The desire of cities to change and the willingness to take real steps towards transparency and accountability — this is what really thrills the Transparent Cities team. It is especially nice when the initiative is picked up by the cities outside the Rankings.
This is precisely what happened to the city of Novomoskovsk, in the Dnipropetrovsk oblast. Over the past four years, the city has consistently been at the bottom of the Transparency Ranking. According to the results of 2020, the transparency of the city council's work was estimated at only 14.8 points (100th place). In terms of accountability, the situation is also not very pleasant — 7 points and 45th place.
Novomoskovsk asked the program to identify priority areas of work that will help the city increase the level of transparency and improve community involvement in making important decisions.
During an online meeting with the participation of Mayor Serhii Reznik, the analytical team of Transparent cities provided Novomoskovsk with a list of practical recommendations whose implementation will enable the city to improve its performance by at least 15-20 points in the next ranking.
General recommendations for the city:
- Ensure proper functioning of all pages of the city council website (minimize cases of page 404 appearing).
- Regularly upload and update data sets on the site that are subject to mandatory disclosure.
- Apply electronic communication tools to interact with the community. For example, public consultations can be held live in the Zoom program, or in writing — on the public consultation platform, auctions for the placement of temporary structures and seasonal trade structures can take place on an electronic platform connected to the Prozorro system.
Public communications and public participation in policymaking:
- Conduct public discussions and consultations on important issues for the community, in particular the budget, regulatory acts, tariffs for services of municipal enterprises and institutions.
- Ensure that meetings of the relevant bodies are pre-announced in a separate section of the website.
- Register a profile on the public procurement portal DOZORRO and pass a regulatory act which obliges procuring entities under the city council to respond to citizen appeals and reviews.
Data and information:
- Publish the financial statements of municipal educational institutions
- Ensure transparency in the activities of municipal enterprises. Download and update information on contracts and payments on the Unified Web Portal on Public Spending.
- Publish information about city social assistance institutions
Work of local self-government bodies:
- Publish announcements about calls for job openings in the executive bodies of the council with comprehensive information.
- Publish minutes of meetings of a selection commission, including the names, surnames, and positions of members of the commission. Ensure balanced representation of women and men in the selection commission.
- Publish draft decisions and agendas of meetings of the city council and executive committee in an unchanged form within the period established by law.
- Approve the code of ethics that regulates the rules of conduct for officials and employees of municipal enterprises. The document should contain provisions on non-discrimination and gender equality, as well as sanctions mechanisms in cases of violations.
- Supplement the biographical certificate of the mayor of Novomoskovsk with information on relations with commercial and non-profit organizations before taking the office
- Keep the minutes of plenary sessions of the city council, executive committee, standing commissions for the last two years in the archive on the official website
The proposed list of recommendations will also be useful for other cities that want to improve their performance in the Transparency and Accountability Rankings.
The Transparent Cities team provides ongoing advice to cities on implementing proper transparency and accountability practices. If you have any additional questions, please write to the email address firstname.lastname@example.org.