Ukrainian civil servants prohibited from criticizing the state

ROMAN PILIPEY

The regulation of ethical behavior for civil servants was signed by Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk in February

The Ukrainian government finally adopted a new “ethical code” for the civil servants and from now on they are prohibited to swear, fight and criticize the government in public


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The Ukrainian civil servants are prohibited to swear, fight and criticize the government in public, according to the ethical code adopted by the right-wing Ukrainian government.

According to Reuters the new ethical code was approved on Tuesday while on 23 February, the Ukraine Today website reported that the Cabinet of Ministers had approved the regulation of ethical behavior for civil servants. The administrative regulation, was previously signed by the Prime Minister of Ukraine, Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

The decree says that the civil servants should “avoid any public criticisms of the work of state institutions and their officials.” Based upon the “loyalty” rule the new code stresses that civil servants who disobey the decree could face disciplinary action.

The new ethical code was published on the government’s site on February 23 and Ukraine Today reported that it also extends to the heads of the public enterprises, meaning that the public enterprises are being seeing as state-owned firms.

“To restore public trust in authorities and officials, the government decided to introduce standards of ethical conduct for public servants. This resolution takes into account progressive and successful experience of EU member states. The act is based on model of maximum transparency of public authorities guarantee taken in the Republic of Poland. Adoption of the Act establishes common mandatory requirements of standards of ethical conduct and honesty for civil servants. It will facilitate the prevention of pressure from representatives of business or political parties on government bodies’ employees,” the decree adds.

Regarding transparency and accountability the code warrants “tracking of conversations and personal meetings with representatives of political parties, deputies, business entities or their authorized representatives done by civil servants’ of first and second category, and delivery of the information concerning such conversations and meetings in accordance with the laws on access to public information;”

According to Reuters, the new ethical code immediately drew criticism from some civil servants while other mocked the state’s call for officials to obey the government line. “I’m a loyal public servant. I’m thrilled with the work of state bodies (and) their officials,” Ukraine’s Ambassador-at-Large Dmytro Kuleba tweeted, linking to an article about the ban.

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