The Ministry of Economic Development and regional representatives discussed implementation of information technologies to provide public and municipal services

15 april 2014

Head of the Directorate for Information Technologies of the Analytical Center Aleksey Khromov took part in the coordination meeting devoted to the implementation of the Presidential Decree № 601 of May 7, 2012 on «The key priorities for improving the public administration system» in the subjects of the Russian Federation within the Central Federal District. The meeting took place in Kaluga on April 11, 2014.

Among the participants were the Governor of the Kaluga region Anatoly Artamonov, Deputy Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Central Federal District Nikolay Ovsiyenko, representatives of the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation and regional representatives. The participants discussed such issues as creation and functioning of multifunctional centers for public and municipal service provision to the population in the electronic form, prospects for the e-government activities, and implementation of the concept for regulatory impact assessment of legal documents. The reports which were delivered at the plenary session announced the key results from the analysis of implementation of the requirements set out in the Presidential Decree № 601 of May 7, 2012. Region-specific objectives regarding further implementation of those requirements were also elaborated on. Within the frameworks of roundtables experts discussed public and municipal service provision by the multifunctional centers, implementation of information technologies for improving the quality of public and municipal service provision, increasing the transparency of the public authorities, as well as implementation of the concept for regulatory impact assessment in the Russian Federation.

Such issues as efficient implementation of information technologies to provide state and municipal services raised a rather active debate. Evaluation methods for contribution and the quality of service provision in regions provided by the Ministry of Economic Development were brought up at the discussion. According to regional representatives, the announced information about the facilities of the multifunctional centers, quantitative and qualitative indicators of provided services turned out to be either the dispute or not fully consistent with the current situation, which, in their opinion, affected the evaluation.

The process of equipping regional multifunctional centers with automation facilities also raised a number of questions. The regions insisted that the automated information system (AIS) for multifunctional centers, developed within the frameworks of public procurement and recommended by the Ministry of Economic Development as a generic solution, is far too complicated to implement. Moreover, as practitioners assured, the system causes difficulties at the primary stage: the installment and adjustment procedures are far too complicated and its documentation oriented for the qualified IT-experts which are mostly non-existent within the regional authorities. Enquiries to external agencies inevitably involve the necessity to execute contracts for service provision, the cost of which ranges between 5 and 15 million rubles. However, when operated the system’s functionality sometimes does not fully correspond to the documentation, and the necessity to hold additional consultations arises. The representative of the Ministry of Economic Development attending the meeting did not insist on the unique nature of the system and its obligatory using. He made examples of alternatives that similarly ensure implementation of the methodical guidelines set out by the Ministry for multifunctional centers. For instance, a generic solution titled «Capella.MFC» or the solution provided by the Russian Presidential Academy of Natural Economy and Public Administration.

Within the frameworks of the discussion on the given issue, Aleksey Khromov pointed out that regardless of their quality, generic solutions in the field of automation require being adjusted to the specific needs of each and every regional authority and call for staff training expenses, maintenance and support expenses. Mr. Khromov put forward a solution to redress the situation existing in those regions that implement generic solutions to automate multifunctional centers. In his opinion, as customers of generic solutions, either the Ministry of Economic Development or its authorized body (organization or institute) can organize centralized data collection through a project office regarding issues that occur in the regions when these solutions are implemented. Afterwards the data collected should be systematized, analyzed and summed up. Once the results are obtained, certain conclusions should be made with regard to the adjustment requirements for generic solutions which would make them more clear and functional as well as less complicated in adjusting, and hence in greater demand for practical application in the regions.

 «Given the situation, I believe that the Ministry of Economic Development should not distance itself from resolving the actual issues that the regions have to face as the result of implementing generic solutions to automation facilities for multifunctional centers, either recommended or complying with the methodical guidelines of the Ministry of Economic Development, – stated Khromov. – Especially since resolving these issues constitutes the grounds for the quality adjustment of the requirements set out in The Presidential Decree № 601 of May 7, 2012 in public and municipal service provision to the population, for which both regional and federal authorities are responsible».