G20 countries are cutting the numbers of public servants to raise the efficiency of those that remain. In Russia, experts believe that job cuts are not the solution to the problem: for public servants to operate more effectively, government departments should apply the same laws as in business.
On 9 April, Andrei KLIMENKO took part in the Open Studio programme on television's Channel 5, devoted to the civil service in Russia. Are all public servants patriots? And what form should this patriotism take? What can we do to raise the level of responsibility of civil servants to the public and force them to utilise budget resources effectively? These are the questions under discussion by the programme’s panel.
Over the last 10 years the number of Russian civil servants across all levels has grown 1.4 times. This data is contained in the final report on adjustment of the long-term strategy until 2020, which has been submitted to the government. There is an excessive number of civil servants in Russia and they hinder economic growth, believe the government report’s compilers, and they are basically something the country can ill afford. The budgets of all levels spend about RUB 67 billion a month on their salaries alone, or RUB 804 billion a year. If their number is reduced to even just the level of the year 2000, annual savings of some RUB 240 billion will be assured. Given the expenditure on premises, transport, communication and so on, these sums could double, believes director of the NRU HSE Institute for Public and Municipal Administration Andrei KLIMENKO.