News Society, 26/12/2017

Activists Require Municipal Services to Get Accountable

Representatives of Kharkiv Anti-Corruption Center have sued three municipal enterprises: Zhilkomservice (municipal utilities), Kharkiv Metro and Wastes Disposal Complex “to make them open.”

The main purpose of the activists is to make the activity of these services more efficient and financially transparent.

Ihor Chernyak, a deputy of the Kharkiv City Council and deputy chairman of the board of the Kharkiv Anti-Corruption Center civic organization, says these three enterprises announce they are unprofitable, according to official figures. Therefore they get additional finance from the city budget every year. At the same time, the utility tariffs in Kharkiv are the highest in Ukraine.

“Zhilkomservice is a monopolist in the utility area and it declares itself bankrupt. However, there is no information on the enterprises’ official websites about their accounts, their contracts, purchases, expenses and managers’ wages. That’s why we went to court, since access to the information is the first step towards overcoming corruption,” Chernyak states.

Commercial information of the municipal enterprises should be transparent and published openly on their official websites according to the legislation of Ukraine, the activists insist.

Dmitro Bulakh, chairman of the board of the Kharkiv Anti-Corruption Center, says, they sued the municipal enterprises to start a massive campaign for their transparency. The city residents should know what the huge sums “to fund the municipal services” are spent from the city budget each year.

Activists say they hope to win since they only require to observe the law demands from the services.

The first sessions on the cases will be held in January 2018 in the Kharkiv District Administrative Court. The cases on municipal services are pioneering for Ukraine in the field of fighting corruption.

Text: Olena Sokolynska

Photo: Nakipelo