The Analytical Center “has grown up” from the Main Computing Center of the USSR State Planning Committee. The longest and highly productive period of its activity was held under this name. The Main Computing Center was the analytical core and a huge accounting machine of the State Planning Committee – the General Staff of the Soviet economy. Its R&D products proved the effective use of economic and mathematical methods and computers, and thus allowed to move to brand new technologies in the state economic planning.
The Analytical Center for the Government of the Russian Federation has a rich history. The organization was established in 1959 in the period of active development of the Soviet economy, went through all the changes in the socio-economic structure of the Soviet and Russian state and it serves its country up to this day.
The Analytical Center sees its main task and continuity in using the best and progressive practices, and providing the basis for government decisions.
It was started in October, 1959.
The Computing Center of the USSR State Planning Committee (1959 - 1963)
The State Planning Committee has had a negative or, more precisely, suspicious attitude towards the idea of using computers in its activity. But the first Computer Center has been created particularly by State Planning Committee. “In order to use computer technologies in performing economic planning,” - as it was stated in the order of the Council of Ministers of the USSR about the establishment of the Computer Center of the USSR State Planning Committee. The order was signed by Aleksey Kosygin on the 1st of October, 1959.
During the period of formation of the Computing Center there was a significant growth in the number of employees: at the beginning of 1960 there were only 56 pers., and by 1971 there were over 900 pers. Moreover, the process had nothing to do with overstaffing. Only competent experts - economists, mathematicians, computer programmers – which work has been proven in the civil service were recruited. In the same period the main areas of the Center’s activity were set and its main service branches were formed: economic, mathematical, and technological. A progressive and unique for the Soviet Union an economic structure was created, which had switched the planning to an absolutely new level of technology.
In 1960, the Computing Center was headed by the Deputy Chairman of the Scientific and Technical Council on comprehensive mechanization and automation of production processes of the State Planning Committee Mikhail Rakovskiy, who did a lot for its creation. Mr. Rakovskiy had worked in this position only for one year, after that he was promoted, and Nikolay Kovalyov who had earlier served as the head of general department of the State Planning Committee, was appointed to this position.
During several years the Center has established the main directions of development and practical application of economic and mathematical methods and models in national economic planning. The works in the field of demographic forecasting for the USSR as a whole and in the union republics has begun.
The Main Computing Center of the USSR State Planning Committee (1963 - 1991)
In May 1963, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the Council of Ministers of the USSR adopted an Order “On management improvement by means of implementation of computer technologies and automated systems in the national economy”. The Main Computer Center of the USSR State Planning Committee was established on the basis of this Order, and had been functioning in this form for 28 years.
The most important achievement of the Main Computer Center lies in the fact that its specialists were the first in the worldwide practice who had carried out calculations of intersectoral balances of production and distribution of national products in real terms. The model that was suggested by our compatriot - economist Vasily Leontiev, who emigrated from St. Petersburg to the United States in the 20s of the XX century – was taken as a basis. Although Mr. Leontiev did not directly participate in making-out balance sheets, his great merit was in creating a mathematical model for them. Prior to that, the balance was only just a statistical document.
The Laboratory of Economics and Mathematical Research named after Vasily Nemchinov which was located in the same building as the Main Computer Center, had also played a significant role in the development of balance. Cooperation with the laboratory was very close, even the common computers were used.
When the Main Computer Center of the USSR State Planning Committee was celebrating its 10th anniversary, the celebration was combined with a “housewarming party” – a new 12-storied building for the Main Computer Center was built on Novokirovsky ave. (now it is called – Akademika Sakharova ave.), in which the Analytical Center is located nowadays. It was the first building in our country designed specifically for the computing center, and for a long time it was considered one of the most advanced in terms of accommodation large computers and other data processing equipment, as well as the working conditions for specialists and operational staff.
On the communist Saturdays the employees of the Main Computer Center have been helping the builders to construct the new building.
The contemporaries who had worked there have been describing the features of this building in the following way: “The turbine rooms were placed in the part of the building that was faced towards Novokirovsky ave. A high-level floors of turbine rooms and low-level technical floors were located on this side of facade. The opposite side of the facade has had a horizontal segmentation with the same gaps, the floors were of the same height, the office rooms were placed there. And at the end facades was had a skillful transition from one type of segmentation to another”.
That was exactly how it had happened - the next leader, Nikolay Lebedinskiy, was at the same time employed in the position of the Deputy Chairman of USSR State Planning Committee. He had guided the Main Computer Center until 1981. During that period, the cooperation between all the Republican computing centers has been switched to a scientific, planned basis; the “Document” system has been developed. This system allowed the data processing of all the documents that were sent by the State Planning Committee to the ministries and enterprises, to be organized in the Main Computer Center centrally and by means of machines.
At the same period, the Center had to face computer viruses. The first Soviet antivirus Aidstest was created by the talented mathematician Dmitry Lozinskiy in the premises of the Main Computer Center of the USSR State Planning Committee. Later, when personal computers were invented, Mr. Lozinskiy re-located his developments to these computers.
Improving the working methods has been the usual practice of the Main Computer Center. During 3 years since his appointment in 1981, Vladimir Kossov has been managing the activities on the creation, implementation and development of the automated planning/accounting system. At the time of his appointment the electronic computing machines could operate without incidents for a maximum of forty minutes and were breaking down periodically without finishing the calculations.
In 1984 Mr. Kossov have been appointed to the position of the Head of the Main Information Administration Office of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, and the Main Computer Center was headed by Vladimir Bezrukov, who had worked there since 1964. He told that the schedule and work rules were very strict. This was also valid both fort the access to the machines and the use of computer time. They were busy debugging programs during daytime, and at night they were performing calculations, and the responsibility of every employee was very high.
In the 80s the first changes began to occur that have influenced the future of the entire economy of the Soviet Union. Such changes did not pass over the Main Computer Center of the USSR State Planning Committee.
The Main Computer Center under the USSR Ministry of Economics and Forecasting (1991)
In May 1991, in connection with the liquidation of the USSR State Planning Committee and the creation of the USSR Ministry of Economics and Forecasting, the Main Computer Center has been included in the list of organizations that were operated under the directions of the USSR Ministry of Economics and Forecasting.
The changes that came after the reformation period have dramatically changed the planning mechanism. In 1986, at the USSR State Planning Committee has been the first radical breakdown that has affected the system itself and the people who were worked there. For the first time for many years, or may be for decades, in 1988 the staff reduction has been passed. Before the reorganization staff reduction could have resulted in elimination of vacancies and dismissal of senior citizens but this time reduction concerned the operational people. Many good specialists were forced to leave.
Center for Economic Analysis and Forecasting (1991 - 2005)
Six months later, in December 1991, the organization went through changes again: at its base was established the Center for Economic Analysis and Forecasting under the Ministry of Economy and Finance of the Russian Federation. Since February 1993, it has replaced its “supervisor” and became the Center for Economic Analysis under the Council of Ministers – the Government of the Russian Federation, and since February 1998 – it was under the Government of the Russian Federation.
The Center was established in the most difficult period of the breakup of the Soviet Union and solved completely new for that time tasks of macroeconomic forecasting and analytical support for economic reforms. Despite the rejection of the centralized directive planning, of highly qualified professionals from the State Planning Committee, the ability to handle arrays of statistical information, and awareness about technologies for justifying economic decisions made by many generations of the State Planning Committee’ employees were very popular among the Government of the Russian Federation. Yakov Urinson, former Deputy Head of the Main Computer Center and Deputy Head of the Main Computer center of the USSR State Planning Committee, has been appointed to the position of the Director of the Center. Since 1994, several leaders of the Center have changed each other, and in 1996 it was headed by Vladimir Bezrukov for not a long period.
The Center for Economic Analysis has been a leading Russian organization for establishing the methodology and conducting economic surveys regarding business activity in the various economic sectors. Based on the cross-industry models it has been making alternative calculations for different schemes of price liberalization, plans for foreign trade development, and other government decisions. The employees of the Center for Economic Analysis were pioneers in many areas of research. In particular, they have become one of the first to analyze the world market prices for primary goods, to study the domestic exchange market and to calculate the effectiveness of foreign exchange operations, as well as to build the processing of customs statistics, to operationally forecast the levels of unemployment, food security, etc.
The Working Center for Economic Reforms was operating simultaneously with the Center for Economic Analysis under the Government of the Russian Federation.
The Working Center for Economic Reforms under the Government of the Russian Federation (1991 - 2005)
The Working Center for Economic Reforms under the Government of the Russian Federation was also established on the basis of the Main Computer Center of the USSR State Planning Committee. It was created for legal groundwork for reforms, and its main task was to coordinate the priority regulations development process. Experts from the Working Center for Economic Reforms were involved in the creation of a number of draft laws and medium-term programs, as well as in preparation of expert opinions regarding a huge flood of legislative initiatives and institutional documents, identifying incompetent and unreasonable budget proposals made by lobbyists.
Sergey Vasiliev has been appointed to the position of the Director of the Working Center for Economic Reforms.
Following the appointment of Mr. Vasiliev on the position of the Deputy Minister of Economy, the Working Center for Economic Reforms was headed by Sergey Pavlenko.
The Center was regularly organizing seminars, debates and press conferences, and was tracking social trends. Economic bulletins and analytical reports have been issued; economic studies. Since 1997, it has been headed by Vladimir Mau.
The Analytical Center for the Government of the Russian Federation (from 2005 till present)
On December 20, 2005, the Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov signed a Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation № 777 on the establishment of the Federal State Budgetary Institution “Analytical Center for the Government of the Russian Federation”. It has been created through the merger between the Center for Economic Analysis and the Working Center for Economic Reforms. The maximum number of employees of the Analytical Center was limited to 190 persons.
The main activity of the Analytical Center was devoted to the preparation of recommendations and proposals for the Government on priority issues of economic policy and reforms, information and analytical support for the Government on the implementation of economic reforms, the examination of concepts and programs for socio-economic development of Russia, participation in the development of regulations regarding the strategy and tactics of executing economic reforms, including institutional and structural transformation, conducting the analysis and implementation of short-term forecasting of socio-economic development of the country.
Andrey Zverev has been appointed to lead the Analytical Center.
Regional and municipal monitoring of socio-economic development has become the most important area of research. Step by step the Analytical Center has become the main center for analysis of regional development.
In early 2009, the Analytical Center was headed by Aleksey Makushkin. In accordance with the assigned tasks the Analytical Center started to monitor the implementation of the Main directions of the Government’s activity and the projects for the Commission under the President of the Russian Federation for modernization and technological development of the Russian economy. Based on the use of internal information and analytical tools the collection, monitoring and comprehensive analysis of socio-economic development of the country were being organized.
Konstantin Noskov took charge of the Analytical Center in December 2012. The emergence of the new team fulfilled the idea to transform the Analytical Center into a modern consulting company working thematically in various areas of the Government’s activity.
We changed our work format and started holding numerous expert-and-analytical events on a variety of subjects, from three to ten events a week, thus creating a reputable expert pool. We were using remote polls and other formats of interaction with the most competent industry experts. By doing so, we kept our eye on the socioeconomic life of the country, stayed aware of the entire range of opinions expressed by our colleagues, experts and analysts, on various matters, and prepared documents necessary for the activity of different government bodies on their basis...»
Our plans were outdone in the very first year of work in the new format: we prepared 160 instead of 100 expert conclusions and analytical materials supporting the government activity, as well as 242 instead of 166 summaries on topical aspects of the domestic socioeconomic development. Our most impressive achievement was the number of expert and analytical events, which five times exceeded the number prescribed by the government.
Preparation of analytical materials for the government remained a major area of our activity. The Analytical Center received only 30 enquiries throughout the year 2012. Nowadays, the government receives 15-20 responses per week.
Konstantin Noskov was appointed Russian Minister of Digital Development, Communication and Mass Media in May 2018, and Vladislav Onishchenko became the Analytical Center head in his stead.
Konstantin Kalinin was appointed new head of the Analytical Center in January 2020.
Nowadays, current expert support to the government decision-making process remains the main task of the Analytical Center. Once again, it operates on the frontline: national projects, the Comprehensive Plan for Modernization and Expansion of Trunk Transport Infrastructure, the National Data Management System, the reform of control and supervisory activity, and digitalization of key economic sectors are just some of the subjects addressed by Analytical Center experts.