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Speeches & Transcripts

Civil Service in Russia: Development and Management of Human Capital

November 1, 2012

Michal Rutkowski, World Bank Country Director for Russia RANEPA Conference: Civil Service in Russia: Development and Management of Human Capital Moscow, Russian Federation

As Prepared for Delivery

  • It is a great pleasure to welcome you at this event, which marks a new turn of civil service reform in Russia. As many governments around the world, today the Russian government is under pressure to improve the performance and quality of public services, while reducing Government expenditures. Civil Service reform is a cornerstone of effective government. Without a competent, performing and corruption-free civil service, governments are not capable to address challenges of social and economic development and enhance quality of public services.
  • Attracting and retaining qualified and capable staff is a top priority of civil service reform. Therefore, a system needs to be built, which would ensure incentives for career progression, stimulate ethical behavior and motivate civil servants to achieve results.
  • In today's world, citizens are becoming more critical and demanding. They are not only asking for high-quality services, but claiming more transparency, accountability, better regulation, flexibility, and more customer orientation. At the same time, in the globalized world, public policy has become more complex requiring different skill sets and capacity from the civil service. Russia is also undergoing through public service reforms and in the new paradigm traditional public service features such as hierarchical decision­-making, centralism, subordination, lack of transparency, formal treatment, rigidity and lack of involvement in decisions are replaced with performance orientation, more flexibility and higher accountability for results.
  • To meet these demands, the civil service cannot operate as a closed system. All over the world the past few decades have revealed an increasing trend of employees moving between public and private sectors. This intensified competition for highly skilled employees put new demands on human resource management practices, including recruitment procedures, career development and compensation systems, to create competitive conditions to attract the most qualified staff. A new generation of employees, coming to the public sector is ready to take more responsibility, but they expect job autonomy, involvement in decision-­making and opportunities for career development.
  • While the agenda is challenging, in the past decade the Russian Federation authorities have made a good start towards putting in place the required legal, institutional and policy frameworks. Russia has moved forward in adopting performance management instruments that track progress toward national development goals. Performance targets increasingly guide the activities of federal agencies and regions; and performance information is increasingly used to adjust policy tools, program design, and expenditures. Important steps have been taken to instill a citizen focus in public service delivery.
  • Clear regulations and service standards are developed for citizens and firms. New, innovative mechanisms like multi-functional service centers and online portals are making it easier for more and more citizens and firms to access and navigate the services of the public administration.
  • RANEPA is developing as a leading institution for training of a new generation of public servants and public sector executives, who will have knowledge and skills to face national and global social and economic challenges. This is one another very important step and high return investment in the future human capital of the public sector.
  • The World Bank has been supporting a growing number of civil service reform projects from the late 1980s all over the world, focusing on introducing merit-based selection procedures, developing human resource management information systems, strengthening agencies responsible for public sector employee policy and oversight, undertaking pay and grading reforms. Drawing on the results and lessons learnt through its operations, the Bank undertakes global and regional studies on critical policy issues and some of this work - pay flexibility study and study on public sector wage bill management - will be outlined in the presentations of the World Bank experts at this conference.
  • Looking back at the World Bank cooperation with Russia over the past few years, I am pleased to note that we have worked smoothly with many development partners to share a wealth of relevant international experience with our Russian partners and support them in adapting international practices to Russia's specific needs and conditions. For its part, the World Bank is ready to continue our productive and mutually beneficial cooperation with Russian government and RANEPA.
  • At the same time, Russia is emerging as a major international donor and a source of good practices for other countries, in partnership with the Bank. Many of the Bank's clients are looking with much interest at Russia's experience in public sector reform and civil service reform in particular. RANEPA's capacity in policy research and innovative training provides a well-established ground for playing a leading role in public management education in Russia and developing a new internationally competitive degree program in global public policy.
  • We greatly appreciate the opportunity to assist RANEPA in this effort. We also look forward to sharing global knowledge and experience in public sector management - an area that, as the recent crisis has shown, remains as crucial as it is challenging for countries throughout the world, including the most advanced economies.

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