A “beehive” for public servants

The automation of administrative services and processes in Ukraine has reached a new stage. The State Agency for Electronic Governance announced modernization of administrative service centers (ASCs) and named the first ten reformed institutions.

Old services in a new way

Last week, the State Agency for Electronic Governance announced a new initiative: reforming the first ten pilot administrative service centers (ASCs). By 2020, this experience is expected to be implemented at 600 centers across the entire Ukraine.

The first ASCs were created in 2010 at the initiative of local authorities, and this process has accelerated in 2013 with the passage of the law on administrative services.

According to data by the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade (MEDT) and the Office for Administrative Service Reform, there were 756 ASCs in Ukraine as of 1Q 2018, including 452 centers run by district state administrations, 67 in Kyiv and regional administrative centers, and further 135 in cities of regional subordination.

These centers employed the total of 10,151 administrators and registrars and further 2408 personnel.

However, a monitoring of their performance held this year under an administrative service reform project has revealed an extremely low effectiveness of many centers. It turned out that 28% of these institutions provide less than 20 services daily, with another 50% providing 50 services at the most.

Only 11% of ASCs offer the online appointment service, 12% provide online consultations, 18% can show your progress in the waiting line, 25% have electronic document flow, and an applicant can receive a certain document in electronic form at only 29% of these centers.

Waiting conditions for visitors were often unsatisfactory, as 43% of ASCs are housed in the offices that have less than 50 sq.m of space.

These centers undergo modernization under U-LEAD with Europe: Ukraine Local Empowerment, Accountability and Development Program financed by the government of the Kingdom of Sweden and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).

Vulyk 1

The modernization envisages connection of ASCs to Beehive information system developed by the State Agency for Electronic Governance, which handles connection to Trembita national registers interaction system.

It will be much easier for the staff of various state agencies to communicate with each other via the electronic document flow system, which in turn, would significantly expedite the very process of issuing documents.

The Beehive has a number of functional blocks including handling of applications and administrative service cards, directories, statistics, deadline controls, and informing the public. This is a cloud service that doesn’t require the presence of an IT specialist and allows for remote operation.

The pilot administrative service centers slated for connection to the Beehive were selected from among 100 candidates. The choice fell to the institutions in Ukrainka, Obukhiv, Rzhyshcheve and Pereiaslav-Khmelnytskyi (all – Kyiv Oblast), Kamianets-Podilskyi (Khmelnytskyi Oblast), Kakhovka and Nova Kakhovka (both – Kherson Oblast), Yuzhnyi (Odesa Oblast), Olivsk (Zhytomyr Oblast) and Chortkiv (Ternopil Oblast).

“Experience proves that completely discontinuing offline services is not possible. However, they can be reduced and optimized. The problem of small towns is that local authorities do not have money for expensive software. That’s why the list of pilot centers includes mostly small towns”, a representative of the Press Service of the State Agency for Electronic Governance told 2000.

An important aspect of the Beehive implementation process is the training of public officials and communication of parameters required for the system’s operation to local authorities. Some ASCs still do not have normal access to the high-speed Internet.

The U-LEAD with Europe project envisages connection of almost all ASCs to the national registers interaction system in just three years. Therefore, it most likely will be these institutions where we’ll be able to receive most references, abstracts and other official documents based on the single window principle.

Yaroslav Dmytrenko

The article was originally published on 2000