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Ministry of Foreign Affairs Project

November 27, 2006

U.S.-Ukraine Foundation Hosts Ministry of Foreign Affairs Delegation

Washington, DC – As part of the Project to Assist Ukraine’s Civil Service Reform, the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation hosted delegates from Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs from November 12 to November 17 to discuss ways to improve Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs operations by using best practices based on the United States experience.  The delegates from Ukraine were Yuriy Yarmilko, Deputy Director of Personnel Management at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, and Dmytro Senik, Third Secretary of the Personnel Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. 

During the week, the delegates met with the U.S. Agency for International Development; Avue Technologies; Ambassador Anthony Quainton, Former Director General of the Foreign Service; Myra Shiplett, Director of the Center for Human Resources Management for the National Academy of Public Administration; George Nesterczuk, the Project’s Technical Consultant; Jack Heller, the Project’s Senior Advisor; and Nadia McConnell, U.S.-Ukraine Foundation President. 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Project

(L-R:  At the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation’s Office:  Marta Matselioukh, Project Coordinator; Dmytro Senik, Third Secretary of the Personnel Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine; Yuriy Yarmilko, Deputy Director of Personnel Management at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine; Ambassador Anthony Quainton, Former Director General of the Foreign Service; Jack Heller, Project’s Senior Advisor; George Nesterczuk, Project’s Technical Consultant)

Issues discussed included Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs recruitment and selection of applicants, training of the workforce, placing employees in the right job at the right time, performance management, strategic planning, and the use of information technology to better support decision making in the Ministry.

Commenting on the quality of the meetings, Mr. Yarmilko stated that “The visit was very useful.  Our meetings gave us an opportunity to get acquainted with a tried and tested system of personnel management:  the selection, rotation, and evaluation of employees.  It is without a doubt that some of this expertise may be used in the foreign service of Ukraine.  We believe that this project is beneficial for both of our sides.  We would like to thank the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation and its President Nadia McConnell in organizing this trip and supporting a project to implement modern methods of personnel management in Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.” 

This was the third delegation from Ukraine over the past five months as part of the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation’s Project to Assist Ukraine’s Civil Service Reform.  The project is designed to assist the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and the Civil Service of Ukraine in improving their personnel management systems.  The eighteen month program is funded by the Fund for Democracy and Development, using funds derived from a monetization program at the Department of Agriculture.   

In the words of Mr. Nesterczuk, “I am very pleased with the discussions and consultations this week because we were able to examine in detail the specifics of some significant administrative reforms.  I believe we are now ready to proceed with the next phase of the project which is to provide support for implementation of agreed to reforms.”    

What is next for the project?  “Shortly the Foundation will consult with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine on an implementation plan to phase in their proposed changes and to facilitate acceptance of the proposed reforms,” stated Mr. Nesterczuk.

For further program information from the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation, please contact Oksana Yakovenko at oksana@usukraine.org or at (202) 223-2228 or visit http://www.usukraine.org/foreign_affairs.shtml.

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June 15, 2006

Head of the Ukrainian Civil Service Presents on Public Service Reform in Ukraine 

Washington, DC – Tymofiy Motrenko, the Head of the Civil Service of Ukraine, discussed the “Transformation of the Ukrainian Civil Service System under Conditions of Political Reform” at the Kennan Institute on June 15.  Motrenko was in Washington, DC from June 11 to 16 as part of the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation’s Project to Assist Ukraine’s Civil Service Reform. 

Ambassador William Green Miller, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine and Co-chair of the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation’s Politics and Governance Task Force, moderated the event.  In his opening remarks, Ambassador Miller underlined the importance of civil service transformation based on the principles of public accountability, especially after the Orange Revolution, which explicitly demonstrated “the will of people to get rid of favoritism, corruption, and the selling of parliament seats, and bribery of judges, and civil service.”

Motrenko, a philosopher and economist by education, and an experienced public servant, is a key figure in Ukraine’s public service sector reform. He emphasized the need for increasing the efficiency, institutional transparency, and clarity of regulations and procedures in the executive branch.

The speaker put the democratization of the civil service into the context of the current broader political reform. Relative stability under a stronger president has given way to more frequent shifts in political leadership under a stronger parliament. The government is held more accountable under the coalition principle of Cabinet formation. The central executive powers are reduced and partially transferred to the local authorities.

In this political environment there is a new set of tasks that the government has to face, stated Motrenko. The key challenge is to ensure the coherence and high quality of public policy after the change in political leadership – an issue that arose acutely after the “staff shakeups” of 2005.  During his speech, Motrenko more than once emphasized the vital importance of enforcing the effective separation of political and administrative powers between ministries and governmental agencies. In the same vein, there should be a clear delineation between the political appointees, and administrative posts that carry out bureaucratic functions in order to preserve “institutional memory” and ensure the accumulation and transfer of skills and knowledge.   

“Good quality policy recommendations and continuous improvement of policy analysis skills are possible only when civil servants have economic security and are not subjected to political pressure,” noted Motrenko.  In other words, the public service should be depoliticized and independent of political changes.

Motrenko covered in detail specific directions and actions of the civil service reform. Particularly, he mentioned the adoption of the 2004 Concept to Adjust the Civil Service in Ukraine to the European Standards and 2006-2010 Action Plan. The Concept outlines functional and structural transformation in the civil service system, democratization of procedures, strengthening of quality control, management and policy analysis skills, and decision-making capabilities.  In 2001, a successful pilot project on establishing policy analysis groups was launched in ten governmental agencies. It resulted in important recommendations in numerous areas of public administration.

Establishing a “professional” bureaucracy will be based on the new progressive legislation. In particular, the draft Law on Civil Service introduces better public regulation of civil service, separation of political and administrative positions, competitive recruitment, and protection of civil servants from unlawful actions by the senior leadership. The draft Law on the Cabinet of Ministers, at the same time, increases the Cabinet’s political role by freeing up ministries from administrative responsibilities.

“Civil service plays an important role as an intermediary between the state and its citizens,” concluded Motrenko.  Thus, the stable development of Ukraine, its competitive position in the international arena, and the well-being of its citizens depend on the quality of work of civil servants. The success of the public service reform is vital for the success of the Ukrainian state. Motrenko’s presentation elicited interesting questions from the audience.

The U.S.-Ukraine Foundation is committed to assisting Ukraine in its reform efforts to promote greater security and democracy for the citizens of Ukraine.

 

June 11-16, 2006

Ukrainian Delegation Visits Washington to Study U.S. Civil Service System

Washington, DC – A delegation of Ukrainian officials met with a wide range of U.S. senior officials and experts in civil service during their visit to Washington from June 11 to 16. This trip was organized by the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation as part of its Project to Assist Ukraine’s Civil Service Reform.

The group from Ukraine consisted of Tymofiy Motrenko, the Head of the Civil Service of Ukraine, Oleksandr Demyanyuk, the Head of the Personnel Management Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, and Andriy Vyshnevsky, Director of the Center for Support of Civil Service Institutional Development under the Main Department of Civil Service of Ukraine.

Commenting on the delegation’s dedication, Jack Heller, the project’s Senior Advisor, stated that “This is a remarkably serious, capable, and hard working group. It has the enthusiasm and talent to lead significant administrative reform in Ukraine.”

During the week in Washington, the delegation had the opportunity to get an in-depth understanding of the American public service system during meetings with key U.S. government agencies and organizations. In particular, the Ukrainian delegation met with senior officials in the Office of the Vice President, U.S. Department of State, and the Office of Personnel Management. The Office of Personnel Management and the Ukrainian representatives agreed to draft a governmental memorandum of cooperation.

The week’s agenda was arranged primarily by George Nesterczuk, Technical Consultant to the project, Jack Heller, Senior Advisor, and U.S.-Ukraine Foundation staff. The Embassy of Ukraine in the United States also provided significant support to the visit.

Additional meetings were held with the Office of Government Ethics, Office of Special Counsel, Federal Labor Relations Authority, Merit Systems Protection Board, U.S. Agency for International Development, National Academy of Public Administration, International Republican Institute, National Democratic Institute, Millennium Challenge Corporation, the Foreign Service Institute, as well as with Ambassador George Staples, the Director General of the Foreign Service.

The delegation met with Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.S. Oleh Shamshur. The Politics and Governance Task Force of U.S.-Ukraine Foundation’s Policy Dialogue project hosted a lunch meeting with the delegation, and on June 15, Tymofiy Motrenko spoke at the Kennan Institute on the “Transformation of the Ukrainian Civil Service System under Conditions of Political Reform.” During their stay in Washington, DC, the delegates had an opportunity to visit the Taras Shevchenko Monument, give an interview at Voice of America, and meet with Edmund S. Muskie Graduate Fellowship Program participants from Ukraine.

The U.S.-Ukraine Foundation’s Project to Assist Ukraine’s Civil Service Reform is designed to assist the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine in improving its personnel management systems. More specifically, the eighteen month project will be supporting efforts within Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to design and install more effective systems for rotating personnel between domestic and foreign assignments, the recruitment and placement of foreign service professionals, training, managing the performance of personnel, and strategic planning.

The principal work of the project is to be conducted by dedicated task forces established within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The program is funded by the Fund for Democracy and Development, which derived funds from a monetization program at the Department of Agriculture.

In Motrenko’s words, the visit “laid the foundation for a systematic long-term cooperation between the governments of U.S. and Ukraine in its reformation of the civil service.
    


For further program information, please contact Oksana Yakovenko at oksana@usukraine.org or at (202) 223-2228 or visit http://www.usukraine.org/foreign_affairs.shtml.  


 

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