The Analytical Center is one of the most well-informed state organizations

25 january 2018

Several years ago the federal government got its own think tank. It was our Analytical Center the main job of which is to provide analytical support to the government on a day-to-day basis. The head of the Analytical Center Konstantin Noskov told the Budget Magazine about how the analysts work, why there is ever increasing demand for their analyses and about the formula for success of the organization.

The main priority of the organization was defined 5 years ago. That is the day-to-day analytical support of the government of the Russian Federation and its decision making system, Mr. Noskov stressed. This function remains unchanged and just as back then the main key performance indicator is the number of inquiries that the Analytical Center gets and responds to. "We have to respond to each and every inquiry," stressed the Head of the Analytical Center. "In 2012 we only got 30 requests for the entire year while these days we send 15-20 responses weekly. In other words the number of inquiries we're dealing with has gone up by several orders of magnitude. And it has to be said that nobody's making government officials seek our advice, rather for them it's an extra option. The way we see it is that if they want to hear our opinion that means we're doing a good job."

Mr. Noskov noted that the Analytical Center informed the government not only of the position of its own experts but of the entire range of opinions that exist among the public, entrepreneurs, researchers and government bodies at all levels. For that purpose various public events are held on a regular basis such as expert discussions, round tables, conferences. "The government administration drafts documents for the government to make decisions in a very short time, which means that we have to respond to their inquiries promptly," Mr. Noskov said. "This means we have to be constantly keeping our finger on the pulse and organizing discussions on key topics. We're holding events practically on a daily basis: this year we've held almost 250. This ensures we always have the most intimate understanding of what is going on in the expert community."

Analytical organizations that work for the public and the government exist all over the world. "Having put together a new team we went on a tour of the world to understand what makes a good think tank," Mr. Noskov said. "And I can tell you that there's nothing like our Analytical Center anywhere in the world. While American think tanks exist on sponsor money we get funding directly from the government. However, this does not make us less independent. On the contrary: we do not depend on business or ministers that submit various initiatives to the prime minister. This means we also tell the government exactly what we think without worrying too much about how various interest groups might react to our position."

"Our main motto is to always tell the truth," Mr. Noskov stressed. "That's our raison d'etre, that's what we are paid to do. It has to be said that the Analytical Center is not a particularly public organization, the analytical reports available to the public make up no more than 5% of our output. We are plugged directly into the interdepartmental document flow within the government and the vast majority of our reports are confidential even if they are never classified as top secret.

And the topics do not really depend so much on how hot they may be on the public agenda at the moment. The presence of a team capable of preparing it, as well as the presence of political or commercial demand also counts, stressed head of the Analytical Center.

Source: Budget Magazine