#11 - JRL 7171
May 6, 2003
Administrative reforms and reorganization of the executive branch
Author: Andrei Kamakin
[from WPS Monitoring Agency, www.wps.ru/e_index.html]
CLEARLY, THE BEST WAY OF REORGANIZATION OF THE GOVERNMENT IS TO REDUCE ITS SUPERFLUOUS POWERS AND POSITIONS. ACCORDING TO ESTIMATES OF THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT MINISTRY, THIS REORGANIZATION WILL SAVE 12- 15% OF STATE SPENDING ON THE FEDERAL EXECUTIVE BRANCH.
Prime Minister Mikhail Kasianov has once again redistributed functions among his deputy prime ministers. The last time he did this was about a year ago, when Ilya Klebanov's former post of deputy prime minister for industry was allowed to remain vacant. The current redistribution of spheres of influence involves restoring this fifth element to the prime minister's deck of cards. It's not easy to discern any kind of deep significance in these perturbations; nevertheless, the situation may be described as follows.
Being encouraged by the president's appeals, the government is persistently working on improvement of its structure without fear of experiments. One of these experiments was the abolition of the position of one deputy prime minister, i.e. "horizontal" staff reduction. However, experience has shown that the existence of all the five economic blocs - financial, industrial, agrarian, social welfare and energy - has proved to be justified. Therefore, it is necessary to reduce the government "vertically", and this has enormous potential.
Each of the deputy prime ministers controls about ten large and small agencies. Essentially, Kasianov's deputies head five mega- ministries. However, today these ministries are extremely inefficient and ineffective. The only possible way of their reorganization is to strip them of unnecessary powers and positions.
The Economic Development Ministry has even uncovered such an anachronistic power inherited from the command economy of the Soviet era as "preparation of output targets for products". The economic effect of the upcoming reorganization has been calculated too: according to estimates of the Economic Development Ministry, this reorganization will save 12-15% of state spending on the federal executive branch. Thus, the aims are clarified, the tasks are formulated, and now the five deputy prime ministers need to determine the date of the start of the administrative reforms.
(Translated by Kirill Frolov)