PLENARY MEETINGS OF THE FIRST SESSION OF THE VERKHOVNA RADA OF UKRAINE OF THE 6TH CONVOCATION WERE HELD ON THURSDAY 13 DECEMBER

 

The Morning Meeting began at 11 am, preceded by the continuing Meeting of the Conciliatory Council.

 

228 People's Deputies Registered to attend the Meeting.

 

The Chairman The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Arseniy Yatseniuk, advised the People's Deputies of the Agreement reached at the Meeting of the Conciliatory Council with regard to the consideration of Amendments to the Resolution 'On the List, Membership and Terms of Reference of the Committees of The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of the 6th Convocation'.

 

 A. Yatseniuk then returned to the matter of Voting for the Appointment of Prime Minister, which had taken place on 11 December.  He confirmed his adherence to the Standing Orders of The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, whilst throughout every voting procedure, especially including the putting of matters to the vote.

 

A. Yatseniuk referred to Clause 48, Part Four, of the Standing Orders of The Verkhovna Rada. He noted that 'in the event that any circumstances should arise during the voting procedure, providing direct or indirect evidence of a technical failure in the voting, the Chairman of The Verkhovna Rada is obliged, and not simply entitled, to  put  the matter up for voting once again, through a procedure of  'putting to vote the matter of repeated voting'.

 

The Chair recalled more than 180 instances of Repeated Voting throughout the history of Plenary Meetings in The Verkhovna Rada.

 

A. Yatseniuk referred to the Standing Orders, Clause 29, Paragraph 1, and Clause 50 which also entitle him to bring up this matter.

 

He stressed that he had carried out this Constitutional obligation to secure the right of the People's Deputy of Ukraine to vote.

 

Speaking of the Standing Orders of The Verkhovna Rada, the Chairman noted that this document is not a Constitutional procedure, but a Byelaw, whose status within the system of legislative instruments equals that of Regulations in various Ministries. 'Is this a document by which The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine should be governed? ', enquired the Chair.

 

In view of the above, A. Yatseniuk appealed to the People's Deputies of Ukraine to refrain from any further political speculation as to the far-fetched abuse of his Right by the Chairman of The Verkhovna Rada.

 

A. Yatseniuk referred to the situation whereby he was deprived of his card during the voting as ‘An appalling incident´. He said, that once the Committee for Standing Orders has been set up, the information relating to the accident will be submitted by him to this Committee, who will take a collective decision on the matter, and forward the evidence to Ukrainian Law-Enforcement Agencies.

 

The Chair then notified the Deputies that the Conciliatory Council had unanimously resolved that the matter of the Electronic System 'Rada' operation should be the Number One priority on the Agenda of the Plenary Meeting, followed by consideration of the Draft Resolution amending the Resolution 'On the List, Membership and Terms of Reference of the Committees of The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of the 6th Convocation'.

 

This Agenda was put to the vote and seconded by 272 votes of the People's Deputies.

 

The Deputies  then moved on to the first item on the Agenda, and heard Reports by the Deputy Chief of the Security Service of Ukraine, Mykola Herasymenko; Deputy Prosecutor General Of Ukraine, Viktor Kudriavtsev; Chief Designer of the Electronic System 'Rada', Olexander Morozov; Head of Computerized  Systems Division of the Office and Administrative Department of  The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Oleksiy Sydorenko, and  Head of  State Special-Purpose Communication and Information Protection  Department,  Yuriy Chebotarenko.

 

The Deputy Chief of the Security Service of Ukraine and the Deputy Prosecutor General reported on the outcome of the examination to determine if any intrusions into the operation of the Electronic System 'Rada' had taken place.  No intrusions in this system have so far been established, based on the available information. An Ad Hoc Action Plan was drawn up to provide for a comprehensive and unbiased examination. After the relevant decision has been taken, it will be subject to checks by the Prosecutor General's Office to confirm its legality and validity.

 

The Chief Designer of the 'Rada' System, Anatoliy Morozov, did not exclude the possibility of the button having been pressed in an untypical manner,  either through excitement or some other reason. He assured the People´s Deputies that the operation of the ‘Rada´ System was and is working correctly.

 

The Head of the Computerized Systems Division of the Office and Administrative Department of The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Oleksiy Sydorenko, said that the 'Rada-3' System is protected, and declared any allegations as to its lack of protection biased and incorrect.

 

According to him, this System has several levels of protection: software protection, database protection, protection of servers, protection of active network equipment, and others.

 

He expressed regret at the time constraints placed by the Computerized Systems Division during the training offered to all People's Deputies before The Verkhovna Rada of the 6th Convocation commenced its proceedings.

 

The Divisional Head assured the People's Deputies that the protection of the System and its correct operation is in no way dependent on the availability or absence of the Expert Opinion of The State Special Purpose Communication and Information Protection Service.

 

O Sydorenko recalled that he had been notified in early 2007 of the ongoing development of an integrated Information Protection System for all 23 automatic systems operating in The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, including the 'Rada' System, as initiated by the Office and Administrative Department of The Verkhovna Rada.

 

The Head of the State Special Purpose Communication and Information Protection Service, O. Sydorenko, said that Experts from his Service had not been recruited to the Inter-departmental Panel, despite having received the relevant request to work on this Panel. He said that at present his Service holds no documents concerning this System, and is limited in its actions

 

The questions put by the People's Deputies referred to the operation of the System. Olexander Turchynov of BYuT said that they now understood from the discussions that there are no documents or materials available on the System Certification. He asked: 'How long will it take to have the 'Rada' System certified for information protection and exclusion of interferences, and when might The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine receive this Certificate?'

 

The Head of the State Special Purpose Communication and Information Protection Service replied that he considered two to six months would be required to issue the Certificate.

 

Members of all Factions were involved in discussion of this matter. Roman Zvarych of 'Our Ukraine People's Self-Defence' Faction stated that included in the 'Rada' System are devices on which no expert opinion has been provided by the State Service. He meant, in particular, the CISCO-24 device of US-Russian production, which has no Conformance Certificate. This, to his mind, allows the System to be considered as unprotected. He alerted the auditorium to the urgent necessity of   provision for the total protection of the 'Rada' System.

 

 Mykhailo Syrota, of The Lytvyn Bloc Faction, said that the 'Rada' System operates correctly. He appealed to the People's Deputies to move on to the Agenda, to elect a Prime Minister, set up the governing bodies of The Verkhovna Rada and the Committees, and  proceed to the primary function of  Law making.

 

Yuriy Myroshnychenko, of the Party of Regions, stated that his Faction was expecting an official apology from the Coalition Faction, for their groundless accusations of the intrusion into the Electronic System 'Rada'. He appealed to the People's Deputies 'to seek universal decisions, and to refrain from making ultimatums. We should proceed with that which unites us, refrain from ‘leaning´ on the Opposition, and try to reach a consolidated decision through consultation'.

 

Petro Symonenko, Chairman of the CPU Faction, declared that 'what we see today results from the absence of any steps over the past 5 -7 years towards  protecting the System, beginning with the screening of server rooms, and finishing with the appropriate equipment for a  reliable 'Rada' System.

 

O. Turchynov declared that 'For the sake of cogency and confidence in the voting results, we must have the 'Rada' System certified. Until the 'Rada' System has been certified, all important votings, such as for Prime Minister and Government members, should be held using another method,  which is permitted by the Standing Orders and reflects the will of each People's Deputy with no intrusions or manipulations.'

 

Summarizing the discussion, The Chair moved to set up a Task Force, including Experts from the Security Service, The Prosecutor General's Office, The State Special-Purpose Communication and Information Protection Service, The Returning Board of The Verkhovna Rada, Members of Deputy Factions, the Designer, and the Office and Administrative Department of The Verkhovna Rada.

 

The People's Deputies refused to second this move by the Chair. He appealed to the Members of the Conciliative Council to discuss this matter.

 

Towards the end of the Meeting, the People's Deputies finally approved the Resolution amending the Resolution 'On Amending the Resolution of The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine 'On the List, Membership and Terms of Reference f the Committees of The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of the 6th Convocation' (Reg. No.1008). This decision was passed by 395 votes.

 

The Resolution envisages 27 Committees being set up in The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. The Fiscal and Tax Policy Committee has been added to those 26 Committees adopted by the First Resolution.  Its Terms of Reference embrace the operation of Tax bodies; Tax Benefits, Tax debts and obligations; Customs transactions, operation of Customs bodies; Legislative Regulation of the Spirits, Alcohol, and Tobacco Market. This Committee will also take charge of Taxation System matters, National Taxes and Dues, Local Taxes and Dues, and Insurance payments to the Labour Fund.

 

The Morning Sitting was then closed.

 

The Evening Sitting was opened at 4 pm.

 

The Chairman of The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Arseniy Yatseniuk, advised of the ongoing meeting of the Conciliatory Council, whose Members were discussing matters related to the Assignation of Committees.

 

A. Yatseniuk intimated to the People's Deputies that voting for the Appointment of Yulia Tymoshenko to the post of Prime Minister will be held on Friday, the precise time to be approved by the Conciliatory Council on Thursday.

 

A. Yatseniuk recalled that The President of Ukraine has repeatedly tabled the Nomination of Yulia Tymoshenko for the post of Prime Minister.

 

He alerted the audience to his obligation, set out in the Standing Orders, to immediately and without discussion include in the Agenda the matters of appointments to, and dismissals from, high ranking posts, effected by The Verkhovna Rada.

 

A. Yatseniuk then commented that he had been deprived of the opportunity to discuss and decide on the testing of the 'Rada' System and providing its precise specification, to enable its further operation.

 

 The Deputies are unable to question the correctness of operation of this System as a whole, at this time, said A. Yatseniuk. However, using his right as Chairman of The Verkhovna Rada, he has requested the Office and Administrative Department of  The Verkhovna Rada  to carry out  overall testing of the 'Rada' System to the very highest standards. He asked the Members and Chairman of the Returning Board to take part in this Voting System testing.

 

A. Yatseniuk said, that 'The Assignation of Committees by Factions is basically complete. Two Committees in dispute remain, dealing with Legal Policy and Justice.

 

A. Yatseniuk expressed his hope that by Thursday the Faction will have assigned all Committees and have reached a decision as to their Chairmen.

 

He addressed the Party of Regions Factions requesting that they produce the information on the Membership of Committees without further delay.

 

The Evening sitting was then closed.

 

The next Plenary Meeting of the First Session of The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine will be held on Friday 14 November.

 

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