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Why the executive authorities should not obey Ukraine's government

Author : Viktor Pynzenyk

Former Minister of Finance Pynzenyk on the peculiarities of Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers
14:11, 14 June 2018

Read the original text at 112.ua.  

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Recently someone asked me: why the fiscal service is not subordinated to the government? I have to note that such a question should be refered to any central executive authority that is not a ministry.

To give an answer, one must realize the nature of an important state institution – the government, Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. 

Related: Groysman: Ukraine spends almost $5 billion for external debt

The government is a collegial body, which in total does not work more than 3-4 days a month. Frankly speaking, this is a kind of meeting of the working staff. Only in contrast to the working staff, governmental "meetings" are held more than once a year. In Ukraine, this happens on Wednesdays, or more often if needed, and the "labor collective" is represented by the ministers.

I stress: the government is not a permanent body. As an institution, it has its own working hours. But the executive must work continuously (taxes must be collected every day, pensions have to be paid, executive decisions should be made, etc.), and this is conducted by the appropriate bodies – the ministries.

"The meeting of the working staff" (government meeting) is not such an organ. And the problems are not only connected with the mode of operation. Collective subordination generates collective responsibility: everyone is responsible, that is, no one is responsible.

Related: Groysman: Ukraine spends almost $5 billion for external debt

As a result, there are failures and unmanageability in the system of the central executive body. Heads of the fiscal service or other similar bodies are not members of the government, at the same time they do not have their "boss". This "boss" cannot be a prime minister, because it is the minister without a ministry. Otherwise, the head of the government should add the "Minister of Finance" or another minister to the post of the first minister.

All central executive bodies should systemically be connected with the ministries, according to their functions. If this is an internal policy issue, then all bodies are in the Ministry of Internal Policy, if these are the budget issues, they refer to the Ministry of Finance. And not in the "fig leaf" mode, but it is about direct subordination.

Related: Groysman: Ukraine spends almost $5 billion for external debt

The minister himself must appoint and dismiss the head. Another option is possible, when the head appoints and dismisses the government, but only on the recommendation of the relevant minister. But this option is a much worse, as it weakens the position of the minister, who must be endowed with all the tools (including personnel) necessary to fulfill his functions.

A machine should not contain any parts that can work in the offline mode without interacting with the other parts and fail to obey the general purpose of the machine. Because then there will be no movement. The state "machine" is no exception. Maybe that is the reason for what is happening now?

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or 112.International and its owners.

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