Building in Project Offices in the Public Administration System Requires Regulatory and Legal Support

17 february 2016

“Many government programs proved to be inefficient and now the Government pays attention to project methods that will help to improve manageability,” said Mikhail Pryadilnikov, the Deputy Head of the Analytical Center, the Moderator of the Round Table “Strengthening the efficiency of implementation of government programs. Amendments to regulatory framework”, held at the Analytical Center.

“Government programs have not become a proper budget management tool yet,” thinks Tatiana Gorovaya, the Head of the Department for State-Run Programs and Budgeting of the Analytical Center. She outlined problems and gaps hindering efficient implementation of such programs and among them – the lack of clear goals and objectives and consistency between goals and objectives. Government programs have many indicators reflecting an activity rather than a process and sometimes indicators in various programs are incompatible. The expert also mentioned the lack of a risk management system and clear understanding of roles and responsible persons, in particular, due to poor interdepartmental communication. “Project management methods will at least help to minimize these problems, if not completely eliminate them,” believes Ms. Gorovaya.

Olesya Safonova, the Head of the Department for Project Management in the Public Sector, proposed to introduce project management methods when developing and implementing governmental programs and told about experience of key federal ministries and federal authorities. “The topic of project management has already become relevant and demanded and it is already discussed at all levels of authorities,” stated the expert. Ms. Safonova spoke about some specific features of regulations in the Russian Federation and the problem of embedding project offices in the public administration system within the existing yet imperfect regulatory framework. “We need to fix a project definition at the federal level and, if possible, embed it in the methodology of government programs.” She mentioned competent leadership as another important topic. “A project manager is to have special skills and competencies and it has not been articulated anywhere yet,” noted Ms. Safonova.

Representatives of federal ministries and departments and regional representatives made their proposals in the course of discussions. The experts note that currently regions build their project management implementation patterns and it takes time to explore and apply this experience in developing federal methodologies. “Programs are to be initially focused on the achievement of goals, rather than on the budget structure,” stressed Pavel Shestopalov, the Assistant for the Economics and Finance Department of the Russian Government.