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Russian government open finances, budget and property data. Q&A. Part 1

As Infoculture, Russian open government NGO we manage several projects related to open data. One of our key projects is Clearspending — it’s public database of government awards, procurement bodies and government suppliers.

Other projects dedicated to budget transparency, NGO transparency and other key topics of Russian public life.

This picture shows internal Q&A knowledge base that we use to find open data about government finances and property.

In this post I will decompose it and convert to text.

Questions and answers about Russian government finances and property

How government finances organized?

Budget.gov.ru is Russian unified budget portal under supervision of Ministry of Finances of Russian Federation (MF RF). First of all it’s knowledge base with detailed explanation how budget organized, how it’s being reviewed and budget classification.

How government is going to spend money?

Planned government spending available across websites of MF RF, State Duma, special portals and so on.

Since state budget is a law it should pass Russian State Duma. Proposed budget published with all appendixes, supplemental data and comments on SOZD (sozd.parlament.gov.ru), State Duma portal that supports law making activities.

Proposed data also published at Budget.gov.ru portal as opendata and as visualized topics.

Official website of MF RF minfin.ru also is a source of proposed budget data, it’s provided as “budgetary list” as Excel files with actual spending of current year and planned spending for next 2 years.

Other sources of data are:

  • GAS “Upravlenie” (Translated as Government automated system “Management”) with public website gasu.gov.ru with planned and reported spending published.
  • Budget data visualization of Federal Treasury datamarts.roskazna.ru, for historical data only.

Where are public bodies finances data?

Russian budgetary principles divides government bodies at least at two levels.

  • Main distributors of budgetary funds (rus: ГРБС)
  • Recipients of budgetary funds (rus: ПБС)

Main distributors of budgetary funds are ministries, federal agencies and other major government entities.

Recipients of budgetary funds are state universities, schools, hospitals and other organizations that are part of government network.

All data about recipients of budgetary funds collected into special portal bus.gov.ru

It provides human readable financial reports and machine-readable opendata.

Another source of information about government public bodies is state procurement portal zakupki.gov.ru it includes information about all government customers which list is 99% same as government public bodies list.

Where are government awards and procurement data?

Since 1 January 2006 data all government procurement information including government awards and notification on tender procedures available online. Russian procurement passed a few reforms since that time and some old data is now hard to find, but recent procurement data is very details and since 2011 available at state portal zakupki.gov.ru

Specifics of Russian procurement regulation is two actual laws:

  • 44-FZ — regulates government entities. It’s very strict with requirements on transparency of the process and information disclosure.
  • 223-FZ — regulates government corporation and government public bodies of certain types. It’s much less strict then 44-FZ

Zakupki.gov.ru provides access via web interface and data related to both laws.

This data is machine readable and available as opendata XML from server FTP.

Civil project clearspending.ru created on data from zakupki.gov.ru. It provides some key features helpful to journalists and general public:

  • supplier profiles — it’s possible to find information about all contracts of certain supplier
  • REST API — all data provided as free of charge free API.
  • JSON data — opendata from zakupki.gov.ru republished as JSON open data for easy reuse
  • and so on.

Disclaimer: Author is founder of Clearspending.ru project

How much government spends to support non-government non-profit organizations ?

Russian government is influential supporter of non-profit non-governmental organizations. Information and data about this support scattered across several government public registries.

These data sources are:

  • zakupki.gov.ru — NGOs in Russia are active participants of government procurement procedures. Hundreds of thousands contracts between NGO and government entities and public bodies collected at zakupki.gov.ru website.
  • budget.gov.ru — one of the registries published at budget.gov.ru website is registry of federal subsidies. This registry includes subsidies provided directly by federal government to NGOs.
  • nko.economy.gov.ru — website create by Ministry of economic development of Russian Federation (MED RF) dedicated to government support of social oriented non-profit organizations. It aggregates support of NGOs by regional governments.
  • grants2016.pgrants.ru — archive of grants provided by federal operators of Presidential granting program.
  • pgrants.ru — actual list of receivers of Presidential granting program in 2017+ years

Civil project OpenNGO created to aggregate these sources and it provides concentrated information about every NGO. It provides open API, web interface and collects data from various sources.

Where are government actual spending reports?

Federal Treasury (FT) publish public spending reports about budget execution every month. This data provided as HTML and Excel documents at roskazna.ru website.

These reports include execution of federal budget, non-budget government funds and regional budgets.

This information provided with visualization and opendata at budget.gov.ru portal. It includes profiles of each ministry and each Russian region with budget data for each year, including spending reports.

Where are information about government programs and projects?

Government programs and national projects are part of Russian federal budgetary process. They have specific regulation how they should be prepared, managed and executes. They have specific budget classification and they encoded into budget code classification (rus. КБК).

Information about these programs and projects available at following data sources:

  • programs.gov.ru — primary source for all modern programs of federal government. It provides opendata s XML and a lot of documents about how these programs and projects were planned
  • fcp.economy.gov.ru — previous public portal of Ministry of economic development of Russian Federation that should aggregate data about every federal program. It includes a lot of information about past projects and programs and financial reports and other documents.
  • zakupki.gov.ru — federal government procurement website is helpful then you need to analyze how program/project money were actually spent. Each contract has budget code classifier that allows to link it to actual government program.
  • gasu.gov.ru — Government Automated System “Management” includes data on execution and results of each government program.

Since government programs are part of budget, you may find data about programs in government planned spending and spending reports. This data is less detailed, but available too.

How much government spends to support mass-media organizations ?

Russian government organizes registration, support and oversight of mass-media. These functions shared between Roskomnadzor - Federal service for oversight over mass communications and Rospechat - Federal agency of printing. Both these government bodies are part of Ministry of communications of Russian Federation (Minsvyaz RF).

All Russian media organization registered by Roskomnadzor and registry of them provided on Roskomnadzor website. Rospechat provides significant subsidies to government mass media organizations and little subsidies to the small regional media.

Mass media organizations receive financial support from government several ways:

  • Some of them participate in government procurement and they provide services to government organizations and corporations.
  • Other media receive direct subsidies from government. They major media organization like OTR (Civil television of Russia) or Russia Today (ANO "TV-Novosti"), it's about billions of rubles (dozens of million euro) per year.
  • Some regional media receive small government support as subsidies from Rospechat. It's about 300 000 - 1 000 000 rubles (5 000 -15 000 euro) subsidies.
  • and much lesser number of media are also NGO so they try to get one of Presidential grants for NGO organizations.

So final list of data sources:

  • zakupki.gov.ru  and clearspending.ru — Contracts with media organizations could be found with knowledge which organizations are media and filtering by OKPD, OKDP codes used to link contract results with certain industry.
  • budget.gov.ru — one of the registries published at budget.gov.ru website is registry of federal subsidies. This registry includes subsidies provided directly by federal government to mass media organizations.

Actually government support and contracting with media is much more complex and not all information could be easily collected due complex structure of mass media holdings and overall lack of transparency of Russian media market, but these sources are good start to understand role of the government in mass media in Russia.

Part 2 will help with following questions:

  1. Where are data about government capital expenditures ?
  2. How I could find information about regional governments budgets?
  3. How much government spends to support scientific research?
  4. What civil projects help to analyze government finances data?
  5. How to find budgetary supervision and budget violations data?
  6. How to find government revenue data?
  7. Where are data about municipal budgets ?
  8. How to find data about government support of small and medium business ?
  9. Where to find data about government property auctions?
  10. How to find data about government property?

Feel free to ask me for anything else [email protected]gtin.tech or telegram https://t.me/@ibegtin

Ivan Begtin

Ivan Begtin

I am focused on Open Data, Procurement, e-Government, Open Government, Data, Public Budgets, Privacy and other tech, data and government stuff

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