The European Union and the World Bank signed a deal with Ukraine on June 30 which will see a €5 million grant provided to Ukraine as part of an assistance package designed to clean up the country’s civil service and introduce more transparency into the public finances.
Ukraine’s Ministry of Finance and the State Agency of Civil Service are the main beneficiaries of the E.U.-financed program, which will initially run for two and a half years. Among its main goals is to create an electronic database to manage personnel and payroll for up to 250,000 people currently employed in the state bureaucracy.
“That’s a basic building block of any government,” Satu Kohkonen, World Bank country director for Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine, said at a briefing to mark the start of the project, at which First Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine and Minister of Economic Development and Trade Stepan Kubiv was also present.
Among the first tasks of the program will be to conduct an audit of public resources, with Kostyantyn Vashchenko, the head of Ukraine’s State Agency for Civil Service, saying that currently it is unknown how many vacancies there are in the government sector. He said the post-Soviet system of public administration which has existed in Ukraine since it became an independent nation in 1991 has been geared toward “working with paper, not people.”
Of the €5 million being made available to Ukraine, around €3 million will go to the government, with €2 million set aside for advisory services from the World Bank.
But that money represents just a small portion of the €114 million which the EU has in total committed to assist Ukraine in its reform of the public administration.