УДК 351.7+004

ОСНОВНЫЕ ПРОБЛЕМЫ НИЗКОГО УРОВНЯ ИНФОРМАЦИОННОЙ КОМПЕТЕНТНОСТИ ГОСУДАРСТВЕННЫХ СЛУЖАЩИХ В СОВРЕМЕННОЙ РОССИИ

Устинович Елена Степановна
Курский филиал Российского государственного торгово-экономического университета
заместитель директора по науке, доктор политических наук, профессор

Аннотация
В настоящей статье осуществлена одна из немногих попыток в современной научной литературе обращения внимания на проблему информационной компетентности государственных служащих как важнейшего фактора полноценной реализации информационных прав и свобод российских граждан, оптимизации административных процессов и реализации национального интереса в информационной сфере. Предлагается трактовка понятия «информационная компетентность государственных служащих», характеризуется реальное состояние института государственной службы в России как основы для ее повышения, анализируются основные проблемы неудовлетворительного уровня информационной компетентности государственных служащих.

Ключевые слова: информационная компетентность государственных служащих


CAPABILITY OF RUSSIAN CIVIL SERVANTS TO CARRY OUT PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITY WITHIN RUSSIA’S ADVANCE TOWARDS INFORMATION-ORIENTED SOCIETY

Ustinovitch Elena Stepanovna
Kursk branch of the Russian State Trade and Economic University
Pro-rector of Science, doctor of political science, associate professor

Abstract
Abstract. This paper focuses on the issue which has been considered quite seldom in recent scientific publications. The issue regards informational competence of civil servants as the most essential factor of full realization of information rights and freedoms of Russian citizens, optimization of administrative procedures, and focus on national interests in the information field. In this paper we introduce the interpretation of the concept “informational competence of civil servants”, characterize current condition of civil service in Russia as the foundation for its development, and analyze basic problems of inadequate degree of informational competence of civil servants.

Рубрика: 23.00.00 ПОЛИТИЧЕСКИЕ НАУКИ

Библиографическая ссылка на статью:
Устинович Е.С. Capability of Russian civil servants to carry out professional activity within Russia’s advance towards information-oriented society // Современные научные исследования и инновации. 2013. № 8 [Электронный ресурс]. URL: http://web.snauka.ru/issues/2013/08/26111 (дата обращения: 04.10.2017).

Notion of informational competence of civil servants and legal basis for its development

We should emphasize that the issue of informational competence of civil servants gains its significance within democratic and administrative reforms and rapid general changes in social life which distinctly characterize modern Russian society. Some scientists directly point out that it is the state personnel policy focusing on high qualification of the staff that enables to cope with problems of public management professionally .[1]

It should be noted that recently in Russia the issue of informational competence of civil servants is not being deeply researched in scientific politics and law, besides this problem is rarely concerned in scientific publications. The Thesaurus of Russian Language edited by Professor Dmitry Ushakov defines the concept “competence” as “awareness, authority”.[2] By this definition the authors uppermost imply common knowledge of computer application, capability to use PC and other IT including basic Internet services such as e-mail, and implementation of this knowledge in professional activity. Considering given interpretation we suppose that at the present stage of informational development of Russian society and state institutions informational competence of civil servants is the basic element of general competence of state personnel and the factor defining the degree of skill.

Note that professionalism and competence of civil servants constitutes one of basic principles of civil service embodied in the Civil Service Federal Act of Russian Federation of July 27, 2004.[3] Article 12 of this Act states that the set of qualification demands placed on civil service posts includes the requirements to the degree of professional education and record of work in government service (other civil services) or record of professional activity along with requirements of professional knowledge and skills essential to perform official duties; this implies in particular the requirement to the level of informational competence (Art.12, §1). According to §6 of the mentioned article of the Civil Service Federal Act “…qualifying standards of professional knowledge and skills necessary to accomplish official duties are defined by the statutory act of state authority with consideration of its tasks and functions, and are included into official regulations for civil servants”.

So far it should be stated that inadequate, often low informational competence of civil servants becomes the factor[4] which impartially slows down the development of interrelations between authorities, people and society in general on the new level under implementation of advantages provided by recent informational technologies. The mentioned interrelations are meant to be simple in pattern, convenient, high-speed and flexible. Therefore we consider that the absence of task-oriented unified state policy concerning the development of informational competence of civil servants and legal foundation regulating the issues of “electronic” interaction between civil servants, individuals and organizations causes rather chaotic development of informational competence of civil servants.

Unfortunately the problem of enhancing the informational competence of civil servants cannot be solved only by the statutory acts passed in the last few years which regulate the relations in the information field, in particular the Order of Development and Adoption of Administrative Regulations of State Service Rendering governmental regulation of November 11, 2005. The development and implementation of administrative electronic regulations, in particular which could make provision for consolidation of mechanisms of “electronic” interaction between holders of public offices, individuals and organizations was provided by federal task program Electronic Russia 2002-2010. But so far this problem has not yet been solved. Therefore the scientists and practitioners always bring up the topical issue concerning the necessity of development of specialized administrative electronic regulations that could considerably assist in solving the problem of advancing the level of informational competence of civil servants. Particular consideration should be given to the statements of researchers about the necessity of legislative consolidation of administrative procedures[5] (within administrative regulations which development and adoption is the principle direction of administrative reforms) that comes from understanding that as a rule administrative and managerial processes taking place within the executive offices in all hierarchical levels of public authority are not based on law, are improperly designed and appear ineffective.[6]

Informational competence of civil servants as an element of national interest and its effect on full implementation of information rights and freedoms for Russian citizens and increase of administrative efficiency

In accordance with national security concept approved by the Resolution of the President of Russian Federation of December 17, 1997 (in edition to the Resolution of the President of Russian Federation of January 10, 2000, №24) Russia’s national interests denote the balanced mixture of interests of individuals, society and the State in economical, social, international, informational, military, boundary, ecological fields, home-policy, etc. These are the long term interests define basic purposes, strategy and current tasks of home and foreign policy of the State. Simply saying the essence of national interest consists in several basic elements – stable social and economic situation providing proper living standards, basic for the civil society formation, and powerful position of Russia in foreign policy arena.

Russian Federation at present is also the State advancing towards information progress, which becomes additional innovative factor contributing to implementation of national interests by means never used before. Therefore, under condition of global informatization, Russian citizens need to know what efforts are now being made by the government of Russian Federation in relation to broad implementation of information rights of Russian citizens and what degree of informational competence the civil servants posses.

Democratic reforms in our country are being in progress for almost twenty years. During this period of time certain considerable changes took place along with simultaneous process of informatiozation.[7] Implementation of regulations of federal task program Electronic Russia 2002-2010[8] resulted in sufficiently high level of informatization of state authorities in Russian Federation. Actually the present time is characterized by created technological preconditions essential for carrying out managerial activity on the level of state authorities under brand new conditions. Today these preconditions allow to improve efficient activity of the authorities based on innovations (such as ICT) and lay the essential technology-based foundation for creation of auxiliary capabilities facilitating the efficient interaction between state authorities, citizens and institutions of progressive civil society in Russia.

It should be noted that positive implementation of advances of information technologies has already been experienced by whole range of departments and agencies including the Ministry of Justice of Russian Federation which has been gradually adopting EDM[9] since 2001.

It is quite obvious that technological methods are not sufficient for the purpose of implementation of national interest concerning informational advances of the society and electronic channels of its interaction with the authorities. It should be considered that any innovation (therein the introduction of information technologies into the activity of state authorities) is related to human factor and the degree of being prepared to use IT for the benefit of professional activity and the society in general. Full statutory provision of these processes has an influence on how fast electronic interaction between citizens and state authority is advanced.

Therefore irrespective of what is said about insufficient financing of state authorities informatization, equipping with PCs and providing the Internet access, the degree of informational competence of civil servants is the stumbling block of informational progress in the sphere of state power at present.

Taking technological advances as the foundation, modern society in Russia introduces new parameters and puts forth new demands of its interaction with the authorities. So the salvation of the problem of low informational competence of civil servants by means of the law within state common policy and state information policy allows to find a landmark decision of an issue of more effective interaction between the authorities and the society using new IT resources which undoubtedly lays in the sphere of Russia’s national interests.

The statutory foundation of administrative reform in Russian Federation was formed by the following legal acts: Concepts of Civil Service Reformation in Russian Federation (2001); Resolution of the President of Russian Federation of July, 23, 2003 On the Measures of a Program of Administrative Reforms in 2003-2004; federal program Civil Service Reforms in Russian Federation, 2003-2005 (2002); Resolution of the Government of Russian Federation of October, 2, 2005 On the Concept of Administrative Reforms in Russian Federation in 2006-2008.

Some researches note the implementation of administrative reform demands substantial changes in the management style and way of thinking of millions of civil servants and local government employees. Positive results are possible only in case the requirements of qualification and value system of the personnel are fulfilled.[10] He also notes that governmental mentality is considerably harder to be changed compared to the structure of state authorities and governmental system. It is quite difficult to make a civil servant treat concerned citizens not as annoying burden but as customers of public services which are to be provided to them. For the sake of successful reforms it is necessary to modify considerably the activity of state institutions of all branches, and make the state machine more efficient, compact and operable.

The Concept of IT Implementation in the Activity of the Federal Authorities Until 2010[11] states that current IT basis has been already created and this denotes the increase in the number of persons employed in federal authorities who are provided with up-to-date PCs; Internet access; successful implementation of projects aiming to introduce the automated information data system in the field of electronic documents circulation[12]; creation of databases according to basic activity guidelines of the federal authorities. The federal authorities create and use websites to present information on their activity as well as to provide services and interactive information support for citizens and organizations. IT equipping level is already discussed in the report on ICT-based public administration development which was presented by the Ministry of Economic Advancement of Russian Federation within implementation of federal task program Electronic Russia (2002-2010).[13]

Besides we should point out some negative tendencies in development of informational support for public management in Russia. First of all public management informatization is mostly technological by nature and is accompanied by optimization of administrative procedures.[14] Moreover the gained experience shows that improvement of technological level of the state authorities does not cause simplification and modification of administrative decision making.

This once again shows that the problems concerning informational advance of public administration in Russian Federation actually deal with some civil servants not being ready to accept innovative methods of work. In fact in the absence of strict demand for IT implementation the majority of civil servants ignores and sometimes intentionally suppresses IT implementation in professional activity. Such a situation allows to conclude that civil servants at present become the reason for actual hold-back of innovations within state authorities.

Present condition of civil service in Russia as the original foundation for increasing the informational competence of civil servants  

In his speech in the meeting of the Council of State on February 8, 2008 the President of Russian Federation Vladimir Putin noted that so far unfortunately “…the state machine presents the corrupted and exaggerated bureaucratic structure which is not motivated to positive changes and development dynamics”.[15]

Speaking at the Fifth Economic Forum held in Krasnojarsk on February 15, 2008, Dmitriy Medvedev noted that “…the officials must realize completely that the society is their direct employer and they are responsible to the whole Russian society, Russian citizens and that all administrative procedures must be vested in the regulations of the activity of state authorities and become the most convenient for the people.”[16]

Recent civil service in Russian is affected with careerism, corruption, red-tapery and low degree of professionalism. Scientific publications provide even severe characteristics of present condition of civil service institutions. For instance, some researchers note that “…new generation of managers was brought up to possess a shocking mixture of authoritarian ambitions of pre-reform officials and abnormal liberal relations resulted from decades of connivance.[17] Others point out that “the results of governmental system analysis conducted in Russia reveal fairly low efficiency of state machine, corrupted structure of state authorities, decreasing confidence of citizens in state institutions and state officials.”[18]

Thus, it is obvious that the majority of scientists and politicians view actual condition of civil service in Russia as problematic and unsatisfactory; and that is the situation upon which the informational competence of civil servants is supposed to be developed.

Basic causes of insufficient informational competence of civil servants in todays Russia

At present the causes of fairly low level of informational competence of civil servants in Russia consist in the factors which are statutory, personal, psychological and motivational in nature. It is quite clear, the existing situation does not satisfy at least those of the society who are advanced Internet users and care for direct intercommunication with the authorities by means of modern technologies eliminating the waist of time, unequal communication with the authorities and other negative features, which have been for years accompanying the existing stereotype of communication between the authorities and the society.

At present civil servants may be grouped into several categories which considerably differ in informational competence. The youngest category and thus the mostly advanced in IT implementation in professional activity includes 30-35-year-old people. They know about IT and can easily use these advantages in work. Second category of civil servants includes people from 35 to 40-45 years old. These are the officials, who have not caught the starting onrush of IT during the time of their acquiring educational and professional background. Now they have to get a grip of innovations such as IT to go with the times and promote their professional and personal growth.

Third category of civil servants includes people of 50 years old and over. Among civil servants people of this generation represent the category most complicated and problematic for informational development. To the majority of this category of civil servants IT is still an alien phenomenon. During years they have been creating a pattern of activity implementing the methods and tools of communication appropriate for the past 20th century and therefore out-of-date. Acceptance of a new pattern of work based on IT is slow and not always ubiquitous; it should also be kept in mind that the majority of this particular category holds the posts related to managerial decision making.

It must be admitted that at present time civil service lacks the system of stimulus objects and motivation which would demand from the officials taking efforts to develop their informational competence. The structure of civil service has no incentive plan for encouraging civil servants to implement IT. Also there is no uniform state policy to promote the officials concerned with the development of personal informational competence. But these problems are not that hard to be solved. Let us recall for instance that the Placement of Orders for Delivery, Execution of Work, and Supply of Services for State and Municipal Needs Federal Act of Russian Federation №94-ФЗ[19] has obligated the officials to pass the extension courses and receive appropriate certificates with state registration of entitlement to implement public and municipal purchase.

Besides the problem of informational competence of civil servants may have statutory salvation on condition that present information legislation would consider the appropriate trends of development meaning the following: Russian legislation controlling the relations in the information environment is recently advancing towards the extension of constitutional norms related mainly to providing the citizens with an access to information on the activity of state and local authorities. The appropriate draft law has been submitted to the Duma in April 2007. However it seems that the concerns of Russian citizens lie in a rather different sphere, mainly it refers to the category of people for whom Internet has become an integral component of life. This category of citizens enjoys direct communication with the authorities through Internet without any intermediation. Russian citizens would appreciate proper technological support for enjoying the services rendered by the state authorities. Some authors state that “…electronic communication allows to create the demanded infrastructure of new economics based on knowledge and new democracy based on direct communication between citizens and the authorities and accountability of the authorities to the citizens”.[20] The axiom is that the society is of primary value and the State, meaning the institutions and the state machine, is intended to serve for the benefit of the society and each citizen individually. On the assumption of this axiom we can make the inference that the interests of each citizen and Russian society under reformation consist in receiving a fair amount of service rendered by the state in a convenient and high-quality methods when there is no need to visit public offices in person, queue up, as it has always been, and perform any other ineffective actions. Interrelation between the authorities, citizens and organizations must be based on equal and appropriate democratic dialogue which at present can be supported by IT. Unfortunately without introduction of innovative (informational) ways of working (or introducing rather slowly and therefore insufficiently) the state authorities and local authorities in particular actually admit that they are using out-of-date methods of working (methods of the past century) focusing mainly the older generation. It is somehow convenient for a particular category of civil servants, but on the other hand it slows down the development of the civil society and interaction between the authorities and the citizens based on democratic principles. The draft of the Report on the State of Civil Society in Russian Federation in 2007 indicates that the lack of clear legislation to control Internet communication considerably suppresses the progress of on-line technologies.[21]

A civil servant at any structural level keeping abreast of times must be always equal to the situation demanding mobile and competent response to the requests of citizens and organizations which implies high degree of skill and informational competence. It could be that all civil servants irrespective of their age are wrongly believed to be advanced users of IT. Some researches observe that “…ministries, offices and other state institutions lack the personnel trained to use Internet. No drastic changes occurred in the minds of the officials: they put socially significant information on websites under compulsion and do not realize the importance of this operation for the ministries as well as for the society.”[22]Thus it is actually a fallacy to believe civil servants have a sufficient degree of informational competence.

Insufficient degree of informational competence turns into a natural reason for inefficient civil service concerning its interaction with the citizens meaning slow upgrading of the existing red-tapery and style of management, lack of system of public service rendering to the citizens as a result of administrative reforms. Promotion of competence of civil servants directly influences the efficiency of administrative reforms and associated optimization of administrative procedures, complete implementation of information rights of Russian citizens as well as national interests in the sphere of information technology.

 


[1] Романов В.Л. Управление и самоорганизация в процессе административной реформы.

[2] Толковый словарь русского языка: В 4 т. Т.1/Под ред. проф. Д.Ушакова. – М.: ТЕРРА, 1996. – с. 1427.

[3] п.4 ст.4. О государственной гражданской службе Российской Федерации. Федеральный закон от 27 июля 2004 года № 70-ФЗ с изменениями от 2 февраля 2006 года № 19-ФЗ//Конституционное право России: сб. нормативных актов/ сост. С.А. Авакьян. – М.: ТК Велби, 2007. – с. 299.

[4] Insufficient degree of informational competence of civil servants in regional governments is confirmed by the results of experiments held by the researches during lectures within extension courses IT in Public Administration and Required Informational Provision for Administrative Reforms etc. in Kursk Institute of State and Municipal Service since 2006.

[5] Барциц И.Н. Реформа государственного управления в России: правовой аспект. – М.: «Формула права», 2008. – с. 148.

[6] Там же. С. 147.

[7] The concept “informatization” received its first statutory provision in a stale federal law concerning information, informatization and information security of January 25, 1995. In accordance with Art.2 “…informatization is the organizational, socio-economical, scientific and technical process aiming to create optimal conditions to meet informational demands and implement the rights of citizens, state authorities, local authorities, and public associations on the basis of information resources”.

[8] Постановление Правительства РФ от 28 янв. 2002 г. № 65 «О федеральной целевой программе “Электронная Россия (2002–2010 гг.)”» // Собрание законодательства Российской Федерации. – 2002. – 4 февр. – Ст. 531.

[9] Борискин В.В., Поликарпова Н.М., Тихомиров С.Г. Государственное управление, государственная служба и их документационное обеспечение: учеб. Пособие. – М.: ТК Велби, Изд-во Проспект, 2006. – С. 200.

[10] Барциц И.Н. Реформа государственного управления в России: правовой аспект. – М.: «Формула права», 2008. – с. 157.

[11] Approved by the Decree of Government of Russian Federation of September 27, 2004.

[12] Positive results of IT implementation were obtained by the whole range of ministries and offices, in particular the Ministry of Justice which has been gradually adopting the system of electronic workflow since 2001 [8].

[13] Particularly the Report notes that several ministries and agencies have reached fairly high level of technological equipment provision. Almost all officials have PCs, 80% of public institutions are equipped with accounting and financial accounting systems. The Federal Treasury and other subdivisions of the Ministry of Finance use the unified system of public finance management. Broad storages of disciplinary information based on advanced information technologies were introduced into the Ministry of Home Affairs of Russian Federation. Almost all power-holding structures are presented in the Internet in their official websites.

[14] The Report on IT Based Development of Public Management, prepared by the Ministry of Economic Development within federal task programElectronic Russia (2002-2010 )//http://www.economy.gov.ru

[15] Речь Владимира Путина на Заседании Госсовета России 08.02.2008года. http// www/ivsnet.ru/Рutin_speak.php/

[16] Россия 2020. Главные задачи развития страны. – М.: Издательство «Европа», 2008. – с.36.

[17] Романов В.Л. Управление и самоорганизация в процессе административной реформы

[18] Барциц И.Н. Реформа государственного управления в России: правовой аспект. – М.: «Формула права», 2008. – с. 157.

[19] Федеральный закон Российской Федерации. О размещении заказов на поставки товаров, выполнение работ, оказание услуг для государственных и муниципальных нужд: [21 июля 2005 г. № 94-ФЗ] // www. zakupki.gov.ru

[20] Коротков А.В., Кристальный Б.В., Курносов И.Н. Государственная политика Российской Федерации в области развития информационного общества//под научной редакцией А.В. Короткова – ООО «ТРЕЙН», 2007. – С. 198.

[21] Информационное право и становление основ гражданского общества в России.// Сборник статей по материалам 5-госеминара по теоретическим проблемам информационного права в Институте государства и права РАН – с.120.

[22] Коротков А.В., Кристальный Б.В., Курносов И.Н. Государственная политика Российской Федерации в области развития информационного общества//под научной редакцией А.В. Короткова – ООО «ТРЕЙН», 2007. – С. 132.


References
  1. О государственной гражданской службе Российской Федерации. Федеральный закон от 27 июля 2004 года № 70-ФЗ с изменениями от 2 февраля 2006 года № 19-ФЗ//Конституционное право России: сб. нормативных актов/ сост. С.А. Авакьян. – М.: ТК Велби, 2007. – с. 299.
  2. Указ Президента Российской Федерации от 19 ноября 2002 г. № 1336 «О Федеральной программе «Реформирование государственной службы Российской Федерации (2003-2005 годы) // Собрание законодательства Российской Федерации. 2002. № 47. Ст. 4664.
  3. Указ Президента Российской Федерации от 12 декабря 2005 г.№ 1437 «О продлении срока реализации Федеральной  программы «Реформирование государственной службы Российской Федерации (2003-2005 годы) на 2006-2007 годы»// Собрание законодательства Российской Федерации. 2005. № 51. Ст. 5514.
  4. Постановление Правительства РФ от 28 янв. 2002 г. № 65 «О федеральной целевой программе “Электронная Россия (2002–2010 гг.)”» // Собрание законодательства Российской Федерации. – 2002. – 4 февр. – Ст. 531.
  5. Речь Владимира Путина на Заседании Госсовета России 08.02.2008года. http// www/ivsnet.ru/Рutin_speak.php/
  6. Россия 2020. Главные задачи развития страны. – М.: Издательство «Европа», 2008. – с.36.
  7. Барциц И.Н. Реформа государственного управления в России: правовой аспект. – М.: «Формула права», 2008. – сс. 7; 13-14.
  8. Борискин В.В., Поликарпова Н.М., Тихомиров С.Г. Государственное управление, государственная служба и их документационное обеспечение: учеб. Пособие. – М.: ТК Велби, Изд-во Проспект, 2006. – С. 200.
  9. Коротков А.В., Кристальный Б.В., Курносов И.Н. Государственная политика Российской Федерации в области развития информационного общества//под научной редакцией А.В. Короткова – ООО «ТРЕЙН», 2007. – с. 114.
  10. Толковый словарь русского языка: В 4 т. Т.1/По ред. проф. Д. Ушакова. – М.: ТЕРРА, 1996. – с. 1427.


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