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To Spend As Europeans Do: What Harms to the Ukrainian Cities` Budgets

evropejska-pravda

Dmytro Boyarchuk, Executive Director of CASE Ukraine, explained to the ‘Yevpopeiskaya Pravda’ edition the role of “The Price of the State” CASE Ukraine`s project as relating to the budgetary transparency and the Ukrainian`s interest in this topic.

… Open Budget – is not the only initiative in the area of fiscal transparency established by EU funds. In 2014, with the support of the European Union, there has been launched the ‘The price of the state’ project. As with ‘Open Budget”, European funding was allocated for a two-year term and later has expired. After that the project was not closed.

‘Right now we support it at our own expense, as well as at the expense of private investors’, – says Dmytro Boyarchuk, Executive Director of CASE Ukraine.

There are also several components in ‘The price of the state’ project. Among them there is the analysis of the state owned enterprises` budget and the creation of an ‘invoice from the state”. It is a virtual bill, in which the taxpayer might see how much of his/her taxes went on covering health, pensions, army and so on.

‘It just seems that the budgets of companies are interesting. Not at all. The data considering state owned enterprises` spending went much less interesting to the readers than the state ministries` ones, although there’s big money,’ – says Boyarchuk. Another point, which faced the ‘Price of the State’ project, is the state owned enterprises` reluctance to make their budgets come into the spotlight. It is possible that the situation with the municipal enterprises under the city`s control will be better, but at the national level, many subjects just ignored the requirement of the law on openness.

‘It is very difficult to access data. We write requests and complaints, but the penalty for this violation is about 800 UAH. They are willing to pay a lifetime 800 UAH, only to be closed for us,’ – says Dmytro Boyarchuk.

According to his observations, the topic of budget openness proved to be too ‘boring’ to become popular: ‘The radical, striking messages spread very well. But when the public finds out the life is not black or white (and any problem has shades), the circle of concerned persons becomes narrow.’

Read the full article on ‘Yevpopeiskaya Pravda’ [in ukrainian].

September 23, 2016