Index of Effectiveness of the Hour of Questions to the Government of Ukraine Hour of Questions to the Government, May 19, 2017

  1. Number of Government members.

Fourteen members of the Cabinet of Ministers were present, namely: First Vice Premier and Minister of Economic Development and Trade S. Kubiv, Vice Premiers H. Zubko, P. Rozenko, I. Klympush-Tsyntsadze, and V. Kyrylenko.

Ministers: all ministers, except for those that were away on secondment; it should be noted, however, that the names of the absent ministers were not announced, despite the respective requirement of the Rules of Procedure.

  1. The Hour of Questions to the Government was attended by the Prime Minister of Ukraine.

Firstly, during the meeting of the Coordination Board on May 15, questions relating to the subject of the next Hour of Questions to the Government were not discussed in any way, though such discussion is explicitly required by Rules of Procedure.

Secondly, the chair of the meeting announced at the beginning of the Hour that the format of this procedural event would be radically changed, though such change is not provided for at all in the Rules of Procedure. However, the Rules of Procedure provide for the possibility of the chair making a proposal to deviate from the procedure on an ad hoc basis. The Verkhovna Rada would then vote on the proposal without discussing it (part one, Article 50 of the Rules of Procedure); it would be approved if supported by a majority of the Parliament’s constitutional composition. However, the chair did nothing of this sort, thus grossly violating the Rules of Procedure.

It is true that the Rules of Procedure allow such deviation from the rules, but only when a decision to that effect has been taken. Since the procedural order was violated, the procedure became disorganized, consisting in a mere exchange of opinions, which is at odds with the very essence of this mechanism. This is clearly seen from the fact that the factions and groups failed to prepare for the Hour in advance.

Thirdly, the chair then announced on his own initiative that the MPs would start asking questions, whereas the procedure requires that questions from factions be asked at the beginning, providing for a more systemic and representative nature of the discussion.

Fourthly, no time limit was set for the questions or the answers; therefore, a number of answers were too long, lasting for nearly five minutes.

Fifthly, a number of questions were absolutely unrelated to the subject announced at the beginning of the Hour. Thus, the very first question concerned the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine. Later, there were several questions about things such as road construction reprofiling, finalization of the Okhmatdyt hospital reconstruction, the motorway between Artsyz and Tarutyne in Odesa oblast, etc. Such “style” of communication with the Government had a particularly negative impact on its effectiveness in view of its extreme unfocusedness.

Estimates:            for organizing and conducting the Hour – 2 points on a 5-point evaluation scale

                              for information richness – 3.5 points, resulting not so much from the Government’s unpreparedness for the dialogue as from the chair’s deviation from the requirements of the Rules of Procedure, which made the event chaotic.

 

Alyona Hurkivska

Volodymyr Kryzhanivskyi