In November 2015 OSF joined the Coalition for support of the simplified tax system. Coalition aimed to impose a moratorium on amendments to the simplified tax system for a period of 3 years. Due to successful national advocacy campaign coalition members managed to retain most simplified tax system elements despite the government's intention to destroy it within the initiated tax reform. Given the imperfect and corrupt overall taxation system, the simplified tax system scheme serves as an opportunity for socially active citizens to create and maintain jobs for themselves and their employees, work legally, pay taxes, spend less time on reporting and reduce the social burden on the budget.
On December 28 in Kyiv Open Society Foundation presented the interim results of the local budgets’ monitoring held in 17 cities of Ukraine based on 1st Ukrainian transparency, participation and integrity index (TPI Index).
At the discussion hosted by the Information Agency ‘RIA Novyny’ OSF Director Ivan Sikora and the experts from the Urban Institute (Oleksandr Sergienko), Public Auditing NGO (Maksym Holdarb) and Public Safety Foundation (Yuri Havrylchenko) shared their estimates on the draft Kyiv budget. Earlier, despite the OSF Open Address to the mayor Klitschko, Kyiv city authorities have abstained from organizing an expert discussion on the draft Kyiv city budget for 2016.
A group of independent urban development experts addressed the OSF regarding the violations in Public Building Norms (PBN). OSF included their expertese in the assessment and comments to the "Planning and Development" draft of public building norms. We also prepared and distributed the appropriate statement. The joint address is focused on three groups of corruption risks in the Draft PBN, related with the gaps of legal regulation, the broad discretionary powers and the conflict of interest. In experts’ opinion, these can lead to the large-scale corruption practices worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
The responsible local policy begins with compliance with procedures. Kyiv budget policy should be considered an indicator for Mayor Klitschko’s readiness for clear and unambiguous compliance with the requirements of the budget legislation and legislation on access to public information. Adopting the budget "just-in-time" and absence of the draft budget on the KCSA web-page (as of December 2) once again recalled the same old problems in the budget process.
On November 19 during the session during Civil Society Development Forum dedicated to advocacy success stories, OSF Director Ivan Sikora presented the case titled “Metropolitan government shady deals. Mechanisms for community to defend own rights. An example of Mykilska Slobidka in Kyiv".
Ivan Sikora, Open Society Foundation Director, has doubted the the estimated construction cost of Troyeshchina metro line, which was announced by Mayor Klitschko’s team. Construction talks on this major Kyiv infrastructure facility might be connected with the beginning of the election campaign, Sikora suggested.