Part Two of the Kyiv Post interview with the Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine for Institutional Development

In this two-part interview, Deputy Defense Minister Haider talked with Kyiv Post about tackling a top to bottom revamp of the institutions of Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense, with changes involving extensive modernization, reciprocal collaboration with partner nations in NATO, and de-bureaucratizing the military servicemember obligations.

You can read the first part of the interview at the following link.

Last year, starting in October, the Cabinet of Ministers appointed Stanislav Haider as the Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine for Institutional Development. Haider is known for leading the digital transformation of the National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption (NAZK), under which the Anti-Corruption Portal, the Register of Corruptors, and the Unified Portal for Notifications of Corruption Whistleblowers were launched.

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Previously, he managed the digital transformation of Drogobytsch City Council and contributed to the city’s strategic development.

His primary focus as Deputy Minister is on developing a cohesive institution within the Defense Ministry. This institutional development requires data-driven decision-making analysis, systems integration expertise, knowledge of leadership and management theory and the application of ethics in civilian and military government organizations.

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Servicemembers often complain about the piles of paperwork they have to complete and submit. How can the ministry provide some relief?

The Ministry cannot but must relieve the service personnel from filling in stacks of papers, and this question, in my opinion, includes two components. The first, digital component involves the implementation of the “Army+” application, which will free the servicemember from paperwork, and colleagues from the IT department of the ministry are working on this. The second, procedural component involves such a change in processes when a military officer will be relieved from the need to make unnecessary or uncharacteristic decisions. In this direction, my team is working on the deregulation of the regulatory framework of the Ministry of Defense.

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However, this, again, is not about immediate decisions. To at least partially facilitate the document flow for the military member, at the beginning of April, together with the AFU’s General Staff, we implemented a resource for the correct and convenient filling of reports by servicemembers (https://turbota.mil.gov.ua/).

You are talking about the CARE for Military Servicemembers [ТУРБОТА про військовослужбовця] portal?

Yes, the name indicates that it helps the defender in exercising rights such as leave, transfer, dismissal, etc. In total, the portal contains more than 80 standardized reports on various issues related to service completion. Standardization means that even the margins and indentations in the document meet the requirements, ensuring it will be considered by the command.

We received 51,000 downloads in a month. We have set up a feedback loop through which the military can provide suggestions for report templates or general ideas for resource development.

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The Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine for Institutional Development Stanislav Haider / Photo provided by the press service of the Ministry of Defense

You also announced deregulation to simplify document flow in the Ministry of Defense. Tell me how it will happen.

Simplifying document flow is a component of the process of deregulating the regulatory framework of the Ministry of Defense. We have already completed the first stage of this process - cataloging all ministry orders for decades. For 2023 alone, this amounted to about a thousand orders that needed analysis. Next, we delved into the essence of these orders, significantly reducing their number and introducing clear, process-oriented procedures.

Also in progress is the “Deregulation in the Ministry of Defense System” portal, which we developed as a means for everyone, both within the ministry and externally, to inform us about issues that need to be de-bureaucratized, and what changes should be made. From my experience, I know that there is significant internal potential for change; we just need to provide people with a communication tool.

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Do you believe a complete transition to electronic document management for the Ministry of Defense in the coming years is achievable?

A complete transition may not be feasible yet, as we handle a large number of classified documents processed in paper format, in particular NATO countries. However, for open information, we should certainly move in this direction even during wartime. I also believe we should not just reduce the number of paper documents, but also the number of documents compiled in the decision-making process itself.

Regarding document processing within the ministry, it’s mostly done electronically, but resolving the issue with documents for official use, which are currently entered manually, is important. I know our colleagues have ideas on this matter.

But this poses risks of information leakage with limited access.

Certainly, developing digital solutions must be balanced with information and cybersecurity threats. However, these challenges shouldn’t deter us from making changes. I won’t delve too deeply here, as it falls under the digitalization direction. However, I’ll add that any work with data entails risks, including information leakage. Nonetheless, effective decisions cannot be made without valuable data.

All processes and projects I discussed today are scrutinized by our analysts, who, using data from the Ministry of Defense’s Situation Center and its information systems, propose the most

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