Candidates for the JAR authority were looked for all over the world.

Strategic Initiative Agency (SIA) representatives sent to the governor of the Jewish Autonomous Region Alexander Levintal the list of 59 people, recommended into personnel reserve of the region. All of them are participants of the “Far Eastern Challenge” project, the first in Russian history open choice of the candidates for the regional administrative team formation.

The project started half a year ago when the vice-premier, presidential plenipotentiary in Far Eastern Federal District Yuri Trutnev announced about large-scale personnel reform in federal district. “Far Eastern Challenge” was supported by Vladimir Putin in a panel session of SIA supervisory board, the initiator of the project.

Candidates for positions in state organizations and state government body of the Jewish Autonomy, including vice-governor position, were chosen by leading experts in strategic planning, state finance, infrastructural and sociocultural development, jurisprudence, and also psychologists and business coachers. By the way, all participants are incognito, none of the experts knows their names.

This is an experiment. Such way of personnel selection seemed to me interesting, says Alexander Levintal. – When I took charge of acting governor, there came up an issue of a team, which could solve serious tasks, due to not easy socioeconomic situation in the region. JAR firmly settled on the bottom of the Russian regions rating, and among subordinated entities of Federation in FEFD it takes the last place. There is a necessity of new people, who understand how to work under current conditions.

More than 3000 applications from Russia, China, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Moldova were sent to the “Far Eastern Challenge” official website. Those who passed online selection, were invited to one of the bases located in Moscow, Birobidzhan, and Vladivostok.

All those who wish can take part in the project. Among recommended candidates the youngest is 24 years old, and the oldest is 55. By the way, applications were sent by those who are currently working state government body, including the Ministry for Development of Russian Far East. Many of them would like to change the kind of activity, for example, do invest projects in TAD. We’ve shaken up the society, people have become more active, – thinks the vice-chief of the project Anna Starikova.

During the week candidates were solving real problems of the region. The experts were supervising how potential rulers work in team and how mature ideas they come up with. For example, there was a task to sketch out the plan of the regional agricultural industry development within 2.5 hours. Or a problem was being solved: limp public control of state government body. The regional Public Council representative was encouraged by proposed “recipe” and said that she would take it in the consideration. By the way, all the options of the case solutions were sent to the JAR governor. If they are used in work, it can be considered as another positive result of the project.

“Far Eastern Challenge” received more than 3000 applications of candidates for positions in state organizations and state government body from Russia, China, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Moldova.

Would like to mention that in Vladivostok and Moscow there were many businessmen, including top managers. They were asked why they wanted to go to JAR. They answered that there were some ideas to implement in agricultural, municipal and other areas. Many already have their own plans, but not able to implement them, – tells the chief of the project’s Public Council Alexander Monastyrev.

According to the governor’s confession the citizens of JAR have distrust in authority and lack of faith that something can be changed. Many of them truly believe that family ties rule, one has to have a pull to get job in state government body. But the public opinion must change. There is a hope that people will get interested in the region itself, in spite of some personnel losses, which occurred, when people started leaving due to impossibility to build their careers.

This is not the end. Distrustful are going to join in. These days JAR needs a lot of specialists. We have enough of significant projects. For example, building a bridge to China will produce a number of work positions in logistic, industrial, and transporting companies. Our Territory of Advanced Development (TAD) needs rulers. We are launching the biggest in Russia Kimkan-Sutar Mining and Refining Plant, which also provides a lot of vacancies. There are on coming projects in agroindustrial complex, also graphite and brucite exploration, – enumerates the governor of the region.

He agrees that the public figures’ salaries are the lowest in the federal district. However, in the wake of economics rising they will be increasing. Moreover, in the nearest time the regional authority is planning to integrate an additional payment for efficient work of a government employee.

However, “Far Eastern Challenge” project has its hidden dangers. One of them is that the selection procedure is not in conformity with the federal law on state service, government order on the policy of reception for state government body work, which has several specific requirements to candidates and limits. By the way, because of that more than 80% of the winners of the “Personnel reserve – Country’s professional team” federal competition couldn’t find a job in state government body. Education, work experience, and many other points didn’t fit.

Legislation basis is rather old, – thinks Alexander Monastyrev. – However, there are changes coming. Talking about our project, there will be some exceptions made for the participants. Besides, we’re not looking for people for the specific positions. If a person is offered a job in authority, he will pass the whole procedure according to the law, because the competition for filling the vacancy cannot be cancelled by anyone. So that person will prove himself.

According to the governor’s confession the citizens of JAR have distrust in authority and lack of faith that something can be changed. Many of them truly believe that family ties rule. A reasonable question comes up: isn’t it much easier to apply for a position straight to the authority and not to waste time for unnecessary stage.

People don’t trust open competitions for filling the vacancy. We’d like to break that distrust. Ministry of Labor of Russian Federation is keeping a close eye on us, and methodologically helps in order to exclude violation. Besides, our project has been legally proven. We are doing everything according to the law, – says the chief of the “Far Eastern Challenge” Public Council.

He actually admitted that he didn’t believe in the idea implement, till Yuri Trutnev after the stage in Moscow signed up the order to appoint 15 people to the positions in Ministry for Development of Russian Far East and embassy.

We are going to start a new stage of “Far Eastern Challenge” not earlier than Alexander Levintal hires several people from the list. However, there’s going to be the second wave. Our website is open for applying again. This project is going to be implemented not only in JAR, but also in Khabarovsky, and Primorsky regions, Amur River Region, Kamchatka, Sakhalin, and Yakutiya, – states Alexander Monastyrev.

He has another interesting thought: to have open competition between acting and potential bureaucrats in state government body. To make sure who works more effectively.

First appointments to the JAR authority are expected on a recent day.



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