A resolution adopted by the Ukrainian government in May 2018, drafted with support from IDLO, is paving the way for a national legal framework that will underpin an innovative e-governance system connecting all electronic public registers across the country.
The resolution defines the process for joining up the 19 most important state registers and databases – containing data on demographics, legal companies, property, state land and many other areas – to create one interoperable system.
It is part of a broader legislative framework being developed for the implementation of e-governance tools in Ukraine. A law drafted by IDLO on public electronic registers, which will establish rules around obtaining and storing data, will soon be reviewed in the Ukrainian parliament. All new legislation is informed by best practice from the Baltic states as well as European data legislation.
“E-governance is an innovative area where new tools are still being invented and implemented in Ukraine,” explained Serhiy Drozach, a senior legal advisor for IDLO. “This means that legal instruments to regulate new public services need to be drafted from scratch. A strong legal framework – based on principles of flexibility and technological neutrality – is of the utmost importance for the long-term sustainability of e-governance tools in Ukraine.”
Improving public service delivery
The interoperable system, known as ‘Trembita’, is based on the advanced ‘X-Road’ software that was successfully implemented in Estonia. Once operational, it will provide secure data exchange among the various electronic registers in Ukraine, thereby increasing the efficiency of public service delivery.
Olexandr Ryzhenko, Head of the Ukrainian State Agency for E-Governance, noted: “Today there are thousands of administrative processes in Ukraine: between authorities, with citizens, with businesses. Most of these are ineffective. They are overregulated, paper-based, resource-intensive and inconvenient for citizens.
“This system will become the main instrument for reforms in many spheres of life,” he continued. “It will improve the quality of services provided. The number of times a citizen will have to contact the authorities to issue documents will be reduced to a third. Everything will be done online, with just a few clicks.”
Enhanced transparency carries the key benefit of limiting corruption risks. The amount of documentation required to receive a public service will be reduced, as will the number of in-person interactions with state officials – both of which are often associated with corruption.
“As it stands, citizens and businesses have to visit quite a number of state facilities several times to obtain the required public services and certificates. Not only does this make people waste their time and money, it also creates fertile ground for low-level corruption,” explained Danylo Molchanov, eServices Team Lead at the Transparency and Accountability in Public Administration and Services (TAPAS) program, which is working in Ukraine to reduce corruption in public administration functions and services.
“The interoperable system will be based on a more user-centric approach that requires the state to service the needs of its citizens.”
Furthermore, it will significantly streamline the work of anti-corruption bodies and law enforcement agencies. For instance, the National Anti-Corruption Prevention Agency that is tasked with reviewing the income and asset declarations of public officials will soon have access to all relevant registers through a single portal, making its work considerably more efficient.
IDLO has been working in Ukraine since 2015 to strengthen the capacity and integrity of institutions, enhance the sustainable development of the country and promote the return of confidence in public administration, justice and the rule of law.
Its assistance to the E-Governance Agency has been implemented as part of the TAPAS program funded by USAID, UK Aid Direct and the Eurasia Foundation.