Critical infrastructure, competitions for civil service positions, and legislative activity plan

This week is not plenary, so MPs just registered new bills concerning the issues of national security and enhancement of the bureaucracy. Today in our digest: decisions and draft bills that will affect the Cabinet, MPs, the President, heads and employees of the critical infrastructure enterprises, civil servants, and candidates for civil service positions.

Bill to protect critical infrastructure of Ukraine (5219)

Cosponsors: a group of MPs from the Servant of the People faction with Oleksandr Fedienko as the first signatory, Serhii Larin from the Opposition Platform — For Life faction.

Who is affected: the Cabinet, heads and employees of critical infrastructure enterprises, and Ukrainian citizens.

Why this is important:

  • critical infrastructure comprises enterprises (or their branches) that ensure people’s basic needs, including protection and safety. For example, enterprises of the defense industry, water and energy supply, food production, etc.
  • enterprises are designated as a part of critical infrastructure to make it impossible to stop their work without warning since it would be damaging to Ukrainian citizens and the state. In particular, critical infrastructure has to be protected from the aggressor state.

What does the bill propose to change:

  • to introduce criteria for designating enterprises as a part of critical infrastructure and create a register of critical infrastructure enterprises
  • to create a new government body responsible for critical infrastructure — the National Commission for Protection of Critical Infrastructure. It is supposed to be created and coordinated by the Cabinet
  • to organize a system of bodies protecting critical infrastructure, define their goals and functions
  • to ensure parliamentary and civic control in the sphere of critical infrastructure protection.

What is wrong:

  • criteria for designating enterprises as a part of critical infrastructure are vague and ill-defined. As a result, it would be possible not to include some of the important enterprises in critical infrastructure
  • the creation of a specialized body — the National Commission for Protection of Critical Infrastructure — shifts the responsibility from the Cabinet. The Cabinet, though, should be fully responsible, both politically and in the eyes of law, for critical infrastructure
  • the bill does not introduce any penalties for violations concerning critical infrastructure. Hence, anyone will be able to ignore new provisions without any consequences.

Competitions for civil service positions restored

Decision-maker: the Cabinet.

Who is affected: the Cabinet, civil servants, candidates for civil service positions, and Ukrainian citizens.

What does it change: from March 17, competitions for civil service positions will be restored. New competitions will be announced weekly:

  • four competitions for positions filled in via “lockdown” competitions
  • one “regular” competition for a vacant position.

Why this is importantcurrently, 91 civil servants of category A occupy their positions as a result of “lockdown” competitions. Those are only the top officials of the executive branch. How many civil servants of lower categories got their positions via “lockdown” competitions is impossible to count.

What is right: the reintroduction of real competitions will allow:

  • to make executive bodies professional and apolitical by appointing candidates that have better skills and knowledge
  • to increase people’s trust in the state apparatus.

Bill to enhance the legislative activity plan (5178)

Cosponsors: a group of MPs from the Servant of the People faction with Ruslan Stefanchuk (the First Deputy Chairperson) as the first signatory.

Who is affected: MPs, the President, and the Cabinet.

What does the bill propose to change:

  • each year on November 1 the Cabinet will submit to the Parliament a list of proposals on what issues new legislation has to be passed in order to implement the Government Action Program
  • the Apparatus of the Verkhovna Rada will publish information about the progress in preparing and fulfilling the legislative activity plan on the official website of the Parliament
  • reporting on the progress of fulfilling the legislative activity plan will be introduced
  • planning of the parliamentary committees’ work will be done taking into account the legislative activity plan.

What is right:

  • the bill facilitates cooperation between the Cabinet and the Parliament on drafting legislation
  • citizens will be better informed about the work of the Parliament.

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