During April – June 2018, the team of Institute «Respublica» carried out an analysis of the reports conducted by deputies of 27 local councils. Composed of – 15 regional centers and 12 cities of regional and distinct significance. The source of information of this research was the official sites of the city council and its relevant inquiries. Out of 1,168 deputies, 681 made their reports on the city council’s website public, which represents 58.3% out of the total.
Reporting is a duty of deputies that obliges them to fulfill annually, but it has become more frequent if voters or self-organized community wish to carry them out more often. Local authorities are obliged to assist deputies in every way in organizing meetings and preparations. This can be an assistance in the provision of premises, information and other reference materials, etc.
According to the Law of Ukraine «On the status of deputies of local councils» (Art. 16), a deputy must, in advance, within 7 days, inform where the meeting with voters will be, either through the media or by other means. At this meeting, the direct «informing» of the voters about the work takes place. Subsequently, the deputy informs the council and its executive bodies about the results of the discussion of the report, comments and suggestions made by voters, and also voter’s order given to the deputy in connection with his activities.
As for the content of the text itself, the deputy must include the following information in the report:
- His/her activities in the council and in the commissions;
- His/her work in the constituency;
- Decisions taken by the council and its bodies, the progress of their implementation
- His/her personal participation in the discussion, adoption and organization of the implementation of the decision of the council, its bodies, as well, as instructions from the voter in their constituency
Last year, Institute «Respublica» sent together with the results of the corresponding monitoring of 2016, including a draft decision on the reporting of deputies from the application report from the application report, which corresponds to the requirements of the law. Two city councils considered the draft decision proposal and adopted the decision – Skadovsk and Uzhgorod.
It should not be forgotten that the failure of a deputy to report his/her duty becomes the reason of his/her withdrawal, by virtue of the provisions of Art. 37 ZU «On the status of deputies of local councils». The opportunity to become better informed about the report of the deputy, if it is not made public on the website, is provided by the Law of Ukraine «On Access to Public Information».
100% of the deputies of the council reported only in 3 cities – Uzhgorod, Zinkiv (Poltava region) and Kramatorsk (Donetsk region). The smallest number of deputies published their reports on the websites of local councils in cities such as Zaporizhzhia (8 reports), Bohuslav of the Kyiv region (3 reports), Chernivtsi (2 reports).
In a comparison of years 2017 with 2018, a positive trend of growth in the number of published reports increased by 8.5%.
In the context of political parties represented in Parliament, the number of published reports is as follows. In Samopornichi, 70% of the deputies published their reports, followed by the deputies of Solidarnist – 66%, Batkivshchyna – 63%, the Opposition bloc – 61%, and the Radical Party of Oleg Lyashko – 44%. In general of this year, there have been 20% more representatives of these 5 parties who have published their reports in comparison with 2017.
In general, 912 representatives of 41 political parties and 256 non-party members have made their reports public.
According to the results of the content analysis of these reports, Institute «Respublica» identified the TOP-5, the most popular activities that were implemented by deputies of local councils, namely:
- Renovation of roads/pavements
- Renovation of residential buildings
- Sponsorships and charity help
- Renovation and installation of children’s and sports playing fields
- Improvement of public services of local territories
Frequently in the reports from 2017, as also in 2016, the deputies reported the most on the renovation of roads and pedestrian pavements, which is the case of this year as well, where the renovation of these roads have been mentioned 243 times.
Regarding residential buildings, the most frequent subject to be mentioned in the report is the renovation of the roofs, which has been mentioned 174 times, out of which 23 of them require major repairs.
When a deputy provides sponsorship or charity, this is characterized ambiguous. On the one hand, the current legislation does not prohibit the provision of such assistance. On the other hand, such assistance can be assessed as «indirect bribery of voters». Often, deputies do not mention the sources of funding for such assistance, although some deputies explicitly state that such assistance was provided from their own funds.
Also, as in the previous year, deputies report on the establishment or repair of 225 children’s and 83 sports fields, where 212 of them are just installations.
Of the main flows of the reports, it is necessary to emphasize the lack of a standard report form and compliance with the requirements of the law on the report to voters and its further publication on the local council website. According to the structure and form of the report, we have them for every liking – from 5 proposals, up to 40 pages of daily work, from a photo collage with signatures, to infographics. Some deputies do not report on their work or in the council and to the committees or do not indicate activities in the electoral district. More rarely, deputies report on decisions made by the council and its bodies, as well as on the progress of their implementation, and this, in turn, does not fully reflect the activities of the deputy of the local council.
In addition, we are confronted with the fact that deputies often did not indicate their party affiliation.
The positive side of the reports of some of the deputies is photographs of the works, giving an idea for the voters about their work they perform. Among the most informative reports are presorts made by deputies of Kyiv City Council, which sometimes contain more than 10 pages.
To sum up, it should be noted that, in general, the deputies who submitted their reports to the local authorities have adhered to the provisions of Art. 16 of the Law of Ukraine «On the Status of Local Councils’ Deputies», demonstrating its level of openness to the voter. It is important that deputies first understand that reporting is not a process for getting a score, but an opportunity to continue to be elected to the local council and to represent the interests of society.