Failing Ukrainian administration - A case in point (The Administration or the administration - Part II)

It is not necessarily wise and certainly not humble to quote oneself and hold one’s opinions up as being the shining light in the darkness, however, you will all remember yesterday’s post when I wrote this rather damning indictment of the Ukrainian “civil service”, policy effectiveness and implementation and communication.

There is a desperate need to reform the structure of the State and the channels of communication. That will, regardless of whether a policy is effective, ineffective or counterproductive, at least provide a standard interpretation across the entire Ukrainian society.

This requires an immediate and very hard nosed, robust, sorting of the Ukrainian “civil service”. It requires the ending of the pseudo-federalist regional patriarchal fiefdoms or their full autonomy. The current halfway house distorts all aspects of Ukrainian life leading to massive differences in enforcement and interpretation of anything that leaves Kyiv.

Only when the State and regional structures have been made fit for purpose can there be any real possibility to tackle issues like corruption and the even handed distribution of the rule of law.

There seems no point adding new laws to a body that is effectively severed from the head, or indeed expecting the body to understand what the head has said when the spinal chord has been severely damaged. Reconstructive surgery is an absolute necessity prior any expectation that the patient will recover and that the limbs will act in a manner dictated by the brain.

Thus far, not one Ukrainian government has realised it is paraplegic. Even though it appears that the current government does have some perception of the diagnosis, it seems either unable or unwilling to go through the painful operations required to get on the road to recovery.

The Ukrainian government’s priorities (other than economic survival) must be to deal with the Ukrainian “civil service”, communication and its efficiency. Forget new laws or a valiant fight (or not) against corruption in 2012. Rebuild the body Ukraine so that it can effectively and efficiently fight against the cancer of corruption before it enters that long and difficult battle. It is the only way to beat that disease.

If the Ukrainian government are looking for a plan for 2012 and one which may well be a vote winner prior to the October elections, they have 10 months to make serious changes to the Ukrainian “civil service” as any serious reform and increased efficiency will undoubtedly be noticed very quickly.

Somebody will eventually have to deal with this matter and upset the mandarins to the benefit of the Ukrainian society, so why not do it now? Why not do it noisily, robustly and make it a clear policy for 2012?”

Yes very clever empirical broad statements, but with no citation or case in point to prove the assertions made. Easily dismissed by those who do not live in Ukraine and face such mind-numbingly dysfunctional State apparatus on a daily basis.

Fortunately, 1st January has brought in a new law that completely proves my point.

The “Single Window” law came into effect from 1st January with the well intentioned and theoretically sound ideology of providing a single, one-stop-shop for FDI/investors wishing to enter Ukraine. It has been adopted to provide free of charge guidance through the veritable bureaucratic minefield of Ukrainian business.


However, once again an otherwise effective policy is going to be mired in ineffectual policy adoption.

Why? Well the law is now in force and yet, to quote from the press release, “In particular, regional centers will need to develop an action plan on the drafting and implementation of investment projects, as well as to form and give investors a package of documents required for the implementation of investment projects.”

What? - Will need to develop an action plan for a law that has already come into force? Why are the regional action plans not already developed? Is this law a surprise? Were the regional administrations kept in the dark? (Rhetorical questions as the answer is no the law is not a surprise and regional administrations were not kept in the dark.) Should the RADA or relevant governmental department not have insisted that regional action plans were ready and indeed perused them prior to such a law coming into force to ensure they were easily navigated and fit for prupose? Does any Ukrainian government ever use the Rule of P (Preparation and Planning Prevents P*ss Poor Performance)?

An urgent note to all those incompetent parliamentarians in Kyiv - Before you continue to pass laws, sort out the Ukrainian civil service, internal communication and regional patriarchal fiefdoms so policy, even if it is bad, is at least implemented in a timely and uniform manner with the required administrative structures preexisting. Quite obviously not one of you are capable of organising a p*ss up in a brewery!