President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues,
Today we will discuss ways to improve the strategic planning system. This is very important and topical and has a direct bearing on both national security and Russia’s development prospects.
Strategic planning sets the main benchmarks and the direction of progress in key areas for the coming decades. Doctrines and long-term development programmes, as well as the strategies and basic principles of government policy determine vital national priorities that are designed to reach common goals. Naturally, these goals are basically used to support the people of Russia, improve the health and living standards of our citizens, protect our traditional moral values, maintain sustainable economic development, and care for the environment. Of course, it is also necessary to reliably defend our country against internal and external threats and ensure state sovereignty.
Today, our strategic planning is determined by the Strategy of the National Security of the Russian Federation and the Presidential Executive Order On the National Development Goals of the Russian Federation through 2030. These are the main documents that underlie our strategic planning. In addition, we have adopted and are implementing numerous long-term federal, regional and municipal programmes and plans.
That said, the established process does not ensure a comprehensive approach in strategic planning. For example, a number of documents, primarily those adopted at the regional and municipal levels, sometimes do not match each other in objectives and schedules. It is not always possible to develop proper inter-departmental cooperation in the course of their implementation.
In this context, it is important to upgrade the strategic planning system and develop it on an entirely new basis. Of course, in so doing we should not just blindly copy previous methods but should develop and apply the latest practices and approaches. We need to adapt to Russia’s peculiarities while using the best foreign experience, both from states and companies. Major companies are doing this today successfully all over the world, and we must consider their practices.
I would like to emphasise that we need a balanced, consistent and integrated strategic planning system to create up-to-date and well thought-out plans and programmes to achieve specific results. Our planning system should encourage all government bodies, civil society in general, and the business community to follow the same logic and achieve priority goals together for the sake of a successful, prosperous future in Russia.
The Basic Principles of State Policy on Strategic Planning that were prepared, should allow us to achieve the above goals. We will discuss their draft today.
In this context, I would like to draw your attention to the following essential tasks.
First, to make strategic planning more efficient, it is necessary to streamline the number of documents adopted primarily at the regional and municipal levels. Naturally, they must be strictly tailored to the federal documents.
The second task is to ensure coordination between strategic planning and the budget process. These should not be two different, unrelated processes. We need to focus our resources on key areas. In drafting budgets at all levels, we must give absolute priority to our national goals in socioeconomic development and national security.
The third task is to upgrade information and analytical support for strategic planning, first by using uniform benchmark data and common methodology to forecast and model future developments. We must do more to involve the research community in this work and develop a Russian school of strategic planning.
Fourth, we need to improve the control and monitoring of strategic planning. A formal, mechanical approach will not work. It should be as meaningful as possible. An efficient monitoring system can reveal the risk of a failure to fulfil goals and objectives, determine why it happened or might happen and improve the forecasting of these risks. In the process, it is essential to offer immediate solutions to resolve emerging problems.
Finally, the fifth point. The situation in the world and in Russia, in particular, is changing dynamically. This is obvious, and we see all of it. New factors, trends and risks are emerging. Sometimes, ongoing events tangibly change the plans we make.
The coronavirus epidemic that swept every country in the world last year led to serious restrictions in social life, the closing of borders and a forced reduction in business activity. Hence, we carried out fundamentally new, large-scale measures to support the economy and our people. In these conditions, it was necessary to have mechanisms to quickly adjust and fine-tune adopted plans and programmes.
Overall, we managed this time to make prompt changes that really worked well, but in the future, we should not have to resort to “manual control” under such circumstances. Instead, we should use the experience we have developed to follow an almost automatic algorithm of actions.
Let’s get to work and discuss the main ways for improving the strategic planning system.