Big data and the reform of control and supervisory activities discussed by Analytical Center experts in Sochi

4 october 2016

The value of big data, their role in public administration, activity of government authorities and regions were the key questions of the brainstorming session on "Transformation of Governance: How Big Data Can Improve Quality", which was attended by the Deputy Head of the Analytical Center Vasily Pushkin. Participants of the session named "Between Scylla and Charybdis: the Reform of the State Control and Supervision – Between Business Freedom and Prosperity" – with the Deputy Head of the Analytical Center Mikhail Pryadilnikov among them – sought ways of effective implementation of the project on the reform of control and supervision. Both events were held within the framework of the International Investment Forum Sochi-2016.

The amount of data is constantly growing. When used correctly, their value to the economy is obvious. However, it is still unobvious how to process the data, most of which are classified as ‘open’, and the working out of the concept on development of big data for their further use in the public sector is still in progress. The participants of the session on "Transformation of Governance: How Big Data Can Improve Quality" discussed various aspects of big data. The Deputy Head of the Analytical Center Vasily Pushkin believes that new ideas of using government data are developed through hackathons. "The authorities possess massive blocks of data, however, there is a problem: developers are often not aware of their availability, while state agencies have no idea on how one can use them," he stated. The model of the hackathon – a contest for developers – allows to combine both potentially interested parties, to use and promote data in the real time. Within 2 years, the Analytical Center has conducted and supported several hackathons. "Recently, there was a hackathon on sports. Colleagues from the Ministry of Sports could not imagine that it is possible to create so many useful services based on their data. In a live dialogue, the developers started by suggesting several potentially interesting ideas," said Pushkin. There are even more possibilities, if you start constructing services with data obtained from several departments. For instance, combining data obtained from the Federal Service for Employment and Labor Relations, the Federal Education and Science Supervision Agency, and the Ministry of Education and Science, one can get a service that aggregates data on the needs of the labor market, vacancies, institutes of higher education, which train the appropriate specialists, or competencies that an applicant should possess. However, meanwhile, this data sharing is a technically complex problem, while the hackathons are just the first step in this path. "Within the framework of hackathons, we have learned to generate new ideas and build prototypes," Pushkin continued. "And joining efforts of government authorities that possess data, developers who know how to process them, and methodologists who understand how to structure and monetize the process is a big plus."

Experts believe that by virtue of big data, it becomes possible to optimize state control and supervision functions. It is the Open Government that deals with the coordination of the reform for control and supervision, and the ways of its effective implementation were discussed at the session named "Between Scylla and Charybdis: the Reform of the State Control and Supervision – Between Business Freedom and Prosperity". The Deputy Head of the Analytical Center Mikhail Pryadilnikov believes that the project on the reform of control and supervision is one of the most difficult of all, which will be presented to the presidium this year. "More than 200 control types and 44 control and supervisory departments are involved," he reminded. "For the effective launch and implementation of the project, it is necessary to clearly define priority steps, and make it easier for project participants to take part in the reform." According to the expert, the success of the project to a greater extent consists in building of a system of change management within the Departments and Government Office, at the same time, the changes should not be implemented in accordance with the ‘top-down’ approach, as it usually happens, but on the basis of a real dialogue of the Control and Supervisory Federal Executive Departments with the business community and the Federal Center for Projecting. It is also important to clearly appoint responsible persons, by doing so it at the very beginning of the process: to identify the public officer and to appoint him or her responsible for the quality of the implementation of control points. Pryadilnikov clarified that from the side of the Project Office, it is necessary to designate performers in the face of relevant Vice-Ministers or even Heads of Departments. "It is equally important to ensure transparent and understandable set of tools for uniform assessment of the implementation of control and supervisory reforms in the Federal bodies of executive authority in the regions as well," specified Pryadilnikov, having stated that the Analytical Center is involved in preparation of such a set of tools and the order of interaction of all participants of the process.

Photo from the Open Government website