Out of this amount, in the form of additional bonuses to micro district physicians and nurses, 138 mln roubles was allocated, and 14 mln rou bles – to the personnel of the emergency medical care service. Against delivery certificates, 48 mln roubles was paid, and more than 136 mln roubles was allocated to purchases of medical equipment and ambu lances. It is planned that more than 190 persons should be vaccinated, with the allocation of 18.8 mln roubles to this purpose. The salaries of micro district physicians increased threefold and now amount to 14,000 roubles, those of nurses – by 2.5 times, to 6,700 roubles. The implementation of the national project made it possible to provide the municipal institutions in the public health care system with 92 units of medical equipment. On these items, more than 98 mln roubles were spent. Besides, the emergency medical care station received 21 ambu lances and one specialized ambulance with intensive care equipment.
Tula Oblast became actively involved in the implementation of the priority national project “Affordable and comfortable housing – to the citizens of Russia”. The total amount of financing under this project in the region is 14.6 bln roubles, and in 2006, 583 mln roubles will be allo cated thereto in the Oblast’s budget. Besides, government guarantees are envisaged in the oblast budget in the amount of 144.5 mln roubles.
According to the planned results of the implementation of the program “The provision of housing to young families in Tula Oblast in the years 2006–2010”, housing should be provided to 1,736 young families, with the allocation of 660 mln roubles to these purposes, including 495 mln rouble – from the oblast budget. This year, 30 mln roubles will be allo cated to the implementation of the program, and subsidies granted to 132 young families. In 2007, 153 mln roubles will be allocated, which will result in improved housing conditions for 401 young families. The forecasted amount of financing for the program “The development of mortgage crediting for housing construction in Tula Oblast in the years 2006–2010” will be equal to 491 mln roubles, including 230 mln roubles of subsidies. As a result, housing will be provided to 4,411 families. Un der the mortgage program, it is planned that a total of 238 thousand sq m of housing will be purchased. In 2006, 52 mln roubles will be allo cated to the provision of housing to the specific categories of citizens, as established by federal legislation.
2.2. Corporate Charity For more than a century and a half (beginning with A. de Tocqueville, whose approaches to the problem of aiding the poor were shared and further developed by J. Spencer), state support has been subject to criticism, because, firstly, of the incentives for indolence being thus created by it both for the recipients of such support and for the low income working groups of population, who compare themselves to the former; and secondly, because of the dubiousness of the good inten sions and the incentives of those who make the decisions concerning the granting of such support (Spencer).
It is obvious that the decision concerning the granting of social sup port made by an appointed or elected official (deputy, governor or president) implies, in effect, the provision of aid from somebody else’s pocket. A similar problem emerges also in the instance of corporate charity. The persons who manage a corporation make the decision to provide the support not at their own expense, but at the expense of shareholders. In this case, the economic motives (image, investments in human capital) become far less vulnerable to criticism, both from the point of view of morals and the effect of such aid, because in this situa tion the probability is higher that the agent acts not in his own personal interests, but rather in the interests of his principal. As for compatibility of interests, it means that there does exists a stronger personal incen tive to work for an efficient use of the resources allocated to certain specific purposes, than in any other situation.
In this connection it should be noted that the problems of both moral hazards and the practical inefficiency of social support programs be come especially acute in the case of those corporations that are con trolled and supported by the State (and not necessarily by financial means; more often the support is political – through licensing or by im posing other barriers in the way of access to the market, or by lobbying abroad).
Let us look, by way of example, to the charitable and other “socially oriented” (i.e., oriented toward the provision of mixed social benefits) programs of two state controlled corporations – Gazprom and Rosneft, and to those of two big private corporations – “Norilskii nikel” and “Magnitogorskii metallurgicheskii kombinal” (Magnitogorsk Metallurgi cal Combine).
The information concerning Gazprom’s charitable and social pro jects, posted on that corporation’s official website, is rather astonishing (especially if we compare it to the similar information posted by Western companies of a comparable size, for example General Motors6). Many of the events described at the website actually happened back in 2002.
In this connection, it should be noted that the key declaration, two web pages long, which, in effect, represents all the company’s reports of any worthy content, cannot but make any economist feel respect and deep satisfaction:
“The company strictly complies with its tax obligations, generating every day about 1 bln roubles of revenue for the Russian budget. Be sides, Gazprom is consistently constructing new pipeline connections to villages and towns in the RF, thus every year increasing by more than 300 the number of those formerly deprived of any access to “blue fuel”7.
However, all this has no relation whatsoever either to charitable activity or to “social responsibility” (the term used in the title to that web page).
Nevertheless, one cannot but agree with the maxim that a com pany’s social responsibility is simply its normal operation, in the course of which it seeks its own good in working for its customers’ good, by increasing their number (or “constructing new pipeline connections to Section “Community involvement” (concerning the participation in the affairs of local community) http://www.gm.com/company/gmability/community/index.html represents only one of the several large sections posted on that website, with numerous subsections, reports, accounts, etc. The overall number of references under the key words “General motors” & “charity” is hundreds of thousands, which is by four orders higher than a similar index in respect to Gazprom.
villages and towns”) and by paying taxes, all the rest being of little im portance. This wise and responsible standpoint, which is not influenced by political fashion or pressures from official groups of interest and left ist extremists, would have honored any private US corporation.
Among other deeds of the company, worthy of being mentioned on the sparingly used web space, there are the following ones:
- support of high achievements in sports, - the publication of the album “Masterpieces of Russian art. The Golden Map of Russia”, which offers “some 400 best examples of Russian fine arts and sculpture …”; aid to the projects developed by eminent cultural figures – D. Khvorostovsky and V. Spivakov (that is, the art of high achievements);
- the restoration of memorials of culture and architecture on the terri tory of the Valaam Stauropegial Monastery of the Transfiguration of Saint Savior;
- support in the making of the documentary film “Pilgrimage to the Eternal City”, depicting the Early Christian sacred relics in Rome (the list of pilgrims, however, is not specified, nor any comments as to who might be on it are offered);
- and besides, the fulfillment of obligations undertaken under the so cially oriented provisions of the employment contracts concluded with the company’s staff (this one represents a nice addition to the thesis with which we began this small overview).
On the whole, it should be noted that all this activity has no direct re lation to the notions of charity and social responsibility, as they are pub licly interpreted nowadays. At the same time, however, perhaps thanks to its lobbying opportunities, the company does not offer any examples of participation in any large scale, costly and rather senseless projects, which could present a danger in view of the aforesaid low level of moti vation of the decision makers.
As for the company Rosneft, we should note the activities of some of its territorial structures. Thus, “Rosneft – Tuapsenefteprodukt” in the late 1990s was spending up to one million USD every year on relatively targeted local projects. Unfortunately, there is little newer data. It looks as if such information is not necessary altogether, because “the collec tive of “Rosneft – Tuapsenefteprodukt”, its general director do not boast of their charitable activity; instead they want to urge others to en gage in similar activities by posing a good example. As for good fame, it has already been earned by the OAS “Rosneft – Tuapsenefteprodukt ”8.
The parent company issued a very richly illustrated 42 page book let9. From this booklet one may learn that “the expenditures on social programs” in the year 2005 amounted to 5.2 bln roubles (according to our estimate, it is approximately 5% of the amount of sales, which is indeed quite impressive). However, as can be understood from the con tent of the same booklet, the main bulk of that sum is being spent on providing solutions to the problems faced by the company’s staff – housing, retraining, health care and leisure (whioch, by the way, is both natural and normal). The expenditures on charities constitute about 5% of the total amount of “social expenditures” (in 2006, 254.5 mln roubles was earmarked for these purposes). The booklet’s authors point out, among such purposes, the expected “restoration of spirituality” (ex penditures on the needs of the Russian Orthodox Church) and envi ronment protection. There are no details concerning any specific pro jects, let alone the criteria for their selection.
The information on the social programs of the Magnitogorsk Metal lurgical Combine (MMC) has made it possible to come to the conclu sion that the expenditures on the personnel’s needs prevail (medical care, leisure, housing); however, they are described in much more de tail and better substantiated (mountain ski bases – the encouragement of open air sports among employees, whose occupation is far from be ing beneficial to health)10.
The information concerning the company proper is much more de tailed (this is a special, well structured section of the company’s web site) than that published by its state controlled counterparts11.
The reports of “Norilskii nikel” to its shareholders and general public are even more detailed12. The expenditures on charitable activities, ex pressed as percentage of proceeds, are somewhat lower than those of Rosneft (a little more than 0.1%, and of the order of 0.3% of net profit).
See, e.g., “Iesli vse idut k gore” [“If all go to the mountain»] – Kommersant, Social Re port // 26 December 2006.
Both these private companies are more closely tied to certain territo ries. For the MMC it is primarily Magnitogorsk; for “Norilskii nikel” – Norilsk, Talnakh and other settlements around that city. All this makes the inevitable social burden of those two companies heavier than that being borne by Gazprom and Rosneft.
Moreover, a lion’s share of taxes goes to the federal and regional budgets. Thus, in 2005, Norilsk received only 7 out of more than 50 bln roubles of taxes paid by the company. Considering the high cost of the upkeep of a big city located above the Polar Circle (there being actually no sources of revenue worth mentioning except those generated by the Combine), this sum is indeed rather limited.
The information of the MMC’s and “Norilskii nikel”’s charitable pro jects proper is only slightly more detailed than that published by Ros neft or Gazprom. The comparatively small scope of charitable activity, in view of weak incentives to achieve the best possible cost effectiveness of investments, represent a common rather than a differ entiating features, characterizing the activity of all the four companies.
3. Managing the Public Good: Governments and Education in Canada The special national way searching is the favorite activity of poor re sponsible governments in the World. Acting executive power in the Rus sian Federation follows this very path, unfortunately, instead searching for the lessons from experience of similar successful transitional coun tries (see Annex 3 – reviews of the respective institution and policies of Poland and Estonia) and old federal Rule of Law Democracies as Can ada. Here is presented review of only one of the public goods supplied by government in the social sphere as a relevant example.
As providers of public goods, the roles of federal, provincial, and lo cal governments in Canada are in decline. Governments at all levels have sought to reduce the scope of their activities and the investment of public resources, withdrawing from specific roles in favor of the private sector or other levels of government13. While government has tradition ally been considered the appropriate institution for the management of public services, the financial and administrative limits of government have led to questions concerning the efficiency and flexibility of public management of services. Accordingly, contemporary innovation and reform of service delivery – or neglect and deterioration, depending on the perspective – in fields as varied as health care to prisons challenge the traditional acceptance that public services are best managed and monopolized by government.
Education in Canada is one of the two most sacred of public goods.