Project “Transparency and accountability during works on local roads: cities and communities”: results and outcomes

31.05.2021

Transparency and accountability

Project ” Transparency and accountability during works on local roads: cities and communities”: results and prospects for sustainability
10 leading experts on 10 most relevant topics conducted 30 educational activities for almost 1150 participants from all regions of Ukraine, while 4 regional coordinators in 8 regions of Ukraine made 17 monitoring visits, inspecting 134 sections of 65 roads and making sure of the quality or shortcomings of the works, performed last year and the year before last.

These are the quantitative indicators of some developments of Phase II of the Project ” Transparency and accountability during works on local roads: Cities and Communities”, implemented by CoST Ukraine with the support of USAID “Interaction”, which was presented on May 28, 2021.

“As part of the educational direction, we managed to train almost 600 representatives of regional state administrations, city and village councils, united territorial communities and public organizations. During the monitoring by the efforts of coordinators – to identify and eliminate deficiencies committed by contractors during the work. In terms of increasing the accountability of fund managers, it is necessary to achieve a decision of the Government on the obligation to disclose data to all customers of works and services in the field of infrastructure according to the international standard OC4IDS, “said CoST Ukraine Executive Director Sviatoslav Abramov.

According to him, corruption risks in the road sector, minimization of which was one of the tasks of the Project, are often components of inefficient management, so CoST aimed to raise awareness of all participants in the road construction process on decentralized infrastructure project management.

To achieve this goal, the Project has developed a number of methodological materials, including: Road Diseases Manual, Two Road Procurement Risk Guides, Instructions for Disclosure of Data on Infrastructure Projects and a clear Algorithm for actions of public activists in the framework of public road monitoring.

“In addition, we have developed 3 educational modules – for customers of road works and services, for the public, for the needs of which these works and services are ordered, as well as for the media, which are sometimes not only a channel for exchanging information between the first and second, but also lever of influence on the adoption of certain management decisions “, – he reported.

S. Abramov is convinced that such a strong base of developments creates preconditions for the implementation of other projects, in particular, the “School of Public Monitoring”, which would work on a permanent basis at the national level and would cover all regions of Ukraine.

He was also supported by USAID Interaction Project Development Manager Nadiya Trishchuk, who stressed that the philosophy of integrity spread by CoST in all public funds management organizations is also practiced by the public monitoring community, which builds a strong network of public monitors of roads quality in the cities , districts and areas.

“Moreover, the experience, technical capabilities and methodological developments of CoST Ukraine in the framework of our joint project can be useful in the framework of the Open Government Partnership Initiative in at least three strategic areas: open access to information on roads, additional mechanisms for monitoring infrastructure projects, as well as the use of e-democracy tools “, – N. Tryshchuk emphasized.
Ivan Lakhtionov, Deputy Executive Director for Innovation Projects of Transparency International Ukraine, also wished to scale up the Infrastructure Transparency Initiative

“It is difficult to overestimate the contribution of the implemented Project to the development of Ukraine’s infrastructure, including anti-corruption. A lot has been done, but Ukraine still needs to do so much, so CoST Ukraine needs to continue its work to increase government accountability and public involvement in government decision-making; the Project is only the first step in implementing the Initiative, necessary to support the implementation of reforms of the Ukrainian Government to meet the needs of citizens, ”he said.

Representatives of local authorities also expressed their gratitude to the Project: Mykola Odynotskyi, Deputy Director of the Department of Roads of the Lviv Regional State Administration, Veniamin Sitov, Member of the Board of the All-Ukrainian OTG Association, and Mykita Biryukov, Deputy Director of the Transport and Communications Department of the Mariupol City Council.

They noted that participation in the Project, as well as partnership with CoST, helped them to understand the peculiarities of decentralized road management, improve the skills of workers responsible for maintenance, rehabilitation and development of the road network, establish constant interaction with residents of their cities, communities and regions; therefore, it is much more efficient to use available financial resources to meet the needs of local communities.

The strongest example of such interaction was the solution of the issue of the village Krasiv, in the Lviv region within the framework of the Project., the road to which was in a very unsatisfactory condition, and the entrance to the village itself turned into a landfill for scrap metal from local Avtoshrot, making it impossible to travel and carry out any road works.

According to Svitlana Kryzhanivska-Blinova, a local activist and co-founder of Lvivske Opillya, the C140927 Krasiv-Polyana highway is one of the most popular tourist routes near Lviv, leading to picturesque mountains, forests and a number of natural and historical monuments, which have been often impossible to reach for several years already.

“The impassable condition of this road, as well as piles of rusty iron at the local landfill, actually blocked not only the passage, but also life in this region. It was at the request of local residents that we, together with the regional coordinator of CoST Ukraine in the Lviv region, Myroslav Simka, set about solving this problem. We met with stakeholders, collected signatures, addressed all responsible bodies – wrote and sent letters, “she said.

In turn, M. Simka noted that the stumbling block in this story was not so much the painstaking work on the inclusion of the road in the List of objects, as the solution to the issue of disposal of scrap metal, which hindered road works.

“The fact is that despite its location – a public road, all scrap metal was the private property of a local entrepreneur, to remove which the Department of Roads of the Regional State Administration had neither a legal right nor resources, which is why we first had to agree with the owner of scrap. Unfortunately, we did not succeed without the help of law enforcement agencies, and in early 2021 the roadsides were cleared and road works began. Currently, the upper layer of the road is being arranged, and soon the road markings will be applied and all the necessary signs will be installed, opening the way for green tourism in the region, ”M. Simka reported.

Another, but no less significant, situation developed in Kherson region, where local activist and chairman of the Belozersky Center for Regional Development Ella Petrenko drew attention to the poor performance of the current average repairs on the highway O220225 border of Mykolayiv region – Stanislav – Belozerka.

“Passing by, I noticed that the newly laid road surface already has defects, including cracks and chips. Not being an expert on road materials and technologies, I turned to the regional coordinator of CoST Ukraine in the Kherson region Volodymyr Zhdanov. It was he who helped my organization to form an appeal to the balance holder and the customer of works on this road – the Kherson regional state administration, with a request to take the quality of work under close control.

Thanks to our well-prepared appeal, the specialists of the regional state administration inspected the repaired area, and all the detected defects were eliminated by the contractor within the framework of its warranty obligations, ”E. Petrenko said.

In turn, V. Zhdanov noted that today public monitoring of the quality of road works can and should be carried out by all concerned citizens and public organizations in every corner of Ukraine.

It should be understood that the managers of the funds must repair each road as efficiently as possible from the first time or force the contractor to eliminate the shortcomings of the work within the warranty period, which is from 2 to 5 years,” he said.

In total, during the year, the regional coordinators identified shortcomings in the work performed last year and the year before, on more than 60 sections of roads, both public and communal. On half of them the revealed defects of a road covering are already eliminated according to conditions of the contracts concluded by them, on other remarks work with customers of works is still conducted.

“The Transparency and accountability during works on local roads: cities and communities” Project was made possible by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The contents of this material are the sole responsibility of CoST Ukraine and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

Press-office of CoST Ukraine

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