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Implementation of National Goals for Transparency in the Digital Reality. Open Debate
8 June 2019
12:00—13:30
KEY CONCLUSIONS
Open information reduces corruption risks and improves the quality of life

Openness, transparency is what will help us become more effective and reduce corruption in the areas where it still remains. Both digitalization and availability of information will help us take a big step forward — Maxim Oreshkin, Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.

Givernment for the people: this is the main goal of openness — Alexey Kudrin, Chairman, Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation .

Openness is one of the few effective ways to ensure that future decisions will be made with some degree of certainty. <...> The role of open data is not just to protect people’s rights, not only to eliminate information inequality when everything about you is known, but you know nothing, even about yourself. It is also to improve the quality of life — Ivan Begtin, Head of the Open Data Project of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation; Chief Executive Officer, Information Culture Nonprofit Organization.

Openness and transparency of the government increases the level of trust among the public

The most important thing is the big data that we must reveal and make public. And the main tool of such demand is not public councils, but participatory budgeting. What people want is revealed when you involve the public in shaping up the municipal budget. It immediately becomes clear what they are really interested in, what they want to discuss where they are ready to take part. Feedback from the people is necessary, it is important — Andrey Nikitin, Governor of Novgorod Region.

When asked what data-based management is, most people say they do not understand it. Therefore, it is very important for them to see a specific result — Maria Shklyaruk, Chief Executive Officer, CAG; Scientific Director, RANEPA Digital Transformation Leadership Training Centre .

ISSUES
Reliability of open data is doubtful

Some agencies have opened up, but it is often that the question arises about the data that they publish: how reliable is it? How well does it reflect what is really happening? They can open up and at the same time provide information that has nothing to do with reality, that is, to look good on the outside, but have serious problems on the inside — Maxim Oreshkin, Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.

Statistics is a very traditional branch, not because of its own inertia, but because of numerous external restrictions and obligations. There are very strict international standards, and we are responsible before international organizations. <...> You cannot use the old methods today, and switch to big data the following day, start doing things the new way. <...> Only when it becomes clear that the reliability and plausibility of numbers calculated on the basis of big data is at least not lower than the reliability from traditional methods, then it is possible to switch to new ways — Pavel Malkov, Head, Federal State Statistics Service of the Russian Federation.

Average numbers are probably very important for ministries and analysts in general, but not for the people. It is the abundance of average numbers that undermines trust — Nikolay Nikolaev, Chairman of the Committee of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation on Natural Resources, Property and Land Relations .

The level of openness is low with a number of government agencies

Visiting our websites shows that information is not updated, and generally we cannot see the full picture — Alexey Kudrin, Chairman, Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation .

Almost all the data related to the quality of life is stored in different kinds of government information systems, and, as a rule, it is very difficult to get this information from the authorities that keep it. <...> We have a very high level of openness of the entire financial and economic unit of the Government, but a low level of everything that has to do with data on the quality of life — Ivan Begtin, Head of the Open Data Project of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation; Chief Executive Officer, Information Culture Nonprofit Organization.

Lack of feedback from the public

The work of the government seriously affects our lives. We pay taxes and we believe that the state system efficiently uses them to our benefit. But we do not always get feedback. We do not always see how the government works in the interest of the people — Alexey Kudrin, Chairman, Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation .

Most often, our officials of different ranks think within the framework of the government system. One can make the information provided by Federal Statistics Service as open and reliable as possible, but it would not be enough for the people. We need to ask the people what they need to assess effectiveness and results, because some performance targets that are currently provided and for which certain data is collected, did not undergo public hearings — Nikolay Nikolaev, Chairman of the Committee of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation on Natural Resources, Property and Land Relations .

A new challenge, which is unusual for us: our users, the consumers of information, are also changing actively. <...> We are used to working with a professional audience, but now we are facing an army of non-professionals, and we must learn to work with them — Pavel Malkov, Head, Federal State Statistics Service of the Russian Federation.

Non-transparent decision making

We have problems with the efficiency of public administration, including decision making. We have a problem of corruption — Alexey Kudrin, Chairman, Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation .

SOLUTIONS
Using various channels of information

We need sources of information – high-quality, objective information – that would truly reflect what is happening in various spheres — Maxim Oreshkin, Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.

There has to be a relevant communiucation channel to convey all reliable, complete and up-to-date information to the public — Maksim Parshin, Deputy Minister of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation.

We must develop public institutions, because that is how people will have the opportunity to objectively interpret big data — Nikolay Nikolaev, Chairman of the Committee of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation on Natural Resources, Property and Land Relations .

Ensuring feedback

Feedback should come in different formats to answer the questions from ministries and agencies — Alexey Kudrin, Chairman, Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation .

Every official at each level, every civil servant must have information on what people are unhappy about, and what really troubles them. And response must be instantaneous. Such an incident management system based on the integration of our entire government ecosystem related to public services will be implemented in 2020 — Maksim Parshin, Deputy Minister of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation.

Firstly, it is very important to understand what people want, and secondly, to make it possibility for this data to be verified by the public. We must take into account the signals from the public, the signals that the people send us, and that must be mandatory. <...> People have to see and have the opportunity to communicate their point of view: what they agree with, what they disagree with, that they see locally, what corresponds to the Rosstat data and what does not; that this is very important — Nikolay Nikolaev, Chairman of the Committee of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation on Natural Resources, Property and Land Relations .

Implementing the best practices from all over the world

If we introduce the best practices that are used in the world in terms of openness and open data, we will go halfway in defeating corruption. <...> This is a powerful mechanism to increase the efficiency of the government and public service, and to fight corruption — Alexey Kudrin, Chairman, Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation .

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS