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THE PROJECT: "PUBLIC EXPERTISE: AUTHORITY - SOCIETY - MEDIA"



The essence of the project is the creation of system of large-scale support of the Russian authority from a civil society with the aim to promote the operation effectiveness of the gov-ernmental institutes on all levels.

The project organizers are trying to estimate the governmental authorities from the viewpoint of the society, using as the counting point the following features of the authorities: effectiveness, openness, aiming on the socially significant result.

Overall objective of the project is the attempt to create the complete picture of the Rus-sian authorities' activity and to supply the society with the mechanism of the civil control on the governing bodies.

The urgency of the project is related with the fact, that governmental authorities in Rus-sia are isolated from the society, they are closed and non-transparent, and with the fact that the institutes of the civil society are not developed in general in Russia.

The project is directed on the event instance of the "Open Russia" charter and assistance for the liberal & democratic reforms in Russian Federation, aimed to create in Russia the open civil so-ciety and democratic lawful state. One of the main project tasks is the assistance in the distribu-tion of the legal and social knowledge among Russian citizens, promoting to form for citizens of the Russian Federation of modern representations about a lawful state.



MAIN DIRECTIONS OF ACTIVITY:

1. PUBLIC EXPERTISE OF JUDICIAL AUTHORITY


Main parameters and criteria, used in research of judicial authorities are the independency, accessibility and effectiveness of the courts.

The researches are conducted in all regions of Russian Federation. Five basic methods of research are used in the process.

The judicial statistic research helps to establish the percentage of suits quantity on legal acts appeals, officials' actions, left without legal satisfaction. The "Public Expertise" discovers the ability of citizens, living in different Russian regions, to stand up for their interests in courts in cases of conflicts with local authorities. The second groups of problems that can be determined by means of judicial statistic research are the legal procrastinations, breach of deadlines for cases determination in courts. This problem usually turns into the overcrowded chambers in investigatory insulators and into the amount of thousand people, whose fault is not proved yet, for years expecting the court trial.

Trying to fight the procrastination, the courts are going to different extremes: they examine the cases by simplified procedure, individually, without presence of public assessors and jurors. The percentage of such individual examinations, especially in criminal cases, is one of the alarming indexes of judicial statistic.

The included observation is the important additional method of analysis in the given research. The journals of the observers, stating all the circumstances of judicial procedures in all regions of Russian Federation are the important illustrative addendums to the judicial statistic figures.

The analysis of the financing sources is the third method of research. In accordance with the article 124 of the Russian Constitution, the "financing of courts is made only from the federal budget " The primal research showed that the courts of St.-Petersburg city, Altai, Stavropol, Kamchatka, Vologda, Leningrad, Lypetzk and many other Russian regions, receiving the sufficient part of the financing from the local regional authorities, puts themselves in the position of the deliberate suspects in serving the interest of local executive power and legislature.

The expert poll devoted to the current condition of the Russian judicial system and prospects of its development. The poll of 500 experts, divided into 6 categories (judges, attorneys, court reporters, law-scientists, practicing lawyers and representatives of executive powers' legal departments) supposed to give the integral picture of experts' consciousness, describing the openness, independence and effectiveness of judicial power in Russia and to uncover the main problem points of this part of state power.

The court precedents analysis is based on publications in federal and regional media. It is planned to name the nominees for the "Golden Femida" (for independence and principality) and "Black Femida" (for breach of law by the judges) awards, basing on this analysis and results of the expert poll.

The additional method is the Test informational inquiry, used as the criteria for judicial power openness.


2. PUBLIC EXPERTISE OF REPRESENTATIVE AUTHORITY

The project includes the analysis of activity of State Duma Deputies, members of Council of Federation and deputies of regional legislative assemblies.

The analysis is based on 6 main methods:

1. The content analysis of shorthand reports of plenary sessions from State Duma and Council of Federation.

2. The analysis of the roll-call votes of State Duma deputies and Council of Federation members on socially significant bills.

3. The test informational inquiries send to State Duma deputies, legislative assemblies of Russian Federation regions and Council of Federation members.

4. The analysis of media activity of State Duma deputies and Council of Federation members based on the informational system "Medialogia" data.

5. The expert poll devoted to the activity effectiveness of federal representative authorities (State Duma and Council of Federation).

6. The expert poll devoted to the activity effectiveness of Russian regional legislative powers.

The content analysis of the shorthand reports shows the level of deputy activities, the activity characteristic (correlation of legislative and political activity), emphasizes the most typical political and socially important propositions.
The analysis of the roll-call votes gives the opportunity to create the real political portraits of each deputy, deputy groups and factions opposite to those propaganda images, created by politicians and their opponents during the election campaigns.

The analysis of the media activity is the index defining the level of politicians' publicity, his importance for media and also his aspiration for the public political activity.

The expert polls are the tools of activity effectiveness measurement for representatives of federal and regional legislative bodies. The main task for this tool is the establishment of the activity result data of each deputy, which can be fixed in minds of the expert society both on federal and regional level.

The aim of this part of project is to promote the overcoming of the deepest crisis of the representative democracy in Russia. The idea of the project is to join together researching, law-defending and media resources.

The intermediate and final results of the researches are published in central and regional media. It promotes the creation of public opinion on representative power activities, not on the propaganda. It also has to assist the overcoming of main reason for crisis of representative democracy crisis in Russia: the independence of the representative power from the civil society.

During 2004 the analysis on the IV State Duma deputies and members of Council of Federation was made, the system of monitoring on activity analysis of State Duma deputies and members of Council of Federation was created, and also the methodology and toolkit for research on activity of the legislative bodies deputies in 89 Russian regions was created.

3. PUBLIC EXPERTISE OF EXECUTIVE POWER

The analysis of the effectiveness of executive power has both federal and regional aspects. The subjects of the public expertise are the members of Russian Government (the Ministers, heads of Federal Services and Agencies), heads of regional administrative bodies and heads of regional executive power bodies (regional Ministers).

8 research methods are used as the analysis tools:

a) Social-economical statistics analysis, defining the current condition and dynamics of those indexes, showing the development of the corresponding branch or region;

b) Analysis of managing activities (main edicts and instructions), defining the head's style, main forms, methods and effectiveness of its activity;

c) Analysis of staff policy of the head;

d) Expert poll of 500 experts (both federal and regional);

e) Analysis of executive power member's media activity, defining the level of their openness, publicity and correlation of information and propaganda in their publications and performances;

f) The test informational inquiry from media, which helps to determine the level of maintenance of legal rights of citizens to obtain the information;

g) The test registration by previous appointment in order to solve the legal demands of citizens;

h) Test interpellations to the heads of executive power bodies in regions on socially important questions for the citizens.

4. PUBLIC EXPERTISE OF CIVIL SOCIETY

This part of enquiry is a reflexive by itself. The civil society explores itself for it's own effectiveness, for uncovering of the most efficient and weak elements.

Main research methods:

- expert poll;
- mass poll;
- the analysis on media activity.


BASIS OF EFFICIENCY OF THE PROJECT

The project is based on joint use of the researching, law-defending, civil and media technologies.

The research and analytical technologies allows obtaining the objective, scientifically based results.

The law-defending and civil projects approach stating that its ideology comes out of the priority of personal citizens interests before the interests of the social institute, including state. The authors of the project are always standing on the side of the person in its conflict with the state.

The media technologies always demand extremely clear, accessible forms of the statement of the purposes, methods and results of the project, because the project itself from the very first minutes of it's realization is not just having the powerful media accompaniment, but almost submersed into the sphere of media. The project methodology includes the test informational media inquiries, publications in media as the reaction of authorities on the test, etc


METHODOLOGY OF THE PROJECT

The methodology of the project is based on 6 principles:

1. Verification principles. All resumes and opinions used in the project are based on the statistics and documental confirmed figures and facts, also displayed in the given project.

2. Personality principle. The analysis of authorities starts from analysis of it's activity bearers, from the comparison of them on the basis of the efficiency, quality of work and final estimation.

3. Principle of comparison and quantitative estimation. Russia is the most heterogeneous country in the world. It concerns both distinctions between standards of living and human rights in regions, which differ from each other more than the various countries of the Europe, and distinctions in a level of performance of the duties of authority. If one official works better, another is worse, and it means that it is possible to measure these distinctions quantitatively and to present them in the form of the rating table which allows to assess each carrier of authority.

4. Principle of "extra". For research of such complex object as the Russian authority, it is always not enough to use one method - the mass poll or a content-analysis. In this case the result turns out as "flat", and conclusions are banal. Therefore the "Public Expertise" uses a few different methods and sometimes an unexpected result comes out from the comparison.

5. Principle of openness and a feedback. The project has a complex character, combining features of strict academic research in that refers to validity of conclusions, or a research technique aiming on wide publication of results not only in scientific, but also first of all in mass media. From here comes the sixth and last principle:

6. Principle of "reputation" technologies. A "problem of a century" of inefficiency of the Russian authority includes the absence of institute of reputation. The thief and the idler may borrow for years the official governing position and then he receives the promotion.

The "reputation" technologies are based on corporate public or civil estimations of activity of everyone, and represents the social elevator, starting from the buttons. After pushing the button "good reputation" - the lift should go upwards, after "the bad reputation" - the lift goes downwards.

The project "Public Expertise" is expected on research of all three branches of authority: executive, legislative and judicial, both on federal, and on the regional level.


THE RESEARCH BLOCK

The objects of research are the activities of deputies of the State Duma and legislative assemblies of Russian Federation regions, members of Council of Federation, the Government of the Russian Federation, the President of the Russian Federation and its Administration, activity of courts of the general jurisdiction and arbitration courts of regions of the Russian Federation.

The research methodology includes:

carrying out of monthly poll on the all-Russian sample, aiming to receive reaction and the attitude of citizens to actions of authorities in the current month;

the analysis of the shorthand reports, allowing to obtain quantitative data concerning legislative and political activity of deputies of the State Duma and members of Council of Federation, and also the analysis of the roll-call votes, allowing to reveal their positions in relation to the most significant problems of their voters and regions;

the media activity analysis of each of 1000 representatives of the politically-forming class of Russia: 450 deputies of the State Duma, 178 members of Council of Federation, members of the Government of the Russian Federation, the President and the highest officials of its Administration, etc.

the analysis of judicial authority by 4 criteria - independence, openness, availability, the status - is conducted on the basis of following methods:

a. test claims on problems of ZKH (housing and communal services) in regional courts;

b. test inquiries of socially significant judgments and information on sources of financing of courts, the sizes of the salary of judges;

c. test passes to halls of courts;

d. expert polls of judges, deputies, journalists, scientific, lawyers;

e. analysis of judicial statistics.

analysis of activity of executive authority on branches and regions.

Basing on results of each month the analytical report, which materials are widely published in the central and regional press, is prepared and distributed among all bodies of the government.


MEDIA BLOCK

The project is focused on participation of journalists, as on the research stage, including such methods as journalistic investigation, the organization of test inquiries of mass-media, and also on stages of the publication of all results of research, which have essentially open and public character.

Without bringing in of the journalists specializing on work with legislative and executive authorities and without attracting the court reporters to this work, the fulfillment of expert polls is impossible.

The important section of the project is: the analysis of publicity and openness of authority is conducted on the basis of information resource Medialogia, meaning the analysis of quantity of mentioning of the politician or the statesman in 1000 central and regional mass-media, taking into account the tonality (positive - neutral - negative) and a level of citing of them in various media.

The journalists and media play the main role in realization of the third block of the project based on reputation technologies.


REPUTATION BLOCK

One of the main or, probably, the most important problem of Russia is absence of institute of reputation. The institute of reputation can be presented in the form of fraction, in which numerator of which are included positive estimations, kind business, effective work, professionalism, and in a denominator - negative estimations, organized crime, idleness and an inefficiency.

In economically developed countries with the democratic regimes the institutes of reputation is the same attribute of a daily life as the electricity and the water pipe.

In business relations it is a credit history, without which no transaction could be done, on the labor market it is a system of qualifying estimations and recommendations from the last places of work, etc.

The reputation technologies work and turn on the social elevator, if there is a corresponding infrastructure. The Public Expertise clubs are such means of infrastructure in our current project.

The Public Expertise Club is created as the regional research center which is carrying out preliminary gathering of the information on activity of representatives of authority in region, and also the preliminary analysis of this information. The club includes the most authoritative representatives of a civil society, journalists and heads of media, legal experts, scientists and public figures.

The structure of each club includes: the expert who prepares the analytical materials for sessions of the Club, the Chairman and other members.

At monthly sessions of PE club the report on activity of one or several politicians or officials of region is presented. On the basis of the data received as a result of PE, the supporting club report is prepared, expressing all wishes and estimations.

Sessions of the Club are publicly open, including wide participation of journalists and TV. On the basis of club work the TV program or a heading in the leading newspaper can be prepared.

Final session of regional club considers examines results of activity of all branches of authority for a year and hands over prizes to the politicians or officials who are most effective and useful for region and also "anti-prizes" to the most inefficient ones: to deputies of the State Duma, members of Council of Federation, judges, regional ministers, etc.

Delivery of prizes occurs publicly with presence of journalists and TV. The final report goes to the Head of Administration of the region of the Russian Federation, to legislative assembly and to Chairman of regional or republican court.

The Public Expertise Institute
General Director Igor YAKOVENKO

 
© Public Expertise