Department created by new Education Minister will hand in corrupt officials to security services

Department created by new Education Minister will hand in corrupt officials to security services
Head of the Ministry of Education and Science Olga Vasilyeva

The recently appointed Minister of Education and Science Olga Vasilyeva has created a new Department in the Ministry, which will perform the control and audit function and engage in the prevention of law violation within the ministry.

Moreover, the new department will oversee financial flows, procurement, and cooperation with law enforcement agencies. The new ministerial structure is directly subordinate to Vasilyeva.

The Head of the Ministry of Education has started redistributing powers between various departments and began making changes in the structure of the ministry. As a reminder, her predecessor in this position was Dmitry Livanov. According to media reports, Olga Vasilyeva issued an order, which transfers the control over a number of departments responsible for the key areas of the ministerial work directly to her.

According to this order, Olga Vasilyeva took control of the Department of State Policy for General Education, which supervises general education schools. In addition, Vasilyeva now chairs the Department of State Policy for Education of Children and Teenagers and the Information Policy Department. She also created a new structure in the Ministry — the Department of Control and Audit and the Prevention of Law Violations, accountable to the new Minister as well.

At the same time, two department heads were replaced: Alexandr Stradze was fire from the Department of State Policy for Education of Children and Teenagers, and Anna Usacheva was fired from the Information Policy Department. In addition, the Head of the Department of Civil Service, Human Resources and Administration Vladimir Golubovskiy also lost his post.

Previously, Olga Vasilyeva also fired three of her deputies — Alexander Povalko, Alexander Klimov, and Ekaterina Tolstikova. Their duties included overseeing a number of important directions in the ministry. In particular, they were engaged in carrying out tender procedures, conducted information and personnel policies, and dealt with property and financial matters. It should be noted that Alexander Povalko and Ekaterina Tolstikova are listed as employees on the official website of the Ministry of Education. The order on their dismissal from the Government has not been published yet.

Nevertheless, Ekaterina Tolstikova currently has almost no say in the ministry. The redistribution of powers order issued by Olga Vasilyeva deprived her deputy of all administrative functions. Tolstikova no longer oversees the work of the departments, although earlier her duties included control over the ministerial information policy.

It is worth noting that the press service of the Ministry of Education and Science have so far refused to confirm or deny this personnel change, stating that all changes "are reflected on the website of the ministry."

As for the new department, which will have control and audit powers and engage in the prevention of law violations, its creation can be explained by a number of reasons. In particular, the agency will coordinate the work of the organizations subordinate to the ministry, their number more than 400 (mostly educational institutions). In addition, the new department will monitor public procurement and compliance with the conditions of state contracts, as well as observe how officials manage state property.

Olga Vasilyeva marked the establishment of control over finances distribution in the ministry as a number one priority. This is due to the fact that she took the office at the junction of two processes — the report on budget performance for the past year and planning the budget for 2017.

The new Department will also be engaged in the prevention of law violations in the ministry. The press service of the Ministry did not specify the exact nature of these violations, but stressed that it would require cooperation with law enforcement agencies.

The Department will supposedly have more than 30 people, including not only the ministerial staff, but also invited experts. However, the Ministry has not yet decided on who is going to the Head this structure. Presumably, this would be an outside man, who previously had not worked in the education system. According to media reports, Olga Vasilyeva may name the Head of the new Department next Monday, September 19, at a working session.

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