A critical situation with discipline has developed in the Ministry of Communications and Mass Media, the control department from the government apparatus complained to the Minister of Communications Konstantin Noskov, asking him to take action. Vedomosti read a copy of the department’s letter; its authenticity was confirmed by the Vedomosti source interviewer close to the government staff. A representative of the Ministry of Communications and Media confirmed receipt of the letter with such content.
The reports of the ministry, as a rule, are received by the government after the working day, in violation of the established deadlines, and they are recorded retroactively, the letter says. For example, a report on one of the instructions had to be worked out with ministry staff on Saturday, although the deadline for it expired the day before, as a result, the report was signed, but registered backdating. The control unit of the Ministry of Communications and Mass Communications does not know at all about the stage of preparing reports to the government, the department complains. And he concludes that the leadership of the Ministry of Communications and Mass Media is formal in executing instructions, the Ministry has weak discipline, and its employees do not bear personal responsibility.
Over the three years to the beginning of 2019, the proportion of the presidential instructions executed on time has decreased from 45 to 34%, and the government’s from 93 to 85%, the department complains, without specifying whether the data are only related to instructions from the Ministry of Communications. The interlocutors of "Vedomosti" could not clarify the data. There were fewer overdue orders in the second half of 2018, although there were more orders, the representative of the Ministry of Communications and Communications argues.
Delays, like in any other ministry, happen, but the management takes all measures to reduce such cases, and prosecutes “violators”, the representative of the Ministry of Communications and Mass Media assured. Every week, the minister personally holds operational meetings with employees, and for each fact of misconduct, official checks are conducted, he specified.
With the past leadership, the ministry sometimes received similar letters from the government apparatus, but only on separate assignments, two former ministry employees recall. Both interlocutors of “Vedomosti” do not remember letters criticizing the executive discipline of the entire ministry.
Noskov, the former head of the Analytical Center (AC) under the government, became Minister of Communications and Mass Media last May. Six months later, his work on the staff of the ministry lacked half of the department directors. Noskov changed the structure of the ministry and recruited new people - now only four heads of departments are missing out of 15, follows from the information on the website of the Ministry of Communications and Mass Media.
The ministry is still experiencing a shortage of personnel after the change of leadership, the profile expert, who collaborates with the government, said. According to him, there is discord among the current employees of the ministry: the deputy minister works autonomously, paying little attention to control and interaction with colleagues. A ministry spokesman declined to comment.
In parallel, the Ministry has increased the load due to the national project "Digital Economy", recalls the source "Vedomosti". As a result, the ministry looks weaker compared to the Ministry of Communications in the same composition and against the background of other departments. And the situation is unlikely to change without resolving the personnel issue, he concludes.
Letters from the government apparatus with systemic criticism of discipline are rare for ministries, says Andrei Klimenko, director of the Institute of State and Municipal Administration of the Higher School of Economics. Breaking deadlines is a serious violation, a federal official agrees, officials are trying not to bring him up - it’s better not to work through the issue to the end, but it’s imperative to report on it. If the situation does not change, employees can receive penalties up to the announcement of incomplete service compliance, warns Klimenko. A government control department may send a report to the Prime Minister with a proposal to impose disciplinary measures or reprimand, the official said.
Press secretaries to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Deputy Prime Minister Maxim Akimov, who oversees the Ministry of Communications, declined to comment.