Forum starts in
 
How to Make Government Oversight Amiable yet Effective: Presentation of a New Draft Bill on State Control and Supervision

The participants of IX St. Petersburg International Legal Forum discussed the founding principles of a draft bill ‘On state control (supervision) and municipal control in the Russian Federation’ published on Thursday as well as the plans for further legislative amendments. 

Mikhail Barshchevskiy, Authorized Representative of the Government of the Russian Federation in the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation and the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, was moderating the discussion. Konstantin Chuychenko, Deputy Head of the Russian Government, delivered the welcoming speech. Aleksandr Konovalov,  Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation, Taliya Khabrieva, Director of Institute of Legislation and Comparative Law under the Government of the Russian Federation, Savva Shipov, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, Martin Hirvoja, attorney at law at Magnusson Law Office, Viacheslav Vitushkin, expert at the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, Research Advisor to the Group on Project Planning of the State Control and Supervision Federal Law, Alexander Shokhin, President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, Svetlana Radionova, Head of Federal service for supervision of natural resources of the Russian Federation, Marina Yakutova, Expert at Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, participant of the Group on Project Planning of the State Control and Supervision Federal Law, Sergey Kravtsov, Head of Federal Service for Supervision in Education and Science, and Aleksandr Kalinin, President of All-Russian Non-governmental Organization of Small and Medium business ‘OPORA RUSSIA’ took part in the discussion.

At the beginning of the discussion moderator Mikhail Barshchevskiy noted that trust of state to business seems to be an important aspect within the framework of state control and supervision discussions. ‘The strength of a state, of power is not only in its army, defence or police. It is in the level of trust between government and population: free elections, versatile media, referenda. If that is the case then there’s trust of state to population. But there’s another crucial aspect and that is trust of state to business,’ explained Mikhail Barshchevsliy.

Konstantin Chuychenko said that feasibility aspect was taken into account when the law was being devised. That will be the case for other statutory acts as well. ‘When decision was made to reform these laws we decided that they are to be clear, feasible, as well as literate and accurate from the legal standpoint. For this law we have taken the Soviet Criminal Procedure Code as a role model because there’s no point in reinventing the wheel when the quality of those laws was perfect from the legal point of view.

According to Taliya Khabrieva, we see drastic changes in the paradigm and coordinate system of state and business interaction. ‘I do believe that this reform will be successful as now we have understanding of the reasons for some past failures. Huge work has been conducted and what’s more important we have reached orderliness. And today we enter the new stage,’ she said.

Savva Shipov, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation and one of the authors of the new draft bill, explained why the document is to facilitate state control amicability and efficiency. ‘Control can be efficient due to clear definitions of its subjects and objects.  No matter how surprising it may seem but in the run of this time we lacked regulation of control objects. That means that we didn’t know the complete list of those to be subject to control. Moreover,  it was a significant mess as control was applied to entities - forest blocks, vehicles, multifunctional complexes - and its not quite clear who the proprietor is in all the cases,’ said Mr. Shipov.

Savva Shipov also added that control can’t be efficient without a wide range of cutting edge tools. ‘It’s crucial that supervisors feel to be a part of new modern managerial system. Digitalization is coming to the forefront in this regard,’ said the speaker. 

Aleksandr Konovalov,  Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation, noted that current statutory acts of any level can’t be excluded mechanically. ‘There’s a risk to at least ‘throw the baby out with the bath water’ but what’s worse in general we can face the same collapse we could have reached pursuing a purely arithmetic way. <…> Control and supervision are to be streamlined significantly. Here we are approaching a crucial perspective. For the first time we have an opportunity for codification and recodification of domestic law which are quite mature and have been proposed as an alternative to ‘one in – two out’ principle,’ added Konovalov.

In conclusion Mikhail Barshchevskiy offered the audience to take part in the poll and to answer the question whether this draft bill is to make control amicable and efficient. 53% of the audience said ‘yes’, 29% answered ‘no’ and 18% said ‘We tried our best, you know the rest!’

 

St. Petersburg International Legal Forum is held on May 14-18th in the eastern wing of the General Staff Building of the State Hermitage. It is organized under the auspices of the President of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation.