Issues on the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation. Resolution of the RF Government of April 6, 2004, No..158.
Decree of the RF President of August 30, 2004, No.1131 “On the Council for Science, Technologies and Education under the RF President”.
The real sector An alternative Strategy plan was somehow presented in the report on human poten tial development in the Russian Federation prepared as part of the United Nations Devel opment Program (UNDP) named “Towards a Knowledge Based Society”. The report specifies that increasing budget financing of the Russian Academy of Sciences is a key mechanism in transition to an innovation based economy, because it is the RAS that forms the basis of “innovative breakthrough”. In this case, base financing of the RAS is consid ered as payment for its reputation rather than a state guaranteed order. In general, the budget is expected to grow at the expense of interest contributions generated from export of basic raw materials, namely: crude oil, gas, coal, ferrous and non ferrous metals, chemical products, lumber, diamonds, etc. The report provides a clear picture of the Rus sian science as viewed by representatives of the Academy, since the majority of the au thors are employed at academic institutions.
One of the material changes in the field of administration is also related to actual abolishment of accreditation of scientific organizations. In 2004, a draft law “On Invalidity of Provisions of RF Regulations Relating to the Issues of Public Accreditation of Scientific Organizations” was developed and approved, under which such accreditation is deemed needless. This resolution is in line with the policy aimed at eliminating needless administra tive barriers and reducing the number of activities subject to licensing. At present, the draft law has been submitted to the RF State Duma for consideration.
Public accreditation of scientific organizations was introduced in 1997 primarily for the purpose of providing tax allowances and other benefits. Only accredited organizations were authorized to bid for a state guaranteed order and participate at other types of public tenders. Accreditation was granted subject to the principal criterion, 70:30 ratio, meaning that research and development should account for 70% of the core activity of a scientific organization. This regulation gradually became a barrier for the development of innovative activity. At the same time, a new Tax Code came into force, which terminated a series of former allowances and benefits previously granted to scientific organizations. These cir cumstances led to an actual abolishment of accreditation.
Abolishment of accreditation provides any organizations with access to budget financing. This is increasing a risk of lobbying and ineffective disbursement of budget funds, unless additional procedures are introduced due to the abolishment (which is in effect de facto) at the stage of tender for state guaranteed orders, which would allow bidders’ potential and performance history to be assessed. The practice of preliminary as sessment of organizations, bidders for state guaranteed orders, is applied in all developed countries by creating data bases of prospective performers of state guaranteed orders along with lists of corporations and firms which are not supposed to be admitted.
3.5.2. Attempting to Reorganize Scientific Institutions In the period between summer and fall of 2004, the Ministry of Education and Sci ence developed a Concept of Participation of the Russian Federation in Management of Public Organizations Operating in the Field of Science. Upon publishing, the Concept re ceived a fairly negative review both by the scientific society and especially the Russian Academy of Sciences. A task force was set up by a request of the RAS comprising repre sentatives of the Ministry of Education and Science, the RAS and the Council of Wardens of Russia. Eventually, the task force came up with a new version of the Concept as revised and approved by the three parties. The revised version was named the Concept of Partici pation of the Russian Federation in Management of Property Complexes of Public Organi zations Operating in the Field of Science. It differs largely from the original version.
RUSSIAN ECONOMY in trends and outlooks Originally, the Concept provided methods, most importantly the scope, of the reform of the public research and development sector. Four hundred to 700 scientific organiza tions are expected to remain in federal ownership by 2008, including 100 to 200 public re search and development institutes and 300 to 500 organizations representing an “infra structural component of public sector of science”. This constitutes a material reduction, since there are more than 450 institutes alone that are currently operating under the Rus sian Academy of Sciences, let alone departmental research organizations, scientific and research institutes within the framework of institutions of higher education, and public uni tary enterprises, all totaling over 2,8 thousand state owned organizations. It is the reduc tion figures along with unclear criteria of selection of organizations, that received such a negative review of the Concept among common scientists and managers of scientific or ganizations. In addition, In addition, the Academy perceived the Concept as a new offen sive against the RAS’s status, since a drastic reduction of the number of subordinate aca demic institutions means de facto that the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences will lose the power to dispose of public property.
Only one guideline left as a result of the RAS’s participation in updating the Concept:
the number of state financed scientific institutions is scheduled to be cut down to 800 (by 55%) by 2006. More information emerged with regard to specific figures of financing of the federal scientific sector, which are scheduled for 2008. Minimum budget provision of a single scientist is excepted to be RUR700 to 750 thousand a year (in 2004 prices). The number of scientific personnel in state financed organizations will be defined with consid eration of mandatory compliance of this figure. This section can be considered as the only failure committed by the RAS in its struggle for retaining all its powers and privileges: given the fact that budget provision of a single scientist is currently RUR133 thousand a year (according to the estimates of the Ministry of Education and Science), then the foregoing figure of budget provision specified in the Concept would require at least doubled reduc tion in the number of scientific personnel in the federal sector of science, even though the scheduled gowth in budget allocations was considered (up to RUR110 billion by against RUR46,2 billion in 2004).
The Concept identifies the goals, tasks and principles of participation of the Russian Federation in management of public scientific organizations. The initial and the second op tions differ largely in composition of goals. For instance, the initial option contains the goals as follows:
• provide breakthrough in the top priority guidelines of development of science, equip ment and technology ;
• achieve competitiveness ;
• develop HR potential of science ;
• optimize organizational and financial expenditures of the federal government in man aging scientific organizations ;
• improve budget efficiency in utilizing public property.
As is seen from the list, goals (4) and (5) are showing to a certain extent the purpose of reforming the public sector of science. All things considered, the list provides nothing new as compared to similar documents presented in the previous periods (including those adopted in 2002, Policy Principles of the Russian Federation in Development of Science and Equipment for the Period ending in 2010 and Beyond).
However, the second option moves away from the idea of reforming the public sector and is focused on the need to support science by the federal government in general and strengthen and build up scientific potential and develop fundamental science in particular.
Altogether the new 5 goals look even more eclectic in this option :
The real sector • build up the role of science in resolving the national task aimed at doubling the gross domestic product ;
• improve quality of fundamental research and development ;
• retain and improve the scientific and technological potential of the country ;
• comprehensive development of the national innovative system ;
• create conditions to develop and improve competitiveness of “HR capital”.
Though the new name of the Concept is focused on management of property com plexes, the revised version includes no goal to improve budget efficiency in utilizing public property which was included in the initial version.
Criteria of retaining organizations within the public sector of science appeared to be specified in nothing but general terms. Most substantial failure is the fact that a series of criteria are declarative, and it is not specified who and how would apply these criteria in as sessing and selecting particular organizations. It should be noted that the set of options for reforming organizations will shrink: under the new version public organizations can be re organized only into funds or self dependant non profit organization as opposed to the pre vious idea of them being reorganized into funds, self dependant non profit organizations and open joint stock companies, or selling entire property complexes of organizations.
The developed Concept fails to consider two types of public organizations: self dependant organization and public (municipal) one. At present, a package of correspond ing draft laws is under consideration by the Government. These types of organizations play a fairly important role in the field of science and their introduction could substantially opti mize reorganization of scientific organizations. In this case, all reorganization schemes de scried in the Concept would need updating. Since the Concept is a long term document, it should provide for introduction of new legal and organizational forms.
In general, the Concept provides a narrow view of privatization of scientific organiza tions, i.e. as a change in the form of ownership. At the same time, privatization may mean loss of the federal government’s function in relation to organizations. Such forms of priva tization have been gaining a wider use16 in the developed countries, as well as serving as the basis of various private and public partnerships, including management of scientific organizations.
The new version of the Concept is distinguished mainly by a new special section dedicated to RAS’s role and place. The section is called Principles of Management of Property Complexes of the Russian Academy of Sciences and State Owned Sectoral Academies of Sciences. It is evident from this section that the RAS is retaining all its func tions and receiving new authorities. It suggests that the RAS is not only a “main center of fundamental research in the country”, but also provides high quality of those trends in ap plied science which are falling within “the responsibility of the federal government”. In ad dition, the RAS is becoming a coordinator of fundamental research conducted in institu tions of higher education, public research centers, sectoral academies owned by the government. On the basis of a greater number of authorities (even in comparison with the RAS’s Charter), the RAS itself will optimize a composition of subordinate agencies and or ganizations, and develop not only criteria of efficiency for such institutions but also “a plan of special actions on management of property complexes”.
All things considered, the transformation of the Concept can be deemed a political victory of the RAS in its struggle to maintain a status quo. Though the initial version of the Concept could be criticized for incompleteness, it is still viable option of reforming the pub At the Threshold of Knowledge Economics (Global Practice in Research and Innovative Development) / Edit. А.А. Dynkin, А.А. Dagayev. М.: IМEМО, RAS, 2004. С. 180–182.
RUSSIAN ECONOMY in trends and outlooks lic sector, while the updated version is evident of the fact that real reforming is delayed for an uncertain period. Firstly, the academic sector is remaining predominant, while it is a prevailing segment of the “network”. Secondly, according to clarification made by the Min istry of Education and Science, none of the existing institutions will be shut down. They will be integrated with educational and industrial organizations. Such approach seems not to be promising because epidemic integration of organizations will create new problems in stead of eliminating the old ones. In particular, integration will not resolve the problem of optimization of personnel of scientific organizations.
Upon adoption of the Concept, the Presidium of the RAS took first steps towards its implementation: in November 2004, a new stage of restructuring was announced. It will include qualification of all scientific personnel employed at the institutions under the RAS.
The qualification is scheduled throughout the entire 2005.
3.5.3. Perspective Forms of Integration of Science and Education One of the trends in reorganization in the field of science deserves a special atten tion, i.e. integration of science and education.
The need in such integration was stated as one of the national strategic tasks even before the break up of the Soviet Union. In 2004, however, development of this trend was animated again. As like as not, the need to continue integration of science and education referred to in RF President’s annual letter became one of the catalyzing factors.
The main collision in the first half of the year was represented by emergence of the two alternative and overlapping concepts – leading institutions of higher education and re search universities. The administrative reform resulted in only one concept left – research institutes. A new term, “national universities”, emerged at the end of the year.
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