Discretionary powers: threats and opportunities for the development of local government in Ukraine

  • T. M. Tarasenko Dnepropetrovsk regional institute of public administration, the National academy of public administration, office of the President of Ukraine
Keywords: discretionary powers of authorities and officials of local government, sole discretion, decentralization of power, local government reforming


The essence of discretionary powers of authorities and officials of local government has been developed, and possible dangers associated with their implementation in the context of the local government development in Ukraine have been outlined. The study attempts to specify the nature of these powers with due regard to the specific features of local government and outline approaches for improving the regulation of relations in the exercise of discretionary powers. The need for further researches in this area in the field of public administration, in particular, regarding the practice­oriented research support to activities of authorities and officials of local government in this area, has been substantiated.The article focuses on the importance of not only reducing the number of discretionary powers, but also ensuring the proper monitoring of the exercise of such powers on the basis of law, justice, and expediency. The article emphasizes the need to strengthen accountability of authorities and officials of local government, including the social and political accountability and development of practices of public control over the decision­making in the field of local government. The research results confirm the relevance of an issue of the formation of competence of officials on the matters of the exercise of discretionary powers. It is recommended to develop the techniques of making decisions or actions during the implementation of discretionary powers as methodological support. This methodology is based on the requirements of the Administrative Court Procedure Code of Ukraine and existing methodologies with anti­corruption expertise.It has been noted that discretionary powers of authorities and officials of local government make it possible to increase the level of their freedom in the activities concerning the functions of local government. It gains in particular importance in the absence of decision­making opportunities otherwise. However, these powers necessitate ensuring a high level of legal culture, accountability and efficient control mechanisms, protection of citizens from harm caused as a result of the exercise of such powers. Introduction of prefects has been considered as opportunities for monitoring the implementation of discretionary power in local government, especially, regarding the observation of law.Regulation of the performance of a significant amount of powers related to the regulation of relations between a local government authority and individuals and legal entities in different spheres of life is revealed as a means of reducing the corruption factor in their performance. The focus of this regulation, as concluded by the study, should be given to the determination of basic conditions, terms of decisions or actions, accountability for their failure or improper performance.

Author Biography

T. M. Tarasenko, Dnepropetrovsk regional institute of public administration, the National academy of public administration, office of the President of Ukraine
PhD in public administration, associate professor


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How to Cite
Tarasenko, T. (2016). Discretionary powers: threats and opportunities for the development of local government in Ukraine. Public Administration Aspects, 4(6-7), 77-84. https://doi.org/10.15421/151631
Regional and municipal government