President Vladimir Putin:
Good Day, dear colleagues,
Today we will discuss an issue that is directly connected to the further development and consolidation of the Federation.
Joint work between the Federation and the regions is directed towards constant improvement of federal relations, consolidating the unity of the country and the efficiency of the state in the interest of all its citizens.
It is obvious that the effectiveness of state administration is determined by the clear understanding by levels of power of their own obligations and the use of the most optimal models of their interaction.
And today, when the restriction of authority is reaching its final stage, coordination of actions is extremely important, and I stress once again, mutual interests must be taken into account.
The work group of the State Council has thoroughly and comprehensively studied this issue and has presented quite extensive material. On my part, I would like to propose to concentrate on the discussion of the following key problems.
Firstly – consistent realization of the requirement of the basic law “On common principles of organization of legislative (representative) and executive bodies of state power of subjects of the Russian Federation”.
It is this legal document that establishes the principles and procedure of restricting authority between levels of power and their resource supply. And it thus determines clear responsibility of each level of power.
A key issue here remains inter-budgetary relations. Expenditure obligations should match income powers. And this approach is the path to liquidate mandates that are not financed. This is now the most sensitive problem. It is especially sensitive in the social sphere.
We have made a step forward by excluding the possibility of any problems arising in this area.
Today we heard the Government’s proposals on a solution to these issues. At the same time, it is important to ensure reliable protection of the interests of all citizens of Russia. I stress, everyone, whoever they receive social aid from: the Federation or the regions.
The next point that requires discussion is correction of federal and regional legislation. It needs to be brought into line with the new principles of federal relations and local self-administration, and with the new financial and economic conditions of functioning of federal, regional and local authorities.
Today, there are over 150 federal legislative documents that require amendments. As you know, Federation subjects also have to change their legislation significantly, proceeding from new, much wider legislative powers, and taking into account the budget resources of each region. And this must be done in an extremely short timeframe.
The next topic of our discussion is the progress of administrative reform and its development on the regional level. The formation of the new structure of Government is now almost complete. The renewed federal ministries, agencies and services have begun to work on optimizing their territorial bodies. This is a difficult but extremely crucial process.
The option of creating a branched network of territorial bodies of federal department is not the only one. What’s more, it is not even the most effective. And individual functions – within the framework of article 72 of the Constitution – must be more decisively transferred to both the regional level and to the level of local self-administration. The main principle here is less expense, more profit. Both for this matter and for the citizens of the country. I agree with the leaders of the regions when they give examples and insist on not creating an excessive number of unnecessary structures, which solve the same problems at once and only confuse people in the corridors of power.
This means the effective realization of powers of the federal state in territories, and the inadmissibility of keeping superfluous functions in the regions – functions which have already been liquidated at the federal level. I would ask the leaders of the regions to pay attention to this.
As you know, the Government has formulated a list of superfluous functions. And the state should put a stop to them everywhere. Therefore, it is necessary to carry out the same inventory of functions at the level of Federation subjects and municipal formations. As we have said many times, we must “de-bureaucratise” economic life.
I would like to note here that improving the activity of bodies of power should not cause work to stop or for the quality to decline in the authority that they exercise. It is necessary to ensure the daily needs of the country, and the vital requirements of its citizens.
In conclusion, I would like to note that clear division of powers is only part of the matter. It is necessary to bring these powers into correlation from the position of organizational decisions and necessary expenses on realizing these powers. Only then we will achieve an objective, genuine improvement of mechanisms of our interaction.
I hope that this approach will also determine the discussion of the proposed topics today.
Allow me to give the word to the head of the work group, Nikolai Vladimirovich Vinogradov.