Photo: Evgeny Odinokov / RIA Novosti
The survey participants of all-Russian civic forum and the Committee of civil initiatives offered to senior posts in the Public chamber of the candidates associated with the structures of Alexei Kudrin. Experts have criticized the OP and suggested its reform
Deuce from civil society
All-Russian civil forum (OGF) and the Committee of civil initiatives (CGI) ex-Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin conducted a survey of experts “work activity” Public chamber (OP) Russia (available to RBC). The participants of the study activity of OP was dissatisfied, in particular because of the composition of its committees. Respondents named their own candidates for the posts of heads of committees, and top positions in their lists was taken by the people associated with Kudrin.
In the lists of candidates included economist Yevgeny Gontmakher, Director of the Agency of social information Elena Topoleva-Soldunova, head of the nonprofit partnership “ZHKH Control” Svetlana Razvorotneva. These and other experts referred to in the document, cooperate with the OIG and took part in all-Russian civil forum.
The intention to evaluate the work of the OP as “the Institute, representing the interests of civil society in the dialogue with the authorities”, the organizing Committee of FMG said at the end of December 2016. The report States that the survey involved 140 people, although initially it was planned that the respondents will be 500 experts involved OIG and the FMG. One of the authors of the report Vlad Muraviev told RBC that the questionnaire was sent to 800 addresses, but answers were able to not get from all the experts. “But I think that’s enough: still, the study presents a variety of opinions, all points of view,” she added.
The majority of respondents (51%) work OP estimated at one to three points out of ten. 44% of respondents believe that the OP poorly represents the interests of civil society institutions. According to them, in order to improve the efficiency of the chamber, it is necessary to change the composition and the principle of its formation.
The acting Secretary OP Alexander Brechalov told RBC that expert evaluations OIG didn’t surprise him. In his opinion, the results would have been different if the authors of the survey talked “with those 23 thousand experts engaged by Public chamber”. “If that’s their actual agenda is — it’s sad, he added. — Welcome to Public house, CHY”.
In the open questions of the questionnaire for the survey asked respondents to name their own candidates for membership in commissions OP. According to respondents, the most specialized areas in the house should be headed by people associated with Kudrin, FMG and OIG. 18 experts stated that of all the members OP the best of their interests in the house is Elena Topoleva-Soldunova, Director of the NGO “Agency for social information”, the OIG expert and member of the Committee of the FMG. Her respondents considered the best candidate to the Commission on social policy, labour relations and quality of life of citizens, the report said. On the second place in ranking after it, according to the survey, — the Deputy Director on scientific work of Institute of world economy and member of the CHY Evgeny Gontmakher.
In the Commission of OP on social infrastructure development, local government and housing, experts say, needs to be enabled by the expert OIG Svetlana Razvorotneva, and to the Commission on culture — critic Anatoly Golubovsky. He is a member of the Free historical society, which in 2015 has received from the Kudrin Fund grant to combat the politicization of history.
Candidate to the Commission on public control, public expert examination and cooperation with public councils, the experts named a member of CHY and the coordinator of the monitoring of the Moscow Helsinki group Vadim Karastelev.
The author of the report Muraveva has explained RBC such selectivity of experts what they prefer to offer to the members OP “those who know”. According to her, although the rating really are many coordinators of the COMMITTEE, on the objectivity of research is not affected. “With the OIG and the FMG associated with the most different people, so there is nothing strange in the fact that they are in lists that they are called experts,” she explained.
Ideas of reform
The authors propose to reform the principle of formation of Chamber, in particular, to give up “total control over the mechanism of the formation” on the part of the Department of internal policy of the President and the regional administrations. Currently, the regional government and the President to control the appointment of three quarters of the part of the OP: the administration put forward 40 candidates, the public chamber of the Russian regions — 85 people. Another 43 candidates are selected from among the nominated all-Russian public associations and other NPOs.
According to the authors of the report, the candidates in the OP should equally define the all-Russian NGOs, regional non-profit organizations, municipal and regional NGOs and the presidential administration.
CGI and UCF have also offered to “de-politicize” the operation OP, by excluding from its composition of representatives of the parties, and to prevent her NGO, recognized by the authorities as “foreign agents”. The experts considered that for the efficient operation OP members need to be given the opportunity to engage in lawmaking, to conduct investigations and to distribute grants for NGOs. Survey participants also recommended to organize a working group of members OP with representatives of Parliament and to broadcast meetings of the house on the Internet.
One of the interlocutors of RBC in the OP on condition of anonymity, said that called experts OIG candidates in the Commission indeed “worthy of promotion”, while the Chamber promoted Kudrin “a little afraid”. “We cannot allow someone’s puppets entirely controlled our work, the work of the commissions”, — said the interlocutor of RBC.
Interest Kudrin to the OP, the scientists explain the desire of the former Minister of Finance to expand its political influence. “The state Duma it has lost and now wants to otvoevanija, it is almost nothing, besides his Fund — said the head of the Fund “Minchenko Consulting” Evgenie Minchenko. — And in terms of change of people in government, maybe change Medvedev, OP can begin to have meaning.”
The analyst Abbas Gallyamov also believes that the interest Kudrin to the OP is that sites of “first level”, for example, the state Duma, it is not available. “It expands on the second platform, the third level,” — said the expert. With proper guidance OP may be legal competition to the Parliament, believes Gallyamov.
The Scandalous Ward
The public chamber in its current form was formed in 2005 on the background of the abolition of gubernatorial elections. At first, she was elected every three years, in 2012 the OP switched to a two-year operation. The chamber has no legislative initiative — it is a consultative body and platform for social activists.
In the last convocation around the OP had a lot of scandals. In 2014, Internet quota in the OP were not the representatives of the opposition and criticism of the government, but were the representatives of Pro-Kremlin movements. Critics of the structure talked about cheating in an online vote. From this procedure the voting power in the end refused.
At the end of last year, the Center for anti-corruption policy of the party (DAC) of the party “Yabloko” has published an investigation regarding the contract for the preparation of the report OP the Russian Federation on the state of civil society. As it turned out, the tender for the preparation of the report for RUB 4.5 million was won by the company “Spectrum” involved in “tailoring”.
At the meeting of the HRC with Putin and Kiriyenko in December, human rights activists complained about the procedure of formation of OP monitoring committees at the Federal penitentiary service. In October, it was approved the new composition of the PMC in Moscow, which got the former head of the SIZO “Butyrka” and the figurant “the list Magnitsky” the prison Dmitry br. While the new composition of the PMC were not included such prominent human rights activists like Anna Karetnikova and Andrei Babushkin. As a result, the defenders began to sue the OP, demanding to recognize illegal the rejection of their candidates for membership of the PMC in Moscow and the Moscow region.
At the end of December it became known that the Secretary OP Alexander Brechalov will leave his post with end of term in may 2017. At a press conference he said that the post “must be change”, and promised that he will not be to claim him.
The sources of “Rain” said that the Kremlin is dissatisfied with the work Brechalov and conflict of the Chamber of human rights defenders. The sources claimed that when Brechalov work of OP was limited to the discussion of bills under the so-called zero readings, and many OP powers passed to the presidential Council on human rights.
After this “Vedomosti” found out that among the candidates for the post of Secretary OP the Kremlin considers the ex-Deputy of the state Duma Vladimir Pligin, TV host Valery Fadeyev and current parliamentarian Vladimir guteneva.
The reconvening of the OP will be updated at 70-75%, promised in January Brechalov.