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The Development of Civil Service Legislation in the Russian Federation
V.A. Kozbanenko

World Bank

Table of Contents

The Development of Russian Federation Civil Service Legislation (Civil Service Legal Support Organization and Reform, in 1989-2002) 3

Chapter 1. The Political Need for Legislative Regulation of Civil Service: USSR Draft Laws 3

Chapter 2. The Development of Civil Service Laws and Regulations in the Early 1990s 6

Chapter 3. A General Description of Civil Service Legal Regulation in the Russian Federation 9

3.1 Constitutional Basis of Russian Federation Civil Service 11

3.2. Federal Law 16

3.3. Civil Service Legislation of the Constituent Entities of the Russian Federation 22

Chapter 4. Drafts That Were Never Enacted into Law 29

4.1. The Draft Civil Service Code of the Russian Federation 29

4.2. Drafts of a Federal Law on Federal Civil Service 31

4.3. The Draft Federal Law on the Civil Servants Code of Conduct 33

4.4. Legislative Initiatives of Constituent Entities of the Russian Federation 33

Conclusion 35

V.A. Kozbanenko

The Development of Russian Federation Civil Service Legislation (Civil Service Legal Support Organization and Reform, in 1989-2002)

Chapter 1. The Political Need for Legislative Regulation of Civil Service: USSR Draft Laws

In the latter half of the 1980s, there emerged a growing awareness of the role of the domestic bureaucracy as a major tool for implementing all the transformations proclaimed by the USSR political leadership headed by Mikhail Gorbachev. By that time, the public had realized the need to debureaucratize the government machinery to make it capable of implementing the sweeping perestroika of Soviet society. Legal scholars finally received an opportunity to materialize the idea, previously suggested by some Soviet lawyers of developing and enacting a USSR law on the civil service.

The point is that the USSR had no civil service law, nor had any efforts been made to develop it – due to ideological reasons. When the Bolsheviks took power in the course of the October 1917 revolution, they destroyed czarist Russia's civil service and brought into being Soviet Russia's civil service. The Soviet civil service model was the opposite of the pre-revolutionary career bureaucracy system in terms of quality parameters and the principles of organization and functioning. One of the first Soviet government decrees of 10 (23) November 1917 abolished the estates and the civil ranks. In 1918, regulations were enacted that established equal-duration annual leaves for Soviet government employees, making them equal to all the other employees in terms of social security and working hours; moreover, they were made subject to uniform labor law.

The following ideas were expressed by the founder of the Soviet state, V.I. Lenin, in his works Can the Bolsheviks Retain State Power? and The Immediate Tasks of Soviet Government: "The proletariat cannot master the government machinery and set it in motion. But what it can do is destroy all that is oppressive, routine and incorrigibly bourgeois in the old government machinery, and replace it with a new one of its own, that is, the Soviets of Workers', Soldiers', and Peasants' Deputies." And then: "Our goal is to get every working person to perform government functions free of charge." Hence the destruction of the government machinery of the Russian Empire. As a result, the civil servants, unlike the career military, had no professional status in the Soviet Union. However, the declared abolition of the czarist bureaucracy as a special caste positioned above the people and ruling the people soon exposed the utopian nature of the notion that "every working person" could govern the State and do so free of charge. The Bolshevik theorists' thesis that the old government machinery had to be destroyed had a lot to do with their widespread belief that the state was to wither away soon and the representative government agencies were to combine the legislative and public administration functions.

What USSR law dealt with in detail was military service in the Armed Forces and law-enforcement agencies. The public service was never legislatively governed, and regulatory-legal support thereof was non-systemic and largely monosectoral. Since all the employees of all organizations, enterprises, and institutions – and not just those of government agencies – were ranked as civil servants, labor law was applicable to them, too. The official concept of the civil service was expressed in the Greater Soviet Encyclopedia as follows: "Civil service is a type of labor activity that consists in the practical performance of governmental functions by government machinery employees who fill positions in government agencies through election, appointment, or competition procedures and are paid compensation for their work by the government."1 Military service was defined in the Encyclopedia as "a type of public service that consists in the discharge of military duties by citizens as members of Armed Forces units or agencies or military formations."2

Even in the declining years of Soviet government, the deep-going political, socioeconomic, and legal changes taking place in the country in the late 1980s – early 1990s highlighted the need for government machinery and civil service reform. The need for a new civil service law, to be consistent with the new requirements of society's development, featured prominently on the law-making agenda. That was when civil service legislation began to be drafted in practice. A working group to draft a Law on Civil Service in the USSR was formed in 1989. The group, headed by USSR First Deputy Minister of Justice I. Samoshchenko, comprised representatives of USSR government authorities, management bodies and research institutions, including G. Atamanchuk and Yu. Rozenbaum, both Dr. Sc. (Law). The Working Group drew up a draft law and submitted it to the USSR Council of Ministers and to the State Commission of the USSR Council of Ministers for Economic Reform. At the same time, the Institute of State and Law of the USSR Academy of Sciences, where Professor Rozenbaum was employed, upheld Rozenbaum's own version of the draft law.3 But those drafts were not destined to be enacted into law. The dramatic events of August 1991 and the collapse of the USSR that followed soon afterwards ushered in the start of modern Russia's statehood, opening a new page in the history of the civil service of the Russian Federation.

Thus, the abolition of the USSR party and government machinery, started in 1987, was completed in December 1991. The Communist Party apparat was eliminated, and the system of legislative and especially executive government agencies was subjected to radical transformation. The public governance reforms that were launched required adequate legal support, including a civil service, which was directly linked with administrative-political and socio-economic transformations.

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