Public Administration Reform In the Interests of Citizens. An Integrated Approach
The expert discussion “Only Together: Public Administration Reform for Citizens” took place January 17 in the context of the 2018 Gaidar Forum. The discussion was attended by representatives of state authorities, experts of RANEPA, the Center for Strategic Research (CSR) and the All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM). Participants from all regions of the Russian Federation — from Kaliningrad Oblast to Respublika Sakha — joined the expert discussion. Konstantin Abramov, General Director, the Russian Public Opinion Research Center Foundation, and Dmitriy Butashin, Vice-Rector, RANEPA, acted as moderators of the expert discussion.
The topic for discussion was an integrated approach to implementing public administration reform in the interests of citizens.
When discussing the speakers represented the following four sections in accordance with key elements of the public administration model: “Strategic Planning”, “Process Management”, "Human Capital" and "Society".
In the format of debates, participants determined the role of each element in forming an effective public administration system that would meet today’s needs of citizens and those that yet to come, as well as find answers to main issues of the discussion. What is the complex approach to the public administration reform in the interests of citizens? Is the society ready for a proactive position? How can we take into account citizens’ needs? How to monitor objective indicators of public opinion?
An integrated opinion poll on a number of issues related to the topic of the discussion became a key feature of the event. Both attendees and the audience who watched the event via the Internet had an opportunity to participate in the poll and share their opinion.
Azer Talibov, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, opened the discussion, telling the audience about the current situation and goals in the field of rendering public services to citizens.
"Satisfaction with public services — such as electronic line, “My Documents” project and a number of others — is over 86%. Waiting in lined has reduced to less than 19 minutes. These are the best indicators during the whole period," he pointed out. — People should not waste their time on collecting information. We need to optimize these processes for them. Services should be simple, convenient and inconspicuous, then we can say that we have made progress."
Konstantin Abramov raised the topic of the necessity for feedback from the population and told about the existing system of sociological research based on the All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM). "Modern feedback systems should involve people in a dialogue with the authorities, not simply obtaining statistical data," he underlined.
Aleksey Khersontsev, Head of Federal Accreditation Service, supported the necessity to find out how the population needs and satisfied with provided services. At the same time, he noted that it is necessary not only to develop a feedback system, but also create a systematic improvement of processes and the availability of effective management of them, taking into account the received response in order to improve the quality of service delivery. "People's opinion is certainly important for the assessment, but consumers are not able to answer the question what can improve their mood," Aleksey Khersontsev added.
The key importance of determining strategy priorities for building an effective system of public administration was expressed by the experts of the "Strategic Planning" section, including Vladimir Klimanov, Head of the Department of Economy State regulation at RANEPA. It is the strategy that determines the priority areas for improving citizens’ well-being.
"The strategy is a key tool that allows to develop purposefully when consolidation is aimed at achieving goals with the use of understandable development tools," said another supporter of this approach, Yevgeny Chekin, Chairman of the Government of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).
Oleg Semmordvinov, Head of the Administration of the Municipality “City of Astrakhan", stressed that "the strategy is necessary to create a comfortable environment for human life." Oleg Bilev, Head of the Project Management Center at RANEPA, also noted that all public institutions should be involved in strategic planning at various levels.
Aleksey Shipov, Director of the Center for Change Management at RANEPA noted: "Processes are the main things in our dialogue today. The successfulness of these processes will depend on how well the strategy will be implemented and whether we are able to attract the best personel, and pay them salaries. Society is more confronted with these processes. The level of citizens’ satisfaction depends how they are implemented."
A number of experts agreed that the improvement of processes in the reform of the public administration system plays a dominant role.
Mikhail Khomich, Deputy Chairman of the Government of the Republic of Udmurtia, said that it is possible to achieve efficiency in the implementation of processes by working regularly and systematically. Openness of the public administration system for citizens should also have a systemic basis, Mikhail Khomich noted, sharing successful experience of communication with citizens and mentioning the openness in social networks on the part of government authorities, the practice of "public promises" of the republic's top officials.
Competence and motivation of specific people who implement the strategy, work in the context of these processes and directly interact with the population, are a determining factor in the quality of the state administration system, the experts who took part in the "Personnel" section of the discussion shared their opinion.
Andrey Badin, Deputy Director of the Project Department of the Government of the Russian Federation, noted the key role of employee motivation among the factors affecting the effectiveness of their work.
"Human resources reform should be a part state administration reforms as a whole," Aleksander Shenderuk-Zhidkov, Deputy Chairman of the Government of the Kaliningrad Oblast, supported his colleague. In 2017, a pilot project was implemented in the Kaliningrad Oblast with the participation of RANEPA, including the formation of a new type of personnel reserve for the regional administration, as well as the launch of changes aimed at creating an integral personnel management cycle.
Maria Shklyaruk, Vice-President of the Center for Strategic Research, underlined the importance of the project implemented in the Kaliningrad Oblast and the necessity to adopt a full-fledged talent management system in the public service. Maria Shklyaruk stressed that public service has always attracted those people who want to serve for the benefit of their country, as well as for who the result of the work always comes first . At the same time, it is now important to strive for a convergence of the concepts of "work" and "service" and to enable people to keep the balance between work and quality of life, receiving a deserved reward.
Yuri Sinyagin, Deputy Director of RANEPA Graduate School of Public Administration, explained the importance of the public service potential in improving public administration in terms of scientific and research experience, as well as noted that by transforming the meaning of life into work, we can lose our internal motivation. You cannot motivate from the outside what a person does for pleasure.
Experts of the "Society" section noted that the content of public administration reforms should be determined primarily by the needs and welfare of the population.
"Without involving society in these reforms we will fail to find a good solution. The main thing is to achieve results thanks to these reforms," Airat Farrakhov, Deputy of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, said. He also underlined the importance of effective and “painless” reforms for citizens.
Throughout the discussion moderators underlined the importance of each element for the system of public administration.
Summing up the discussion, Dmitry Butashin noted that the questions, regarding the main block in the reform process, was largely provocative.
"They are all important and there is no main element. For example, a car cannot move without an engine, wheels or a driver. Elements have to work accurately. We can get a positive result only with the help of a comprehensive approach, "Dmitry Butashin underlined.
The panel discussion showed that today there is a common understanding of an integrated approach to improving the public administration system, as well as the need for regular system monitoring of feedback. Public needs and increase of citizens’ well-being should become a key idea for all the upcoming transformations.
Igor Petrov +7 (495) 280-01-50, ext. 3517
Lucien Markarova +7 (495) 280-01-50, ext. 3261