On October 7, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Committee on State Building completed finalization of the draft law “On Civil
Service” to adoption as a whole. 1306 amendments have been considered. Compromise has been reached on most
amendments. The President, the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, and the ministers have repeatedly voiced their
support of the draft. It has been submitted to the Constitutional Assembly and included into the Government Action Plan.
There is a good probability that the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine will adopt it in early November.
The draft law provides for:
– Open competition for all civil service offices starting from the lowest ranks and finishing with the leaders of the
central executive bodies. A new office – a state secretary of the ministry – is introduced. There shall be a competitive
selection for this office, as well.
– A preferential pension system is abolished.
– Political offices are strictly separated from the civil service offices.
– Political activity of the civil servants is restricted. Civil servants of A category are prohibited to join political parties,
while civil servants of B and C categories shall not be involved in the executive boards of the political parties.
Viktor Tymoshchuk: It is for the first time that the deputies, experts, civil society, and European partners have taken such a
consolidated stand on civil service.
The European experts from the Support for Improvement in Governance and Management (SIGMA) characterize the civil
service in Ukraine with the following adjectives: unprofessional, political in character, corrupted. The draft law under Reg. No.
2490 shall change the situation. It has been highly appreciated by SIGMA experts.
Ukraine has never had such a chance to reform civil service, as it has today. Survival of the state in on stake.
Aliona Shkrum: Top-ranking civil servants shall be selected by a well-balanced commission including members of the Verkhovna
Rada of Ukraine, the President, the Government, professional unions, employers’ union, and the National Agency of Ukraine on
Civil Service. It will provide a possibility to hire highly competent civil servants and start top-down revitalization of the civil
Denys Brodskyi: A year and a half ago no one appreciated the importance of this reform. However, we pooled our efforts and
managed to make this issue high-priority.
Now everyone understands that no reform can be implemented properly without competent civil servants.
Key criticisms of the draft law:
1. Complicated system of hiring and dismissing civil servants
There is no alternative to competitive selection. It is the best and the most fair method to hire a qualified specialist for a
particular office. Selection will take only two weeks.
The draft law formalizes mechanisms for dismissing a civil servant for valid reason. The system cannot be too flexible, as civil
service is professional only if it is stable, and unsubstantiated dismissals are impossible.
2. No flexibility in part of salaries
This allegation is not absolutely correct. Firstly, despite the demands of the European experts, this draft law formalizes an
aggressive system of motivation and reward (up to 30% in the structure of civil servant’s salary), whereas according to the
European standards it shall be no more than 10%. Secondly, according to the draft law, the government authority shall keep its
salary fund for another 2,5 years after the downsizing. During the transitional period, the head of the authority can freely use
the fund to give extra payments and bonuses. So the draft bill does envisage some instruments. As for the rate of salaries, this
issue is now in competence of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. It is obvious that existing disproportions in labour
remuneration shall be fixed, as employees of different ministries get different salaries for one and the same amount of work.