Expert-analytical center of the Russian Academy of national economy held a round table on the theme: “Assistants of parliamentarians: politicians support or technical support? Search for new statuses and opportunities.” The meeting was addressed by invited experts, assistants to deputies of the Duma, members of Federation Council, the Moscow regional Duma and the Moscow city Duma. Following the meeting, the experts drafted a list of recommendations (copy available) to improve the efficiency of the helpers.
Among expert proposals — the creation of a travel Fund for assistants of parliamentarians and providing them in regions of official vehicles for operational tasks. It’s not just about the car, but any other service transport, depending on natural conditions, say the experts. Director of Expert-analytical center of the Russian Academy of national economy Nikolai Kalmykov said that it is primarily the provision of official vehicles when operating in remote regions. For example, in the Komi Republic, in a number of settlements can be reached only by water or by air.
Among other recommendations, the creation of educational programs for assistants for training in bureaucratic skills and records management, working with the population. These courses can be for aides-beginners and extension skills. The experts also proposed to develop a single standard for documents for the admission to the territory of the departments, and establish in the regulations of the authorities the right assistants to get current information within a specific time frame.
In the list of recommendations referred to the creation of a platform for interoperability helpers to each other. For example, it is proposed to develop a special messenger for assistants of parliamentarians, using techniques of encryption. It is also proposed to create a single program statements control execution of tasks (similar to systems customer relationship management (CRM) in business). Using a centralized network can be locked, when and who performs/has performed the current task.
By law, each Deputy and Senator can be up to 40 assistants on a voluntary basis and five employees working under an employment contract. At the roundtable experts agreed that the distribution of tasks among assistants depends on the specific tasks of the Deputy. Some assistants independently solve practical problems, while others are limited to technical functions. Part assistant work in areas other directly in the Duma and the Federation Council.
Among the problems complained of by the assistants of deputies, mentioned difficulties entering the territory of the authorities and lack of awareness about the specifics of their own activities and characteristics of the population. Because of the complexities of information exchange within departments assistants are often faced with the problem of access to the requested data. The participants complained of physical problems — difficulty with transport in remote villages in the regions and housing issues. One of the assistant deputies proposed to allocate hostel of economy class for regional colleagues, “where are they in the context of compact residence could more effectively build cooperation”.
Assistants to deputies “hundreds and thousands all over the country, but their effectiveness is not always clear neither for MPs nor for the citizens”, commented the Director of the Expert-analytical center of Russian Academy of Kalmyks. In his words, “the status of an assistant is not only a beautiful crust, but also responsibilities”. “We need to create the conditions under which the assistants will be able to bring maximum benefit”, — the expert believes.
Member of the faction “United Russia” in the Duma are Yevgeny Revenko said that the current opportunities for work in the regions, deputies and assistants “is enough, you just need wisely to streamline your work”. According to him, “in the conditions of economy” the proposal to allocate additional money for the deputies and their assistants will look “at least, untimely”. At the same time, he called the current initiative to increase travel expenses for assistants in some major regions, for example, in the Kuban region and in Yakutia.
Currently the payroll for all five of the assistants of deputies on a labor contract is 165 thousand. In November, the Duma was introduced a bill to increase this Fund up to 230 thousand rubles and expand the staff to seven people. With this initiative were made by the representatives of all parliamentary factions, and the bill approved by the government.
As stated by one of the parliamentary assistants, an issue for his colleagues is a pretty low salary, it is not always “competitive.” “Because often we are talking about bonuses at the party level,” he acknowledges. With this agrees the analyst Abbas Gallyamov. According to him, the assistant Deputy receives an average of 30 thousand rubles. per month, which by Moscow standards is small, and far more skilled workers will be possible only after wage growth. “The training of assistants is also a good idea. A competent assistant is much better than the illiterate,” said the analyst.
When the Parliament is dominated by one faction and all decisions are made not in the Duma, for qualified assistants has no serious requirements, retorted the scientist Nikolay Mironov. According to him, the expertise of the Duma weakened superfluous on the background of strengthening of Executive power. But in the case of increasing the role of deputies in the future qualified assistants will be useful again, said the analyst.