President Victor Yushchenko held a meeting today with local state administrations heads.

According to the President`s press-office, the first part of the meeting was dedicated to processing citizens petitions.

Opening the meeting the President noted that there are “too many faults, too many problems” speaking about authorities reaction to citizens petitions. He also expressed readiness to take all necessary steps so that state authorities and citizens would have a more prolific dialogue. “Neither ideological or political concerns of the person petitioning the authorities, nor the region where it takes place should be of importance for us. We must be fully opened and responsible before the citizens”, - said Victor Yushchenko.

V. Yushchenko also urged state administrations heads to carry on a dialogue with citizens in person mentioning that President’s Secretariat spotted failure of observing citizens reception schedules by state officials of 9 regions of Ukraine. “The reception schedule of Kyiv local state administration head does not include citizens reception at all”, - said V. Yushchenko. He expressed a wish that administration heads signed most of the replies to the petitions in person so that citizens would feel that the authorities are respecting the dialogue.

In the second part of the meeting the President focused on introducing modifications to legislation regulating state purchases of goods and services.

V. Yushchenko said that he would sign the new Law on state purchases immediately after it is approved by the parliament should this law be clear-cut, transparent and well coordinated. To him the law currently in force is “ineffective and generates quite a system of shady relations”. Among main drawbacks of this laws named by the President is ineffective division of powers between the Tender Chamber, the Interdepartmental commission on state purchases and executive bodies controlling state purchases. Regarding that V. Yushchenko mentioned that it is particularly strange, that the Tender Chamber being a union of public organizations is however possesses powers of a state body. Along with these problems state purchase procedures lack transparency, tender procedures are groundlessly expensive and documents circulation on every purchase is excessively enormous. “I would welcome any attempts to improve the situation, such as you preparing a new draft law”, - said Victor Yushchenko addressing those present. “I understand that modification of state purchases procedures will always be criticized by different sides, including those political. I also understand that this criticism is backed up by a well organized parliamentary lobby of political and other natures; the lobby we together are to overcome”, - he added.