The government of Ukraine has low institutional capacity to shape and implement consistent state policy. The work of the Cabinet of Ministers is mostly focused on “extinguishing fires”, while there is no practice of state policy analysis or risk and problem monitoring; the executive authority works in the “instructions from above” mode, not in the incentive mode. The government makes broad use of the “emer- gency” procedure, according to which draft governmental decisions are adopted without: prior consideration by a governmental committee, inter-departmental approval, public consultations, and legal and anticorruption opinions. Civil service has a number of noticeable problems: too quick staff turnover, low remuneration, obscure selection procedures especially to higher positions which is accom- panied by nepotism; political influence on civil servants, low motivation to do one’s job. The Law “On Civil Service” was adopted to overcome these problems. It came into force on May 1 2016. The quality of its implementation will determine whether these problems will keep existing or will be resolved. Key challenges related to the implementation of this Law are to increase the prestige of civil service, to guarantee equal access to civil service, to introduce a transparent mechanism of recruitment to civil service and effective anticorruption mechanisms in the public sector. Moreover, it is necessary to protect key provisions of the law, as various subjects of legislative initiative might be interested in watering them down.
In Ukraine, as a post-totalitarian state, development of administrative acts is usually guided by the needs of author- ities, while there are no mechanisms to take into account the legitimate interests of private persons. Due to the fact that public administration bodies do not involve the stake- holders into the decision-making process, do not guarantee the citizens the right to be heard and the right to access to case materials, do not substantiate their decisions and so on, the citizens and business are not protected against arbitrary behavior of officials. The changes shall be based on the principle “more rights and powers to the citizens and businesses as recipients of administrative services and more duties and responsibilities to the providers of these services.” In European countries, such protection is deter- mined by a general administrative procedure which legis- latively describes the procedure for preparing decisions (administrative acts), the rights of officials and citizens.
While obtaining administrative services, citizens encounter a number of problems, particularly obscurity of the set prices (fees), illegal exactions for some admin- istrative services, while the others are totally free. Many prices of administrative services have not been reconsid- ered since the Decree on State Duty of 1993. In addition, the most popular administrative services (registration of civil status, issue of driver’s license, passports, etc.) still cannot be obtained in the Administrative Service Centers. They are provided by different (scattered) ministries and state services.