E-Government in Russia: Strategies of Formation and Development

E-Government in Russia: Strategies of Formation and Development

Yuri Hohlov (Institute of the Information Society, Russia) and Evgeny Styrin (Moscow State University, Russia & SUNY Albany, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-489-9.ch016
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This chapter explores Russia’s implementation of the national e-government strategy and information policies. Based on official, national strategic documents and a number of e-government cases that highlight different projects at the federal and regional levels, we outline the formidable barriers and idiosyncrasies of managing e-government development in Russia.
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The Russian Federation is the largest country, by territory, in the world (17,098.2 K km2). It has a population of 141.8 million people and 79.3 percent of inhabitants live in European parts of Russia. The Russian Federation became independent after the crash of the former Soviet Union (World Bank, 2008). Russia has a federated structure which consists of 83 regions, including 21 Republics, 9 territories, 46 regions, 2 cities of federal significance (Moscow, Saint-Petersburg), 1 autonomous region and 4 autonomous districts. Each of these regions has equal rights. The country is also divided into 10 federal districts. The majority of the population lives in cities – 73,1 percent. Russian citizens are 79,83 percent of country’s population (Russian Federal Statistics Service, 2008). The national language is Russian.

Russia is both a presidential and parliamentary republic. The president is elected every six years and has certain discretionary powers which means the exclusive right of a president to make quick decisions in crisis situations when time factor is crucial (before the end of 2008 presidential term was four years). President serves as a referee to all power branches facilitating collaboration and conflicts resolution. The President appoints the Prime Minister who is the head of the executive administration. Legislative power is represented by two chambers, the Federal Assembly consisting of the Federation Council and State Duma (Parliament). Governors head the regional executive branches and are appointed by the President, whereas the regional legislative authorities are elected.

Russia has the largest supply of mineral and energetic resources in the world. The Gross Domestic Production (GDP) in 2009 was 15,200 United States Dollars (USD) per capita (CIA World Facebook, 2009). The human capital development index in Russia is calculated based on the United Nations Development Program methodology is high (0,96 (1 is maximum). Thus Russia can be considered a country with both high education and literacy levels based on total population (UN E-government Survey, 2008).

The E-government development process in the Russian Federation cannot be considered separately from the overall usage of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in society and in public administration in particular. The development of ICTs in society started in the 1960-70s in the Soviet Union, as with many other developed countries. Some examples are the National State Automation System (NSAS), United Network of Computation Centers (UNCC), United Automated Network of Communication (UANC), Republican Automated Management Systems (RAMS), Industrial Automated Management Systems (IAMS) (Glushkov, 1975).

The majority of these projects were inherited by the Russian Federation from the Soviet Union’s legacy. While they provide potential profits, they also create burdens on maintenance costs which are restraining the transition to new technologies.

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