Experts proposed untimely spending to improve deputies assistants’ lives
RANEPA experts have made a number of recommendations which, in their opinion, will improve the efficiency of deputy assistants. In particular, this applies to remuneration for business trips and provision of accommodation and official vehicles. And although RANEPA noted that proposals concern the cases when an assistant works in remote places, some experts felt that the additional spending on deputies and their assistants is "untimely" in terms of economy.
The list of recommendations on how to make life easier for deputy assistants was drawn up by RANEPA experts on the results of the roundtable "MPs assistants: Political or technical support? Search for new statuses and opportunities." As reported by RBC, in addition to the experts, assistants to State Duma deputies, Federation Council members, the Moscow Regional Duma, and the Moscow City Duma spoke at the meeting. According to the news agency, MPs assistants who attended the roundtable complained about financial problems, namely the difficulties with transport in remote settlements in the regions as well as accommodation problems.
The proposals formulated by the experts, intended to facilitate the work of parliamentary assistants, include creation of a fund to pay for travel of parliamentarian assistants and provide them with official vehicles in the regions. It should be pointed out that we are talking about any official vehicles depending on the environmental conditions. In some regions of Russia, such as in the Komi Republic, there are settlements, which can be only reached by water or air.
The experts have also proposed to increase the effectiveness of parliamentary assistants by providing them with training on records management and community outreach, as well as to create a special messenger for better coordination between assistants.
Several deputy assistants have reported problems with access to the territory of agencies. To solve the problem, experts propose that a single standard document should be developed for admission to the territory of departments, and that the right of deputy assistants to promptly receive information should be prescribed in the authorities’ regulations.
According to the law, each senator and deputy can have 5 assistants registered under an employment contract, while 40 assistants can work on a voluntary basis. One of the deputies' assistants told RBC that for his colleagues, the pretty low salary is a problem. According to political scientist Abbas Gallyamov, the average salary of a deputy assistant is 30 thousand rubles per month, which is not enough by the standards of Moscow.
It is noted that the wages fund for 5 deputy assistants under an employment contract is 165 thousand rubles. In November, a bill was introduced to the State Duma to increase the fund's budget to 230 thousand rubles and increase the number of full-time assistants to 7 persons. The bill was approved by the government.
Meanwhile, not everyone has supported the proposals to improve the lives and activities of deputy assistants. For example, State Duma deputy from the Edinaya Rossiya (United Russia) Evgeny Revenko believes that the conditions that already exist are enough for the effective operation of deputies and their assistants in the regions. According to him, the offer to allocate additional money for deputies and their assistants “within a framework of austerity” is "untimely, as a minimum." At the same time, Revenko has supported the initiative to increase spending on business trips for assistants in some major regions of Russia.