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Ukraine

Awarenss Raising About Social and Economic Development (UA0074)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Ukraine Action Plan 2018-2020

Action Plan Cycle: 2018

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: MoF Treasury State institution “Open Public Funds”

Support Institution(s): NGO “Eidos Centre for Political Studies and Analysis,” Government-Civic Initiative “Together against Corruption,” other CSOs and international organizations (upon their consent)

Policy Areas

Aid, E-Government, Fiscal Openness, Publication of Budget/Fiscal Information

IRM Review

IRM Report: Ukraine Transitional Results Report 2018-2020, Ukraine Design Report 2018-2020

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Major Major

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information , Technology

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Raising public awareness on public funds and projects on social and economic development of Ukraine supported by international financial organizations in accessible formats Mainstreaming the principles of transparency and openness in budget process entails effective system of key performance indicators and a mechanism to raise public awareness on drafting, reviewing, approving, implementing and controlling state and local budgets. To this aim, the documents and information related to the budgeting processes and management performance indicators should be published. In addition, international organizations support projects that sometimes come short of the needs of Ukraine and contravene with the reform priorities. With this view, the CMU Resolution # 70 of 27 January 2016 “On the Procedure of Development, Implementation, Monitoring and Termination of Social and Economic Development Projects Supported by International Financial Organizations” entails monitoring of development projects in Ukraine funded by international financial organizations. At the same time, relevant information technologies and access to the respective information by the Government and citizens is necessary to adequately manage this process. Actions Responsible Timeframe Partners Indicator 1. Creating an Information Analytical System “Transparent Budget:” module “Budget for Citizens” MoF Treasury State institution “Open Public Funds” March 2019 NGO “Eidos Centre for Political Studies and Analysis,” Government-Civic Initiative “Together against Corruption,” other CSOs and international ToR for “Budget for Citizens” module development, approved, software architecture developed 10 organizations (upon their consent) 2. Beta testing of “Budget for Citizens” module -//- December 2018 – July 2019 -//- Beta testing of software launched, module is finalized/updated based on beta testing findings and feedback from the CSOs and community; operation of the module launched 3. Developing functional requirements to the subsystem “Register of Social and Economic Development Projects Funded by International Financial Institutions” (IFI) MoF Treasury State institution “Open Public Funds” December 2018 – April 2019 NGO “Eidos Centre for Political Studies and Analysis,” Government-Civic Initiative “Together against Corruption,” other CSOs and international organizations (upon their consent) ToR developed, and respective services procured 4. Developing and beta testing of software for the sub-system “Register of Social and Economic Development Projects Funded by International Financial Institutions” -//- December 2018 – April 2019 -//- Software developed, Beta testing of sub-system launched 5. Finalizing functional features of the sub-system “Register of Social and Economic Development Projects Funded by International Financial Institutions” and starting its -//- May 2019 – September 2020 -//- Sub-system “Register of Social and Economic Development Projects Funded by International Financial Institutions” is finalized/updated based on beta testing findings and feedback from the CSOs and community; sub-system put in 11 operation operation Expected results of this activity are ensuring convenient use of analytical data; comparing the dynamics of budget funds use; enabling feedback and discussion of public funds use; ensuring free public access to information on implementation of joint Government-IFI investments projects at all stages.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

5. Raise public awareness on public funds and projects

Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan: [38] Raising public awareness on public funds and projects on social and economic development of Ukraine supported by international financial organizations in accessible formats

Mainstreaming the principles of transparency and openness in budget process entails effective system of key performance indicators and a mechanism to raise public awareness on drafting, reviewing, approving, implementing and controlling state and local budgets. To this aim, the documents and information related to the budgeting processes and management performance indicators should be published.

In addition, international organizations support projects that sometimes come short of the needs of Ukraine and contravene with the reform priorities. With this view, the CMU Resolution # 70 of 27 January 2016 “On the Procedure of Development, Implementation, Monitoring and Termination of Social and Economic Development Projects Supported by International Financial Organizations” entails monitoring of development projects in Ukraine funded by international financial organizations. At the same time, relevant information technologies and access to the respective information by the Government and citizens is necessary to adequately manage this process.

Milestones:

  1. Creating an Information Analytical System “Transparent Budget:” module “Budget for Citizens”
  2. Beta testing of “Budget for Citizens” module
  3. Developing functional requirements to the sub-system “Register of Social and Economic Development Projects Funded by International Financial Institutions” (IFI)
  4. Developing and beta testing of software for the sub-system “Register of Social and Economic Development Projects Funded by International Financial Institutions”
  5. Finalizing functional features of the sub-system “Register of Social and Economic Development Projects Funded by International Financial Institutions” and starting its operation

Start Date: December 2018

End Date: September 2020

Context and objectives

The Ukrainian government currently discloses only limited budget information, earning 54 out of 100 in the International Budget Partnership’s 2017 Open Budget Survey. [39] Few public fund administrators publish meaningful financial data, which makes it difficult to identify inefficiencies using public funds. [40] Also, international funds administered by the government are highly vulnerable to corruption, according to a former Ministry of Economic Development and Trade (MEDT) official. [41]

The commitment’s first milestone, to create and beta test a ‘Budget for Citizens’ module was accomplished in 2018 as part of the previous action plan, [42] although a representative of the state agency, Open Public Finance (OPF), reported that this was only the trial version of the Budget for Citizens module. [43] It presents the state budget in various understandable dimensions, like classification of spending.

This commitment also aims to inform the public about development projects in Ukraine through a Register of Social and Economic Development Projects Funded by International Financial Institutions (the Register). The government launched a similar Open Aid Ukraine website in 2015 [44] with some limited information, [45] but in 2017, MEDT froze the website during multiple investigations of possible corruption around international assistance. [46] Even though the website software was developed and owned by the government, MEDT has not relaunched the website before this action plan, although the Ministry of Finance (MoF) published a 2018 report on internationally funded development projects in pdf format. [47]

The government expects that this commitment overall will ensure user-friendly disclosure of analytical data, enable feedback and discussion on public funds use, [48] and provide public access to budget data for further monitoring. [49] The Register has the potential to increase transparency of over 34 projects worth 2.4 billion USD (5.3 billion EUR). [50] According to the OPF, the interactive register’s open datasets will allow monitoring of internationally funded development projects by authorities and citizens. [51] However, the commitment text does not provide details about the level of data that will be disclosed or how the feedback mechanism will be introduced and implemented. It also does not explain how government-IFI investment projects will be disclosed and what the level of publicly available data will be. Therefore, the overall potential impact is considered moderate.

Next steps

The IRM researcher recommends the following to the government:

  • Specify the requirements for disclosing all planned data through normative-legal acts, technical documents, and the software itself. This should ensure achieving the maximum policy impact of this commitment.
  • Compare the planned budget and the actual budget spending. Due to this increased financial transparency, Ukraine can improve its score in the Open Budget Survey.
  • Establish and apply accountability mechanisms to ensure that public funds administrators provide the necessary information for the designed information analytical system.

For the fifth action plan, the IRM researcher recommends introducing mechanisms of empowering civic participation in budget planning. In particular, these might include consultations on state budget and binding e-voting for projects of national participatory budgeting. The civic engagement element would fulfil the provisions of the government Strategy of Reforming the Public Finances Management System for 2017–2020 [52] and could help improve Ukraine’s ranking in the Open Budget Survey.

[39] “Ukraine” in Open Budget Survey 2017, (International Budget Partnership, 29 Jan. 2018), https://www.internationalbudget.org/summaries/ukraine-2017/.
[40] Volodymyr Tarnay (Eidos), interview by IRM researcher, 27 Feb. 2019.
[41] Viola Gienger, “Anti-Corruption Reformer Ready for Round Two” (Atlantic Council, 3 Dec. 2018), https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/ukrainealert/anti-corruption-reformer-ready-for-round-two.
[42] “The Ministry of Finance Presented the Open Data Project ‘Budget for Citizens,’” (Ukrinform, 17 Sept. 2018), https://www.ukrinform.ua/rubric-economy/2539616-u-minfini-prezentuvali-proekt-vidkritih-danih-budzet-dla-gromadan.html.
[43] Oleksandr Komareus (OPF), email exchange with IRM researcher, 7 Mar. 2019.
[45] Tarnay, interview.
[46] Gienger.
[47] “Information on Public Funds and Projects on Social and Economic Development of Ukraine Supported by International Financial Organizations” (The Ministry of Finance of Ukraine, accessed Apr. 2019, Link no longer available as of Dec. 2019), https://www.minfin.gov.ua/uploads/redactor/files/850_1174343657.pdf.
[48] “The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. Decree on 18 December 2018 #1088-p” on The Government Portal, The Unified Web-portal of Executive Authorities of Ukraine (Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine Secretariat, 18 Dec. 2018), https://www.kmu.gov.ua/storage/app/media/17-civik-2018/partnerstvo/plan_2018%20-%202020.pdf.
[49] Komareus, email.
[50] “The Concept Paper of Increasing the Efficiency of Implementing Joint IFO Projects” (The Ministry of Finance of Ukraine) https://mof.gov.ua/storage/files/Kontseptsiya_shchodo_pidvyshchennya_efektyvnosti_vprovadzhennya_spilnykh_z_MFO_proektiv.docx.
[51] Komareus, email.
[52] “On approval of the Strategy for reforming the system of public finance management for 2017 - 2020” Order no.142-p, on The Government Portal, The Unified Web-portal of Executive Authorities of Ukraine (Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine Secretariat, 8 Feb. 2017), https://www.kmu.gov.ua/ua/npas/249797370.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

5. Raise public awareness of public funds and projects

Aim of the commitment

This commitment sought to inform the public about public funding and funding from international financial organizations through accessible formats. [38] The two projects within this commitment consisted of creating a Budget for Citizens module for public funding and creating a register of internationally funded development projects. [39] These undertakings continued previous government initiatives. In 2018, the government implemented a trial version of the Budget for Citizens module as part of the previous action plan. [40] During 2015–2017, the official Open Aid Ukraine website presented some information about development projects funded by international financial institutions. [41]

Did it open government?

Major

The government beta-tested the Budget for Citizens module, [42] and it is now fully functional. [43] It appears on the OpenBudget online portal, [44] and the budget contains new information down to the basic territorial unit (hromada/community) level. [45] Unlike in the earlier version, there are now subsections on the state budget, state debt, local budgets, managers and recipients of public funds, and a BOOST-analysis. [46] The module also features further details explaining the budget system and the budget process, and provides contact details and a feedback form. The website allows users to compare budgets by different budget classifications, period, region, indicator, groups of indicators, planned versus actual indicators of incomes and expenses, and the allocation of revenue and expenses by types of funds in a Sankey diagram. [47] The government updates the data monthly. [48] A user can view public budget information in table, graph, or hierarchical (such as flowchart or tree-maps) mode. It is possible to download the data in JSON, CSV, and XLSX open data formats. The portal is equipped with application programming interface (API). [49] That and its user manual are open to the public. [50]

The government also launched the Register of Social and Economic Development Projects Funded by International Financial Institutions (IFIs). [51] The fully functional register (on a different website than OpenBudget) is available online on the IFIs projects portal. [52] It allows users to search the data of 125 international financial institution–funded projects (including a search by implementing public agency or international financial institution). Users can also browse the data via 14 thematic categories, view a year-by-year statistical infographic (from 1994 to 2020), and find related legislation. [53] The portal allows the downloading of the data in JSON, CSV, and XLSX open data formats. It is also supplemented with a publicly available API. [54]

Ministry of Finance representatives said the proactive publication of information clearly via the Budget for Citizens module has improved transparency. [55] Civil society representative said it provides a plethora of data that could enable them to conduct independent financial oversight in the future. [56] Furthermore, two Ukrainian teams developed tools using the data to enable the comparison of prices for goods purchased within the public procurement system and find statistical outliers from the data. [57] These tools could be beneficial in providing information about the cheapest offers on the market or even to identify and highlight possible cases of corruption. The Market Research Tool developer says it reached the final round in an international hackathon in Taiwan, [58] and they are adapting the tool for use in Moldova and Kazakhstan. [59] A civil society representative stated that the successful implementation of this commitment could be attributed to advocacy efforts as well as support from the leadership of the Ministry of Finance and the Open Public Finance agency. [60]

A large amount of data on the public budget and international funding is now disclosed in a user-friendly and accessible manner and in an open data format. Thus, this commitment has significantly advanced access to public finance information and therefore constitutes a major step in opening up budget information in Ukraine.

[39] Open Government Partnership, in collaboration with Dmytro Khutkyy, Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM): Ukraine Design Report 2018–2020, 2020, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Ukraine_Design-Report_2018-2020_EN.pdf.
[40] It presented monthly dynamics of the state budget in the following dimensions: the year 2018 or 2019; national, local, and total; plans, revenues, and spending; and program, economic, and functional classifications of spending. Besides that, it contained a glossary on budgeting as a form of civic education.
[41] Open Government Partnership in collaboration with Dmytro Khutkyy, Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM): Ukraine Design Report 2018–2020, 2020, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Ukraine_Design-Report_2018-2020_EN.pdf.
[42] Open Government Partnership, The Report on the Realization of the Action Plan for the Implementation of the Open Government Partnership Initiative in 2018–2020,” 3 December 2020, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Ukraine_End-of-Term_Self-Assessment_2018-2020_UKR.pdf.
[43] Oleksandr Hrubiyan (Ministry of Finance), email exchange with IRM researcher, 16 October 2020.
[44] Open Budget homepage, accessed November 2020, https://openbudget.gov.ua/.
[45] Mykhaylo Tanchik, “The Public Manual for the State Budget for Citizens Web-Portal,” Confluence, last modified 28 February 2020, https://confluence.spending.gov.ua/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=39552782.
[46] The methodology elaborated by the World Bank, https://www.worldbank.org/en/programs/boost-portal.
[47] Oleksandr Hrubiyan (Ministry of Finance), email exchange with IRM researcher, 16 October 2020.
[48] Oleksandr Komareus (OPF), email exchange with IRM researcher, 10 March 2021.
[49] Mykhaylo Tanchik, “Public API,” Confluence, accessed November 2020, https://confluence.spending.gov.ua/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=39553516.
[50] Mykhaylo Tanchik, “The Public Manual for the State Budget for Citizens Web-Portal,” Confluence, last modified 28 February 2020, https://confluence.spending.gov.ua/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=39552782.
[51] Open Government Partnership, The Report on the Realization of the Action Plan for the Implementation of the Open Government Partnership Initiative in 2018–2020,” 3 December 2020, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Ukraine_End-of-Term_Self-Assessment_2018-2020_UKR.pdf.
[52] IFIs Projects homepage, accessed November 2020, https://proifi.gov.ua/?p=index.
[53] IFIs Projects homepage, accessed November 2020, https://proifi.gov.ua/?p=index.
[54] The Ministry of Finance of Ukraine, Open Public Finance, The Description of Open Application Programming Interfaces (API) of the https://proifi.gov.ua Portal, on IFIs Projects, accessed November 2020, https://proifi.gov.ua/data/api/api_fields.pdf.
[55] Oleksandr Hrubiyan (Ministry of Finance), email exchange with IRM researcher, 16 October 2020.
[56] Volodymyr Tarnay (Open Contracting Partnership), interview by IRM researcher, 29 October 2020.
[57] Marketing Research Tool (accessed Nov. 2020), https://mrt.in.ua; CPV Tool (accessed Apr. 2021), https://cpvtool.kse.ua/.
[58] Presidential Hackathon. International Track (accessed Apr. 2021), https://presidential-hackathon.taiwan.gov.tw/en/international-track/.
[59] Volodymyr Tarnay (Open Contracting Partnership), email exchange with IRM researcher, 25 November 2020. The Moldovan tool launched in March 2021, outside the implementation period of this action plan. https://openmoney.md/mrt.
[60] Nongovernmental advocacy includes Eidos, EGAP, Mind Lab, the Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting, and the National Institute for Strategic Studies. Volodymyr Tarnay (Open Contracting Partnership), interview by IRM researcher, 29 October 2020.

Commitments

Open Government Partnership