Administrative procedures: prospects of legal regulation and “a sense of proportion”
The article contains analysis of both achievements and potential perils of legal regulation of the system of public administration in contemporary Russia, as well as the main vectors of improving administrative procedures: Standardization of state functions and upgrading the quality of public services to • individuals, as well as to legal entities; Streamlining of administrative procedures for individuals and legal entities;•
Development of contractual forms of rendering public services;•Introduction of novel information technologies and greater access to electronic • data bases;Greater range of services and access to them, as well as making services payment • system more consumer friendly; Transfer of a number of functions to local self-governance, to autonomous bodies • and to the non-governmental sector; Legal affirmation of administrative procedures, especially those regulating state • services. By virtue of obvious deficiency of legal regulation, low efficiency and poor organization of administrative procedures on all levels of the executive branch of local government, one of the main streams of the administrative reform has been the development and adoption of administrative regulations. Nonetheless, the elaboration of those acts meets with a lot of difficulties, which the author defines as both substantial, conceptual and methodological, procedural. Russia’s own model of administrative regulation, now in formation, shows evidence of following the German pattern. In Germany (as well as in the USA) there is a law on administrative procedure, whereby federal regulations are adopted, guiding the development of legislation for federal bodies by specialization. However this kind of experience cannot be considered universal. The universal nature of this model is significantly limited by justified concerns that a detailed regulation of administrative procedures aimed at curtailing bureaucrats’ abuse, may have a totally reverse effect. Excessive regulation may lead to situations where a civil servant sticking to the letter of the administrative regulations would have way too much more freedom of negative response to citizens’ requests than is the case today. To ignore this peril in the process of elaborating administrative procedures would be inadmissible. Another peculiar problem with regard to elaboration of administrative procedures is following the standards which are either truly universal or are being presented as ones. The issues of correlation and relationship between administrative reform in Russia, the existing national legal system and the international administrative standards acquires special importance in the context of evolving integration processes and globalization tendencies. Applied to issues of state administration standards this becomes the discourse about the global administrative environment.