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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Elementary considerations on the management of government: “Eternal Cheka”


Looking at how controlled our state, it is possible to make a few elementary considerations. For example, it is known that in day 24 hours. Of these, a healthy person should sleep at least 6 hours. Another 2-3 hours spent on hygiene and food three times a day. Even if we assume that the rest of the time the person works with his hands and head, holding meetings, meetings, reading papers, talking (on the case) on the phone, how management decisions on a strategic scale that would be effective for his Department, Department, country, this leader can take? The answer is not as simple as it might seem at first glance.


photo: kremlin.ru

Although human capabilities are very limited, they can be reinforced right organization “tray shells” decision maker. This refers to the alignment of priorities and, of course, the adequacy of information that creates a “world” for people in authority. And it is the task of the team which works with “chief”.

Ideally, the leader should not tear veins (unless, of course, on the street in peacetime and there is no emergency situation), and working 8-10 hours a day, preferably with 1-2 days off per week, a full two times the annual vacation, to be able at least 3-4 hours a day to attend to their personal matters (family, Hobbies). Absolutely contraindicated night, and many hours of meetings.

But if you look at the Russian state, then the situation can be described as “eternal Cheka.” And it’s been 25 years since that moment when began to prepare for the Gaidar reforms. Then this practice has continued all the 90s when I had to deal with the lack of money in the budget and the decline of the economy. She slowly moved in the 2000s, when seemingly things went smoothly after the rising price of oil and gas. As they say, “a great harvest for the farmer is worse than a crop failure.” And now this “Cheka” is experiencing its finest hour due to a systemic crisis in which we find ourselves. In this regard, there is an unexpected hypothesis: so, perhaps, this management style is not a consequence of the General situation, and one of the reasons we got her?

Now like to say that Russia was the victim of an outdated economic model that ruined the investment climate and brought us into chronic stagnation. Essentially agreeing with this statement, you can ask: the stable existence of the model, how can we explain? Not that this is a vicious style of preparation and adoption of strategic decisions, when, in particular, the President of the country, spending their precious time engaged in closing landfills and delivered to the governors of the dads with the household requests of the residents of the subordinated regions? In the meantime, Russia all 25 years of its existence lives without a real, not paper development strategy. We are thrown from side to side as the truck smashed on the bumpy road: that we see ourselves as part of the European civilization and seek to join its institutions, then suddenly offended by the whole Western world, turning to face the China, how it is seen now, trying to invent some “special Eurasian path”. Only here the thinner economy, the living standards of the majority of the (already modest) slowly decreases.

So what can we do to fundamentally change the practice of public administration? It all starts with adequate information. Here I have serious doubts that our Supreme leaders get it. And it’s not the number of pages, which are placed on the authoritative tables, and in their quality. Naturally, any management structure — at least in the US, at least in Europe, even in Russia — is trying to convey “up” only positive, skillfully dissecting the facts and figures. But in democratic countries is, first, a variety of media and, second, the opposition political forces that immediately this bullshit publicly expose. And even require the punishment of its authors. And we I’m tired of reading on the presidential website the same type of verbatim records of meetings of Vladimir Putin with the next Minister or Governor. For example, everyone of the heads of regions, increasing the gross regional product (GRP). Then why in the whole country GDP is either falling (as it was until recently), or growing in the range of statistical error? Each Minister reports on the breakthroughs in their field, whether it is new investment projects, innovations or social progress. It’s just strikingly at odds with what is happening in the present Russia. And no one, apparently, will not tell the President that all these reports on the camera — no more than window dressing, the struggle for the favor of the first person, and not the fruits of the real effective work of a Governor in office. And for the people of these ritual meetings is not just uninteresting, but more provoking irritation at the total “power”.

It is possible that some alternative picture of the President of Russia is formed through the closed reports of the security services. But where, then, organizational decisions concerning their own subordinates on the vertical of power? And, of course, is not to punish individuals. Russia with its 140 million inhabitants, not 6 million Singapore, long-term authoritarian leader, Lee Kuan yew simply knew personally of each of any significant official and personified, ruthlessly struggled with the show and its sister corruption. We have the first person, if it really wants to change something for the better, should, on the contrary, to share power — and not with some “grey cardinals” and institutions.

For example, with the judicial system. We believe a weak U.S. President, whose decisions negate a Federal judge in a distant state. But isn’t this sort of filter insurance against missteps of the Supreme power? Yes, from the point of view of our vertical of power, this dramatically slows down the management process, but, as practice shows, in the end, these “checks and balances” and provide a sustainable trend to the well-being of the entire country, and a decisive majority of her living in families.

This also applies to the question of the role of the legislature. Now the State Duma and the Federation Council are working in full compliance with the “wishes” of the President’s Administration, passing thus through a lot of empty and often incorrect decisions. But how many problems in the same social sphere could have been avoided if we had a powerful and constructive parliamentary filter. And this applies to the regional authorities, and local self-government, which increasingly resembles a stuffed endangered animal species from the biological Museum.

There is much talk about the municipal filter, which is used in order to provide a virtually unbeatable gubernatorial elections. From the point of view of Moscow, it is a guarantee of predictability of the political process. For example, what surprises can we expect from the head of the Sverdlovsk region Yevgeny Kuyvashev? No. Their actions he agrees with the center, effectively shifting the responsibility for the development of the region. But Yevgeny Roizman, winning this post would probably have tried to deal with the problems himself, drawing on civil society activists and public opinion, appealing to Moscow only in exceptional cases.

In the world known idea of the so-called subsidiarity in building the public administration. First, the local government decides what issues it will be able to pull, taking it under the corresponding sources of revenue in their budgets. The remaining powers transferred to the regional level, which in turn delegates it to the top only those functions that are most effectively implemented there. For example, foreign and defence policy, formation of legislative base on tax and property relations, standards of schooling and health care. And of course, the creation of a “future image” of the whole country as a strategic document, which, passing parliamentary filter and an extensive expert discussion, becomes a “road map” for the activities of the Executive.

With this organization of power, especially in a Federal country, which is Russia, the President and the government has the time to focus on the local little stuff that they are already suffocating, and on the development of key ideas of the development of the country. And then it does not need the powers that be to spend their physiologically constrained precious time on nonsense.

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