The Site “Vash kontrol” (Your Control) has gathered more than 22 thousand reports on civil servants’ work
Author: Igor Zubkov
People has got a real opportunity to inform the authorities what they think about civil servants’ work. If there are many “poors”, a responsible civil servant will be fired and the first ones have been already dismissed.
On the site of "Vash kontrol" system you can write a detailed report on your visit to tax office, traffic police or any other public office. It means that a citizen can not only express their opinion but also succeed that, for example, there will be organized a queuing system or visiting hours will be changed.
All information about this system Rossiyskaya Gazeta obtained from the director of division of government control in economy of the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation Alexey Khersontsev. He promised that by the end of the year the state services centres “My documents” would have become available for 90% of citizens, they would be able to get official documents and draw up the passports without waiting in a queues.
Alexey Igorevich, how in practice can one estimate state service quality and civil servant who is responsible for it?
Alexey Khersontsev: One can do it with the help of terminals near the acceptance window or near interactive and information kiosks.
We are developing another more informative channel, sms-estimations. It is not easy because people are wary of sms from unknown numbers. In this respect I would like to note that 0919 is quite familiar number for our citizens. If you have recently drawn up some documents in traffic police, tax office or FMS you are likely to get message from 0919. Do not be afraid of it, answer and give a real estimate.
Is answer free?
Alexey Khersontsev: SMS is free, federal budget pays.
What will estimates influence?
Alexey Khersontsev: Every estimate influences average ones of both corresponding multifunctional centre (MFC) and corresponding federal department which service is provided. They are threaded into Key Performance Indicators (KPI) of civil servants who are responsible for state services quality and each successive year this element of KPI will be increased by 5%.
The bar will be raised every year?
Alexey Khersontsev: It cannot raise all the time. As in any other service sector there comes a moment when you start to invest in retention of quality level and not in its increase. In future we are to control not the increase but the decrease of these indicators.
If the service quality estimation is lower than your bar, what then? If certain authorities work badly with their applicants?
Alexey Khersontsev: Firstly, the heads of local offices of the same governmental agency know about this rating and it has a moral meaning. Within one office everybody works in the same conditions, with the same legal environment, same budget and even the same applicants in most of the cases. So it is impossible to say that in one agency they get better estimation because of simple services and in another agency they have low rating because the services are too complex and they don’t have enough formsheets.
Secondly, if civil servant’s rating is too low we can organize a functional audit of their job competence.
And anticipating your question I must say that we do not have such cases for now. Many agencies keep a check on what is going on in this quality assessment system. In order not to spoil their external statistics they dismiss the civil servants before they are supposed to do it according to “Vash kontrol” system data. Figuratively speaking they play with forecasts. And it is normal. The agency takes care of its reputation but on the other hand it replaces people who don’t cope with their job.
If the estimation influences the life of department head how can you protect “Vash kontrol” system from driving up?
Alexey Khersontsev: When there are many estimations, it is risky to drive the voices up. You can distinguish it by abnormally large number of answers. Usually we get feed-back from 7-10% of users. If it is 50, then we need to think about other ways of measure.
There is an opportunity not only to estimate with a figure but also to write an extended commentary. Why does one need it?
Alexey Khersontsev: Yes, you can get in the special site of “Vash kontrol” system vashkontrol.ru and leave your comment. Just to be clear, we decided not to consider these comments in KPI of civil servants. They do not influence their work estimations directly.
Our research, experts’ opinion, business experience show that if they do not ask person’s opinion at the exit of this or that agency people will write about their experience only if it is strongly positive or strongly negative. For example, somebody has not visited governmental agency for 20 years, is sure that they see omnishambles there and one day a citizen visits an agency for the first time and wants to share their admiration. Or vice versa.
What does the statistics of comments and answers show?
Alexey Khersontsev: We have about 22 thousand reports on our site “Vash kontrol”. These reports are not on MFC but on the work of certain federal agencies: the Ministry of Internal Affairs, FMS, the Federal Service for State Registration, Cadastre and Cartography, etc. Strange as it seems but most of the reports are positive. It may be connected with low base effect: people have been gathering negative experience for many years and now the service quality begins to change rapidly.
How do you work with the reports? For example, you have got one: “It is awful, organize queuing system!” What then?
Alexey Khersontsev: The reports are analyzed in the corresponding agencies, we look through them, too. If there is no answer or answer is formal we send the summary on the reports to the heads of the agencies.
We do not want these formal replies to be of “ctrl+C – ctrl+V” style (hot keys for copying and pasting the text – editor's note). The same five variants are easily copied, the inspectors see the semblance of the dialogue but in fact these answers are from a robot and they make no sense.
The next step for us is to make an inquiry and check if the problem is solved.
The inspection of providing state services in electronic form at the regional level showed that out of 2362 services one can send an electronic inquiry only for 1447. Did this result surprise or touch you somehow?
Alexey Khersontsev: We do not monitor the situation in order to surprise or touch somebody. We do it to understand with our colleagues in the subjects of Russia what problems exist in transferring state services into electronic form. It is quite evident that we cannot solve problem of queues and service quality only with MFC. But there is only one way to motivate people to get state services in an e-form: to make an electronic form comfortable from A to Z.
At the moment it becomes uncomfortable and unclear a citizen switches a computer off and walks to the MFC, especially when it is so fast and so easy. It is so easy that you do not even want to deal with computer. It is not correct either because we are not going to hold on off-line concept in our IT century; off-line public offices won’t be able to do their job normally. We must support a rational balance and understand that more and more services will become electronic.
The results of this monitoring show that we have progress and mainly in the regional services. They are not so restricted by the federal legislation and it is easier for them to change practices and configure their portals. But we still have a plenty of problems here.
The information on providing the services complies with the regulations only by 52 per cent. How is it possible?
Alexey Khersontsev: If a government agency moves from one building to another it is necessary to indicate its new address in the Federal Register of state services. The address will be automatically updated on the state services portal and everybody will know about it.
But to make it possible we need to change the administrative regulation of state services providing. Earlier we assumed that the regulation had to inform the citizens about everything that was connected with the service. We cannot change it quickly because we need time for public debate and approval in several agencies. It leads to the situation that you have already moved but in the centralized system people find outdated data that misguide them. The same happens with altered application form or state duty sizes.
That is why we have accepted the conception according to which we can change on a compact procedure those regulations data that are most actual and most changeable. In this case the changes in the centralized information systems will be more or less simultaneous.
When do you plan to achieve the uniformity of state services data?
Alexey Khersontsev: We expect to achieve it next year.
But was it so urgent to deploy “Vash kontrol” system? Does it work everywhere?
Alexey Khersontsev: The quality of services in the MFC is quite high. Our task is not to lose it and to improve it where necessary. To achieve this we need to have an instrument of getting feed-back. For this purpose we implement the system of services quality estimation in all MFC.
Almost every subject of Russia succeeded to connect state services centres and offices to recently opened united information analysis system of quality monitoring. On September, 18 6390 out of 7190 MFC in Russia were connected to the system, it comprises 89% of all net.
The estimations are received by the information system of MFC itself and by a special common monitoring system. The data correspond to the work of federal agencies which services are provided in MFC. This point is important because the service quality has two sides: firstly, it is an operation in MFC, front-office, secondly, it is the work of back-office, the agency itself where application is processed and documents are prepared. Citizen estimates these two sides together but we use the methodology that allows us to see how these two factors influence the process as a whole.
Your plans are to make state services centres available for almost 15% of our citizens by the end of the year. It is rather a short period, so you will have to be pressed for time and fire on all cylinders. Some funny and not very funny things are expected to happen. Do you keep track of the situation?
Alexey Khersontsev: Of course, we won’t be able to avoid mistakes. We understand that somebody will overpredict the statistics and mistake the wish for the reality.
But we have a developed system of MFC work monitoring, including periodical inspections in a “ghost shopper” way. In the nearest month and a half we are planning to organize such inspections in 30 subjects of Russia.
It is not always possible to understand if the system of positive attitude and customer centricity is created in state services centre when you visit it officially. A centre may have been created according to our brand book “My Documents”, it may shine and be as neat as a pin but people working there do not share our values. One can fully understand it only in a “ghost shopper” way. We try to visit those centres which reports seem to be far from reality or the centres where we have never been to during the project’s realization.
The final structure of any state project correlates to budget cycle and most of the budget construction projects are delivered in November and December. It is not a tragedy that we need to increase the rate from 76 to 90% within two months. For example, from July till November 2014 it was increased from 45 to 47% and in December it was 60%.
Besides that we need to understand that under tight budget our colleagues try to postpone the centre opening and reduce operating costs. Of course, it does not match the spirit of the project. I think that by the end of the year the indicator will have been achieved almost everywhere. But some subjects won’t manage to meet the deadline.
The net creation enters the home stretch. What is the level of “one contact” system availability for the people?
Alexey Khersontsev: It is about 71%, by the end of the year it must be 90%. We are sure to cope with this task.
There are 2139 MFC working in Russia.
Besides, in 5545 small offices of state services there are from one to three windows for working with people. There are also 401 Russian Post offices in small settlements where one can find windows of state services centres “My Documents”.
Civil servants cannot hide from “storm” of citizens using state services offices. Now you can estimate the quality of civil servants work via special terminals near the acceptance window or near interactive and information kiosks.
Published in Rossiyskaya Gazeta (Federal Edition) # 6824 dd. November 10, 2015.