

  60. Law on Streamlining Payment of Administrative Fees

    UA0046, 2014, E-Government

  61. Administrative Services Portal

    UA0047, 2014, Access to Information

  62. Draft Law on Decentralisation of Administrative Services

    UA0048, 2014, Legislation & Regulation

  63. Draft Law on Social Services

    UA0049, 2014, E-Government

  64. e-Government Laws

    UA0050, 2014, E-Government

  65. Electronic Readiness Assessment

    UA0051, 2014, E-Government

  66. Government Regulations on Open Data

    UA0052, 2014, Access to Information

  67. Electronic Democracy Development Roadmap

    UA0053, 2014, Anti-Corruption

  68. Open Budget Initiatives

    UA0054, 2014, Access to Information

  69. e-Petitions

    UA0055, 2014, Access to Justice

  70. e-Governance Training for Local Government

    UA0056, 2014, Capacity Building

  71. Laws on Public Participation

    UA0001, 2012, Civic Space

  72. Amendments to the Law on Community Associations

    UA0002, 2012, Civic Space

  73. Amendments to Resolutions on Collaboration with Civil Society

    UA0003, 2012, E-Government

  74. Training for Public Servants on Consultations

    UA0004, 2012, Capacity Building

  75. Harmonisation of Access to Information Laws

    UA0005, 2012, Access to Information

  76. By-Laws on Access to Information

    UA0006, 2012, Access to Information

  77. Guidelines for Classifying Data

    UA0007, 2012, Public Participation

  78. Public Information Recording Systems

    UA0008, 2012,

  79. Law on Public Broadcasting

    UA0009, 2012, Civic Space

  80. Public Access to Information in State Registers

    UA0010, 2012, E-Government

  81. Starred commitment Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative

    UA0011, 2012, Anti-Corruption

  82. Law for Controlling Declarations of Public Servants

    UA0012, 2012, Anti-Corruption

  83. Public Declarations of Officials’ Assets

    UA0013, 2012, Anti-Corruption

  84. Guidelines on Conflicts of Interest

    UA0014, 2012, Anti-Corruption

  85. Updated Anti-Corruption Laws

    UA0015, 2012, E-Government

  86. Regional Anti-Corruption Programmes

    UA0016, 2012, E-Government

  87. Law on Competitive e-Government Procurement

    UA0017, 2012, Anti-Corruption

  88. Starred commitment Administrative Services Reforms

    UA0018, 2012, E-Government

  89. Electronic Access to Administrative Services

    UA0019, 2012, E-Government

  90. Governmental Web Portal of Administrative Services

    UA0020, 2012, E-Government

  91. Administrative Services in a Digital Format

    UA0021, 2012,

  92. Starred commitment Regional Administrative Service Centres

    UA0022, 2012,

  93. Programme for Promotion of e-Government

    UA0023, 2012, E-Government

  94. Electronic Collaboration Between Executive Agencies

    UA0024, 2012,

  95. Web-Based Petitions System

    UA0025, 2012, E-petitions

  96. One Stop Shop for e-Reporting

    UA0026, 2012, E-Government

  97. e-Region Pilot Project

    UA0027, 2012, E-Government

  98. Network of e-Government Practitioners

    UA0028, 2012, Public Participation

  99. Public Libraries as Bridges Towards e-Governance

    UA0029, 2012, E-Government

  100. e-Government Knowledge Management Portal

    UA0030, 2012,

Open Government Partnership