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Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences
The article is based on opinions about the budget reform (concerning the funding of social institutions), as expressed by the heads of various municipalities during an expert survey. The study touches upon the reform’s concept and model, as well as its possible consequences in today’s Russian realia. The administrative and budget reforms are intended to build a socially efficient and service-oriented state, by providing the people with high-quality education services, healthcare, and social aid, as well as with an intuitive interface for interactions between the government, companies, and individuals. The budget reform is a complex set of transformations in the state-funded sectors of the Russian economy, governed by Federal Law No. 83-FZ, dated May 8, 2010. The intention is to provide the citizens with optimally comfortable, high-quality, and accessible services, while also making these services cost-effective. There has been a lot of public discussion on the extent to which it is possible to balance economic and social benefits. This article touches upon the model of this budget reform, as well as on the risks, consequences, and issues brought about by Federal Law No. 83. The most salient risk, which caused a storm of indignation among the public, arises out of legalizing fee-based services and may have the most unforeseen impact on preschool and school education. There are also some problems with defining the standards for government (municipality) commissioned projects; imposing sanctions for failure to complete a government- or municipality-commissioned project properly and/or in full; and mitigating risks of the law being interpreted incorrectly, or risks of minimizing the scope of free services and making more and more popular services fee-based; and some other matters. In this study, we analyze the prospective consequences of the budget reform, both negative and positive. Experts and the general public warn of such very real dangers as the exacerbation of social inequality, the drop in education and healthcare quality due to the market-oriented overhaul of the respective fields; the degradation of previously accepted social values; etc.
budgetary reform, administrative reform, socially effective state, budgetary and autonomous public / municipal institutions