Ukrainian chemical security, National Investment Fund, and competitions for civil service: decisions by Cabinet and President
Last week only one of the ten draft bills considered by the Parliament was sponsored by the Cabinet. Luckily, civil servants have other ways to enhance the efficiency of their work than by exercising their right to initiate legislation. Today in our digest: the Cabinet announces competitions for civil service positions while the President yet again tries to interfere with its work (this time — in the matters of chemical security and investment environment).
Enhancement of Ukrainian chemical security
Decision-maker: the President.
Who is affected: the Cabinet, several ministries, MPs, businesses, schoolchildren, and Ukrainian citizens.
In a nutshell: Zelensky enacted the decision by the National Security and Defense Council stipulating the following points:
- the work of the Cabinet on the matters of chemical security and handling chemical substances is insufficient
- thus, the following tasks are set for the Cabinet
- to establish a clinical poison center
- to update educational curricula by including studies on recent methods of maintaining chemical security
- to bring Ukrainian legislation on transportation of hazardous materials up to the EU standards
- for the Ministry of Economy — to issue hygienic requirements for handling pesticides and agrochemical substances
- for the Ministry of Health — to issue hygienic requirements for handling industrial waste and develop an accompanying hazard classification
- for the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources — to approve a procedure of measuring the level of soil contamination by persistent organic pollutants and launch a register of hazardous chemical substances.
What is wrong:
- powers of the National Security and Defense Council are limited to areas within the presidential authority. Acts by the NSDC enacted by presidential decrees can address only matters within powers granted to the Head of the State by the Constitution
- the NSDC works as a Shadow Cabinet that sets tasks for the Government and ministries and in doing so causes a dualism in the executive branch: it is unclear who is in charge of what and no one can be held responsible for their actions. As a result, the Cabinet does not play its leading part in developing and implementing national policies on important social issues and citizens suffer from the poor quality of services provided by the state.
New competitions for five positions within civil service
Decision-maker: the Cabinet, employees of several executive bodies, local governments, taxpayers, businesses, doctors, patients, and Ukrainian citizens.
In a nutshell: competitions for the following positions are announced:
- head of the State Architectural and Construction Inspection of Ukraine
- head of the State Tax Services
- head of the National Health Service of Ukraine
- head of the State Audit Service
- state secretary of the Ministry of Infrastructure.
What is right: with proper competitions, civil service will eventually become apolitical and start to work for the interests of the state, not politicians. Citizens’ trust in state bureaucracy will be restored.
- the law reintroducing proper competitions for civil service positions (instead of the so-called “lockdown” competitions) was enacted on March 6. The Parliament has passed the law with amendments proposed by the President
- the Cabinet made a decision to announce new competitions for civil service positions on March 10.
To know more about the pitfalls of the presidential amendments to the draft bill reintroducing proper competitions for civil service positions, please check the article by our analyst Oleh Savychuk Make everyone an acting minister
Establishment of the national investment fund
Decision-maker: the President.
Who is affected: the Cabinet, investors, and businesses.
In a nutshell: the President gave the Cabinet the following orders:
- to establish a national investment fund
- to define the scope and functions of the fund, its management bodies, powers, and sources of funding.
What is wrong:
- the President had no authority to issue this decree: he is not a part of the executive branch nor the head of the Cabinet. He has no authority to give orders to the Cabinet and especially on matters concerning state policies that are completely outside of his powers
- the decree does not explain why the national investment fund has to be established, does not define objectives and tasks of this new body or sources of its funding
- the decree is just an attempt by the President to interfere with the work of the Cabinet (in violation of the Constitution) and at the same time to refrain from taking any responsibility for his actions. Such attempts make the executive branch unbalanced and ineffective.
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