‘It is a symbol of new Ukrainian public service. It is also a symbol of change and development for the people in the occupied parts of Ukraine,’ said President Petro Poroshenko at the opening of a Public Service Center in the eastern city of Mariupol in the conflict-ridden Donetsk region.
‘It is the first Center opened so close to the frontline,’ the President noted. He also spoke of the customer-oriented approach, in which the newly-hired employees have been trained. ‘Instead of demanding bribes, they shall meet and serve citizens with a smile,’ he said, thanking international partners, like IDLO, for their support.
IDLO was responsible for developing the concept for the center – guided by four key principles: quick, a one-stop-shop, corruption-free and customer-oriented - and the overall project management, turning an abandoned building into a modern Service Center within three months.
‘Since several actors were involved, the project required a higher degree of coordination and cooperation. Thus, overall project management was a key ingredient to the success,’ said Levan Duchidze, IDLO’s Country Director in Ukraine.
The Center will offer over a hundred public services, which were previously only provided by ministries, from the issuing of passports to property certificates and permits for land use. Its launch is part of a broader decentralization reform program being undertaken by the Ukrainian government.
Upto one-thousand-two-hundred clients should be able to access the services of the center on a daily basis and a visa center, from where local residents will be able to apply for European visas, is expected to open onsite shortly.
The Centre was inaugurated by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and the US Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie L. Yovanovitch; the project was implemented by the City Council of Mariupol with support from USAID, IDLO, and the Global Office.
For decades, the public sector in Ukraine had been considered deeply corrupt and oftentimes, dysfunctional. Nepotism was an accepted source of both employment and promotion. Applying for and receiving administrative services was usually an exhausting and intimidating experience that could only be avoided through paying bribes.