The ‘1991 Open Data Incubator,’ Ukraine’s first incubator for Open Data projects, was launched last week by SocialBoost, a tech NGO, in partnership with the Ukrainian government, Western NIS Enterprise Fund and Microsoft Ukraine. The incubator aims to create socially-oriented services and applications based on government open data. Its website is available only in Ukrainian.
The project is a contribution to improving the economy and state management, develop anti-corruption analytical systems while paying maximum attention to the local projects, stated Denys Gursky, founder of SocialBoost and government advisor.
Dmytro Shymkiv, Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration: “We want the high-tech sector to become one of the pillars of this country’s future”
A technology entrepreneur with a rich background in Ukraine, Europe and the USA, Dmytro Shymkiv headed Microsoft Ukraine when he was appointed to the Presidential Administration in the months that followed the Maidan revolution. He shared with Ukraine Digital News his vision of Ukraine as a country of innovators and analyzes Ukraine’s first steps on the path to reform.
Overseen by officials looking for kickbacks, Ukraine’s old, flesh, bones and paper system of procurement whittled away on average about $2.3 billion a year due to shady schemes. That’s 20% of taxpayers’ money that the government allocates to buying goods, labor and services for public needs.
To put a plug in that corrupt drain, the Economy Ministry, in cooperation with civic activists, have created ProZorro – a full-service electronic public procurement system that started operating in pilot mode on Feb. 12. As of Oct. 2, the system had processed 12,260 electronic tenders worth 3.72 billion hryvnias (approximately $160 million at the current exchange rate) and saved the state an estimated 306.4 million hryvnias on procurement (approximately $13 million).
Earlier this month the Ministry of Finances of Ukraine launched eData, a portal to track the use of public funds and “defeat corruption.”
“We are introducing a revolutionary IT platform that will ensure more transparent use of public funds. After completion of the project, all citizens of Ukraine will be able to check the use of the state budget,” said finance minister Natalie Jaresko.
Saakashvili for prime minister, weapons for citizens – and no tax for IT companies, demand Ukrainian online petitioners
Following a law which came into force on last month, Ukrainians have been active in their use of their right to initiate and sign online petitions. The law obliges the presidential administration to consider any demand supported by at least 25,000 citizens within 90 days after petition launch.
Thus it has taken merely one week for a petition demanding that former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili be appointed prime minister to gather the required number of signatures. It remains to be seen whether the Ukrainian parliament – which has a constitutional basis for appointing prime ministers – will follow the petitioners’ demand, given that Saakashvili himself has stated that he is not applying for this position.
Ukraine is embracing e-government and is placing the services of more than 60 ministries and agencies on one portal: iGov.org.ua. The volunteer-run website went online in mid-June with 22 state functions currently available. 45 services are to be available “very soon,” while 484 are in the pipeline as of July 2. They are divided into services for citizens and business entities.
Individuals can, for example, register the birth of a baby, a new car with the police, or give notice of forming a civic organization. Businesses in turn can register notices of starting construction work, apply for various licenses, and access government databases on enterprises.
By March 1, 2015, an information system for urban management called “Electronic City” will be launched in Odessa, a major city in southern Ukraine, announced Serhiy Dubenko, adviser to the mayor. As reported by the publication IT Vesti, the purpose of the system will be to improve control by city officials and their staff over carrying out their responsibilities.
After the system is launched, Odessa inhabitants will be able to send an electronic request or application regarding a city problem, including photos of the problem area (such as trash that has not been picked up or a parking violation committed by a city employee).
Perhaps never before have elections to Ukraine’s parliament, which will take place this Sunday, been held under such public scrutiny. Ukraine paid a high price for free elections, which is why voters want the process conducted honestly this time around. Thus the country is seeing the emergence of a variety of online-voting services, mobile apps and websites with the aim of making the elections honest and transparent.
Leading Ukrainian tech blog AIN.UA has selected six of the most popular pre-election online projects.
Police in Ukraine’s capital city of Kiev (Kyiv) are testing a new innovation that allows residents to track queries made to the police through an online platform. As reported by Ukrainian online publication AIN.UA, the initiative is part of a growing state strategy to liberalize and digitalize the relationship and interactions between citizens and government apparatus.
The police requests tracking system, currently running in test mode, functions thus: when a city resident calls the police number 102 from a mobile phone, an SMS with the number of the query is then registered and made available to the caller. The caller can then use the tracking number to locate their query on the police website and oversee progress.
Earlier this week Dmitry Shimkiv, Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration for Administrative, Social and Economic Reform, and Economic Development Minister Pavel Sheremeta, presented the online platform Easybusiness in UA.
The platform – available in Ukrainian language only – displays tasks that are being worked on by the presidential team responsible for reform. A separate section on the site is dedicated to the IT sector, with 14 priority areas for anticipated reform already listed.