of Public Administration, Odesa, Ukraine)
and Openness of Public service in Ukraine"
Svirin of the Academy of Public Administration of Ukraine
(Odessa branch) was the first Visiting Scholar of the Petro
Jacyk Program for the Study of Ukraine. During his stay at
CREES in September, Dr. Svirin conducted research on procedures
and legal regulations governing public access to information
in Canada. On September 19, he gave a presentation on "Transparency
and Openness of Public Administration in Ukraine," in which
he spoke about the strong and weak sides of existing Ukrainian
legislation in this field. He noted that by adopting several
major laws on access to information, the Ukrainian Parliament
has created a legal basis for openness of public administration.
The weakest link has been the lack of a well-developed mechanism
for implementing these laws in Ukraine. In some cases, implementation
is rather difficult beecause some laws are more "romantic"
than realistic. There is also no data on how these laws are
being implemented. Usually Ukrainian officials do not record
public information requests, especially those made by telephone.
Finally, there is no information related to the financial
side and, in particular, the cost of such implementation.
In his presentation, Dr. Svirin argued for a system that monitors
and ensures enforcement of access to information legislation
similar to the systems in the US and Canada, and that includes
annual reports on the execution of these laws, parliamentary
hearings, and reports by non-governmental organizations. As
was stated, the Ukrainian people are not aware of the existing
legislation. Ironically, surveys indicate that even public
servants do not fully know the citizens' rights, the duties
of officials, and the relevant administrative procedures regarding
Iarovenko, Petro Jacyk Program for the Study of Ukraine