The Russian government will become even more closed

Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Medvedev (center) at the government meeting, March 2016

The government wants the right to take individual decisions without meeting. The list of issues that have to be solved at government meetings, proposed to cut by a quarter. In particular, it is proposed to cease to be discussed at government meetings, plans of government borrowing (volumes of securities), the sale of Federal government property projects and provide financial support for amounts less than 100 million rubles. Such amendments to the constitutional law “About the government” on Monday, April 4, approved by the government Commission on legislative activities, told RBC three sources in the Commission.

These amendments may look like a purely bureaucratic move, experts say, but regardless of the motivation, the company will know less about the decisions and considerations of the authorities the government is becoming more closed. Now at least published the agenda of the meetings, a transcript of the open part, and if some of the questions will be displayed under the format of the meetings, information about them will be much less.

The discussion of the bill was not, he entered on the consideration of “fully agreed”, said one of the participants. The bill was developed by the justice Ministry, said the source of RBC in the government (the press service of the Ministry of justice forwarded the request to RBC in the government). The legal Department of the government recommended approval of the project at the meeting of the Commission on lawmaking, is told in materials to meeting. The concept of the document was fine and the State-legal Directorate of the President, said in the conclusion document from the government office.

In the explanatory note to the bill the need to change the law on the government due to the fact that its rules “after more than 18 years from the date of adoption ( … ), due to certain political transformations and innovations in public governance require clarification” and the procedure and procedural realities of the review of certain decisions the government has changed. At the meetings the Ministry of justice proposes to solve only the questions that “directly resulting from the constitutional law” concerning the organization of activity of bodies of Executive power, the formation and execution of the Federal budget, legislative initiatives. The rest of the project proposes to solve “without meeting”. But in the project it is agreed that at its meetings, the government may consider “other matters” at the discretion of the President or Prime Minister.

EXTRACT

Cut back on for the first time in 18 years

The list of issues that are resolved only at government meetings, is now composed of 16 points. In particular, the only way decisions are made about introducing to the state Duma the draft Federal budget and government bills considered draft programs of economic and social development, establishes the list of goods the prices of which are regulated by the state, the issues of acquisition of government shares, follows from the law “On the government”. Since the adoption of the law in 1997, this list was never reduced only was supplemented, shows the reference system “Consultant Plus”. So, shortly after the adoption of the law in 1997, mandatory for consideration at the Cabinet meeting was the issue of state purchases of shares, and in 2008 a government report on the results of its operations for the year then submitted to the state Duma.

THE END OF VALLEY

Less know

The government is a collegiate body in meetings of all Vice-premiers and Federal Ministers are required to attend in person; conducts meetings of the Prime Minister, stated in the law on the government. And regulations of the government that all materials for meetings are reviewed and agreed by all ministries and agencies, headed by the President or the government. The same document States that on matters of which plans to consider the government as well as about the decisions taken at its meetings, including closed, the government office is obliged to inform the public through the media; journalists can also attend these sessions.

Probably the reduction of the list of issues subject to discussion at government meetings, is to offload the agenda of the meetings, the expert on public service, associate Professor, HSE Paul Kudyukin. Apparently, the volume of questions is too large and there is a desire to reduce, he says. The same explanation from the Director of the Center for technology of public administration, Ranepa Vladimir Yuzhakov. In General, observe the entire procedure of preliminary approval and provided that takes into account all the necessary positions, the simplified procedure of decision making on a range of issues possible, Kudyukin said. Another thing is that the plans of hozaystvennih and privatization of Federal property, too important to remove from the list required for collegial discussion, the expert believes. The translation of these issues into the category of “optional” lead them out of the sphere of public control, said Kudyukin. From the laws and regulations of the government that if the proposed amendments are adopted, the public will learn about these “optional” issues only after decision is taken, and the government acts published, he says. “It is particularly interesting to privatization will succeed”, the expert sneers. And the question of hozaystvennih, and the question of privatization in the context of budgetary constraints, particularly relevant.

The preparation and adoption of decisions, will cease to be discussed at government meetings, will be conducted in accordance with the regulations of the government, is told in materials to meeting of government Commission (RBC). According to the regulations the projects are “optional” for discussion at government meetings acts, although are pre-agreed in the concerned departments, can be approved at the meetings of the coordinating or Advisory bodies shall be chaired by the Prime Minister or one of his deputies all of these procedures are considered “consideration in the government”. These projects could also consider the Prime Minister or his deputies “at meetings or personally”. Decisions on operational matters may also be taken by the Presidium of the government, stated in the law on the government. The duty to inform the reporters about the decisions taken at such meetings, as well as personally by the Prime Minister or his deputies, the regulations of the government on anyone not charged.