20 Dec 2019 09:31

Audit Chamber sees ineffective management as key problem in implementing national projects

MOSCOW. Dec 20 (Interfax) - Most of the systemic problems of Russia's national projects, identified back at the end of 2018, have not been resolved and the main problem in the projects' implementation is an ineffective management system, the deputy chairman of the Audit Chamber, Galina Izotova said at a conference on Thursday, the fiscal watchdog reported in a statement.

The situation is exacerbated by the fact that problems are projected at the regional level, jeopardizing the achievement of national project goals, she said, listing the problems identified by the Chamber.

First there is the cumbersome management system for national projects, with overlapping functions. Furthermore, national goals and national projects are fairly nominally connected to one another and the combination of measures of the national projects in and of itself will not lead to the achievement of national goals, Izotova said.

There is also poor coordination between federal and regional government agencies on issues concerning the implementation of national projects. Targets were set without taking into account the actual capabilities of Russian regions, with a lack of transparency and without an acceptable method for detailing the value of targets for regions. This could lead targets being either unmet or distorted.

Furthermore, national project datasheets and reports on the implementation of projects lack complete and sound information about risks.

The Audit Chamber does monthly monitoring of efforts to realize national development goals and national projects, but there is no comprehensive system for monitoring and control over the implementation of national projects. Information is gathered manually, is received late and is problematic for analysis and monitoring. This makes it more difficult to make decisions on adjustments and minimization of risks in the implementation of national projects.

Funding for the implementation of national projects is being spent too slowly, with execution of federal budget expenditures for the projects at 71.4% as of December 1, 2019.

"The approval of hundreds of indicators and monitoring of their achievement is not a guarantee of a successful result. The indicators often have little relation to people's lives. So far, instead of an economy for people we're building an economy of indicators," Izotova said.

"This does not mean that we need to abandon indicators. It means that we need to focus on a small number of key indicators and make the methods for calculating them open, comprehensible and transparent," Izotova said.