Sep 4, 2022
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Mikhail Delyagin: FSB, SVR and financial intelligence should be under the same “roof”, like a lot of other offices

In the photo: Mikhail Delyagin.

In the photo: Mikhail Delyagin. (Photo: Mikhail Tereshchenko/TASS)

The survival of Russia and the preservation of statehood is possible only in the event of a radical change in the development model. Created in 1992, the model to this day is focused on financial speculation, conducted by plundering the Soviet legacy (according to the “drank – stole – brought abroad” model). It is necessary to reorient the entire state machine from the plunder of the people and the country to their creative transformation.

It is clear that this requires changes, including the structure of executive power.

The current one is a victim of the administrative decisions of 2004, when the unified management process was artificially fragmented into independent and common-sense “policy-setting” ministries, control over services, and “providing public services” agencies.

The executive power was chopped like cabbage, and the whole of 2004 was paralyzed (which, among other things, allowed the liberals to carry out the cannibalistic “monetization of benefits”: it was still impossible to carry out this through the working state apparatus at that time). Its current state is the result of a slow, chaotic and, on the whole, little meaningful fusion of the torn parts of a single organism.

It is clear that the rationalization of the structure should be both subject to a fundamentally new task – comprehensive modernization, and use the new opportunities provided by information technology.

But first of all, the executive power must be qualitatively relieved by a return from the “manual control” mode, in which each managerial decision is made anew, “from scratch”, without taking into account the accumulated experience and established norms, to management according to uniform rules, within which once adopted the decision is obligatory for all homogeneous cases (after the Soviet regime, only the government Primakov).

The transfer of state administration (and the entire part of society that regularly interacts with it) to a unified electronic decision-making system will not only dramatically speed up its work and limit corruption (end-to-end and complete control, moreover, invisible to the inspected), but will also fundamentally increase its capabilities while reducing the required number of officials (and increasing demands on them).

First of all, this will manifest itself in the transformation of the Ministry of Economic Development, which should manage the inter-sectoral balance of the country. Before digitalization, this was beyond the power of even Gosplan (it planned about 10,000 goods and services, and another 50,000 were administered by Gossnab), but modern capabilities allow strategic forecasting (in addition, it requires immeasurably less management resources than directive planning ) throughout the economy.

Back in the early 2000s, the concentration Gref in the then MEDT (Ministry of Economic Development and Trade) of functions, for the designation of which (because there was no talk of real management) it took 52 departments, made the ministry a completely unmanageable byword.

But today, digitalization, combined with management according to uniform rules and the rejection of direct dictates regarding economic entities, will bring the Ministry of Economic Development in line with its name, uniting all sectoral and regional departments involved in economic development.

These are the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry for the Development of the Far East, the Ministry of Natural Resources (except for ecology), the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Construction, the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Digital Transformation (except for mass communications), the Ministry of Energy, the Federal Registration Service, the Federal Reserve Agency, and the Federal Tourism Agency. From the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Finance to the Ministry of Economic Development, it is logical to transfer the Federal Property Management Agency, since state assets should be managed not for the sake of generating income, but to ensure progress.

Accordingly, the Ministry of Natural Resources should be divided between the Ministry of Economic Development (where everything related to the development of resources should be transferred) and Rosnadzor. The latter should combine all types of compliance control, including consumer and environmental.

The exceptional significance of limiting the arbitrariness of monopolies should be expressed in the return of the status of a ministry to the antimonopoly service.

Limiting financial speculation only increases the importance of control over financial markets and their development, which requires the re-establishment of the Federal Service for Financial Markets, transferring the relevant functions from the Bank of Russia, as well as control over the pension and insurance markets.

The eternal dragging of higher education between school management and science should be resolved by recognizing the unity of these areas by reuniting the Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Education into one ministry.

The Ministry of Culture should become a key agency (along with the Ministry of Education and Science, of course) that shapes the worldview. Therefore, it should include Rosmolodezh (designed to manage the future), Rosarkhiv (designed to manage the past), the Ministry of Sports (taking into account its importance for the self-awareness of citizens) and the Ministry of Digital Development (in terms of mass communications).

The desire of our competitors to blow up Russia with an exacerbation of ethno-cultural tension, and the objective need to stop the systemic infringement of the rights of Russians, require the re-establishment of the Ministry of Nationalities on the basis of RADN (Russian Agency for Nationalities).

Due to the scale of the conflicts in which Russia is involved, it is necessary (following the example of the United States) to create a separate Ministry of Veterans Affairs.

In addition, the objective unity of the functions of intelligence and counterintelligence (for example, one of the tasks of intelligence is to identify, at the stage of preparation, intelligence and sabotage operations of the enemy in order to suppress them by counterintelligence forces) dictates the reunification of the SVR and the FSB into the Ministry of Security with the inclusion of Rosfinmonitoring in it.

For the same reasons, it is reasonable, following the American model, to include the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Investigative Committee in the Ministry of Justice. Return the Ministry of Emergency Situations and the Russian Guard to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, include the courier service in the FSO (similar to FAPSI), and the FMBA – in the Ministry of Health.

It is worth noting that one of the most important flaws of the current state administration is the transfer of its functions outside, to third-party organizations, which, as a result, do the work of officials who have removed their real managerial functions.

As part of the correction of this defect, in particular, it is necessary to abandon the insurance model of state pensions, medicine and social assistance, returning to an immeasurably cheaper, reliable and understandable model of direct payments from the budget (the insurance system is good only in conditions of long-term and guaranteed growth of stock markets, which definitely not relevant for the next 15 years).

Accordingly, the Pension Fund and the Social Insurance Fund should be integrated back into the Ministry of Labor and Social Development, and the Compulsory Medical Insurance Fund – into the Ministry of Health.

Thus, it is reasonable to reduce the number of ministries from 21 to 15 (including 4 new ones), the number of services and agencies from 19 to 4 (including 1 new service), and extrabudgetary funds from three to zero.

Of the current 10 vice-premiers, five should remain: the first vice-premier in charge of current management, as well as the vice-premiers for the fight against sanctions, for the development of human capital, for new technologies and for the reintegration of the liberated territories of Russia.

As for the regions, the titles of governments and ministries should be eliminated from their administration in the same way as the title of president. Heads of departments of regional administrations should be in double subordination (the head of the region and the deputy for regional issues of the relevant federal minister), and the regional structures of federal departments, which account for the bulk of federal officials, should be eliminated with a few exceptions.

Regions providing their spending by less than 50% should be under the external financial management of the Ministry of Finance.

Undoubtedly, the proposed structure of executive power is sketchy, will cause many objections and is generally far from perfect. However, it is much closer to the objective needs of modern Russia than the chaotically existing one, and everything else should be the subject of professional discussion.

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