The LIFT project – a search for the effective or a mockery of the naive
Mykhailo Tsymbaliuk, Member of Parliament of Ukraine, Batkivshchyna, First Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Social Policy and Protection of Veterans’ Rights
Today in Ukraine more than 30% of heads of district state administrations (DSA) remain unassigned. During the period of quarantine measures and the fight against coronavirus infection, the red tape with the appointment of DSA leaders not only increases the great risks and threats to the lives of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians on the ground (among the general public), but also threatens the functioning of the whole country.
Thus, as of the beginning of May, only 314 DSA heads were appointed out of the 490 required. And those districts that do not yet have new leaders are headed mainly by deputies appointed during the previous president.
Ternopil and Kyiv oblasts are indicative of the collapse of the administrative vertical. In particular, in Ternopil region, which was one of the first in the epicenter of the mass spread of coronavirus from 17 districts, only 5 heads of DSA were appointed, and in Kyiv region – from 25 districts, only 10 heads... It is difficult to even imagine the principle of communication and delivery of the necessary information on the chain «Office of the President-RSA-DSA», so it is not surprising that in the beginning many regions submitted real numbers of diseases on COVID-19 too late.
According to the legislation, heads of district state administrations are appointed and dismissed by the President of Ukraine on the proposal of the heads of regional state administrations and with the relevant consent of the Government. That is, the head of the district administration is in fact a representative of the president and head of the region in his district. This is very important in the system of interaction, as this status includes, in particular, the possibility of coordinating the work of law enforcement officers at all levels.
The staff shortage in our country was not even planned a year ago, but in fact we see a shortage of staff both on the ground and even in the Government, especially since three more ministers have not been appointed.
And a year ago, the team of the new Guarantor of the Constitution launched the LIFT project. Its main purpose was to make an honest and transparent selection of specialists, during which abuse will be prevented. In the end, as experience shows, positions in district state administrations are not awarded to LIFT winners, but to «their» people who have previously agreed on the positions. And such cases when the so-called «independent social platform» is ignored are observed in almost every region.
Ukrainians were given hope that almost everyone could get their dream job only by filling out an application on the LIFT platform, but over time it became clear that this initiative turned out to be a banal huge scam and manipulation, a kind of cover, when some go through 10 hellish rounds of selection, and others without any competition have already been appointed.
All the candidates for public office did go through 10 stages of selection - filling out questionnaires, taking the first interview by phone, carefully checking their data for correctness, studying the candidate’s psychology, testing their knowledge of the law and finally inviting them for a personal interview, and after that… they simply refused, saying that they had found another candidate or did not explain anything at all. So a logical question arises – what was the purpose of this platform? To give hope, and then to cut everything off and let a person into obscurity, knowing that all this is a formality and for the society to believe in a good picture of change in our country… And how many cases are known when candidates for certain positions passed all the stages, interviews, in the end read on the websites of the structures that «the competition did not take place».
An illustrative example is again Ternopil region. This area was without a leader for 5 months last year, and only in October was an entrepreneur appointed there who did not hide his friendly ties with the «95th quarter». Journalists have not been able to find out whether the official passed the LIFT interviews. In the end, the man did not sit long in his chair - in four months he wrote a letter of resignation, failing to cope with the tasks of the President of Ukraine to organize a reception of Ukrainians from China for the period of self-isolation.
In this context, one more logical question arises – whether the President is confident in his subordinates and in what direction they will make decisions in a critical situation.
It seems that the inexpediency of the «social platform» was recognized by both the Office of the President and the presidential parliamentary monomajority. Earlier, the head of the Office on Bankova in Kyiv Andrii Yermak noted, that «finding a professional person with high moral values who is ready to dedicate himself to work for the state is not so easy».
Therefore, Andrii Yermak proposes to the heads of regional state administrations to introduce positions of deputies for work with talented youth, who would be engaged in forming a list of ambitious young and talented people from the regions to work for the state and on the ground to create a personnel reserve. The LIFT was ignored here…
They will not use the «social platform» in the President’s team on the eve of local elections this year, but will resort to a system which is similar to the American «primaries» – a type of voting in which they will choose a single candidate from a political party, but will also take into account recommendations. The main speakers from the pro-government party are already talking about this.
Here, as never before, the words of Hryhorii Skovoroda are relevant: «What ignites quickly, suddenly goes out». And the same is with the LIFT system, which was so pompously presented last year with promises that everyone can easily try themselves in the competition for high positions, and in the end, we see – now on this platform «hang» job invitations for secretaries or accountants.