ROAR: “Brainstorm for Russia’s personnel reserve”

Vladimir Kremlev for RT
The forum of the two personnel reserves – one of the Russian president and the other of the ruling United Russia party – should propose ways of the modernization while discussing hot topics the country is facing.

The gathering has been called the forum of global development “5+5,” with the first “five” standing for the tasks formulated by President Dmitry Medvedev – “Institutions, Investment, Innovation, Infrastructure and Intellect.” The second “five” are the priorities mentioned by the head of state in his address to the Federal Assembly – medicine, space, energy efficiency and energy saving.

United Russia, the organizer of the forum, brought the participants of its project called “Personnel reserve – a professional team of the country.” Analysts expect the gathering that opened on January 28 in Moscow to become a discussion platform for brainstorming, and presenting and implementing new ideas connected with the development and the modernization of Russia.

More than 250 people from the country’s personnel reserve have recently elevated their status, said Boris Gryzlov, chairman of United Russia’s supreme council. Four men had become governors of Murmansk, Pskov and Volgograd Regions and the Republic of Komi repsectively, he added.

The party helped to promote some of these people to higher posts. Thus, Andrey Turchak has been appointed the governor of Pskov Region, and Dmitry Dmitrienko the governor of Murmansk Region.

The Institutes section at the forum will propose ideas for reforming Russia’s political system. The participants will discuss ways to make institutes of the state and municipal powers more effective and, as well as the role of parties in this work, said the section’s moderator Andrey Vorobyov, who heads the party’s central executive committee.

“Despite the fact that officially the 5+5 is a platform for discussing the president’s initiatives, the forum does not limit itself only to discussion,” Vesti TV channel said. It will propose “concrete means of the county’s modernization, which will be presented to the president,” it added.

“We have no resolutions or decisions that had been prepared in advance,” said Yury Kotler, the head of the project “Personnel reserve – a professional team of the country”. “We want to find the most important ideas, and they will be proposed by people who do not have publicity so far,” he told Vesti.

Those in the personnel reserve “represent real economy, regional power, social sphere,” Kotler said. “As a rule, they do not have big opportunities in the regions to be heard,” he noted. “Such a concentration of ideas, I think, will make it possible to develop in the end certain decisions that may be unusual and interesting enough,” he said.

The personnel reserves of the president and the party have communicated with each other for the first time, Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily said. “It occurred that they have different opinions on particular issues. For example, the participants of the forum did not agree on new criteria for assessing the effectiveness of governors’ work.”

The criteria of assessment already exist, Dmitry Azarov, a minister in the government of Saratov region, told the paper. He is also on the list of the presidential personnel reserve. Many existing criteria could test governors’ work for its compliance with the course on modernization and innovations, he added.

At the same time, the participants “decided that they should include a new word about the post-crisis development of the country,” the daily said. The representatives of the two personnel reserves proposed such topics for discussion as developing high-speed transport, IT and pharmacology, investment in education institutes, criteria and benefits for innovation activities.

The event may be considered as “a uniting congress of the two reserves,” a source in United Russia told Kommersant daily. He echoed the thought of Sergey Dubik, chief of the Presidential Civil Service Department. He does not want to “divide” the reserve into the party reserve, the federal one, regional or municipal, Dubik said. “This is the reserve of our country, these are the best people,” he said.

Members of other parties did not make it to the forum, the daily said. However, the president’s personnel reserve includes people from the parties represented in the state Duma, it added.

According to Kotler, the members of the United Russia personnel reserve are selected constantly. As of the end of 2009, their number amounted to more than 2,500 people. “On the whole, more than 25,000 people took part in the project,” website quoted Kotler as saying.

The aim of the party’s project is to find out “the most talented and modern people, who are ready to modernize the country,” Andrey Vorobyov said. Many of them have already fulfilled their own projects in business, mass media, local government, education and work in public and political organizations, he added.

“The personnel reserve has been created not just for keeping people on a list,” said Dmitry Badovsky, director of the Institute of Social Systems. “It is important to organize their intellectual potential,” he told website.

“A clear signal is necessary to show these people that they are needed not only at such forums, but also at the level of the personnel policy,” he said. He also expressed hope that personnel decisions that are to be taken this year will be connected with the promotion of the participants of the reserve. “This will show that the program works,” he said.

As for the 5+5 forum, it has been established for discussing the situation in the country and forming “a bank of ideas and initiatives,” Badovsky added.

The realization of ideas connected with the strategy of innovative development and an even more global program to modernize the country is linked to the reserve of officials that the country has now and wants to have in the future, believes Leonid Polyakov, deputy dean of the Political Science Department at the Higher School of Economics.

It is important that those who are going to participate in the realization of ambitious programs should orient to the same meanings, because some people can understand innovation and modernization in one way, and others see it differently, Polyakov said.

The forum should not become a single event or a short campaign, Polyakov believes. The personnel reserve is “not too big,” and its participants may have to find “new directions for themselves,” he noted. The question concerns a serious modernization of the country, taking into account that “Russia is a participant of the global community and global market,” he said.

Sergey Borisov, RT