TAdviser Interview: CDO of Accounts Chamber Mikhail Petrov – about priorities of digital transformation
Petrov appointed at the end of 2018 the director of digital transformation Calculating Palatymikhail told in an interview to the Chief Editor of Tadviseraleksandru Levashov about the main directions of the activity.
The chairman Schetnoy Palatyaleksey Kudrin in one of the interviews promised thanks to digitalization strongly and to move ahead quickly. In particular, he sounded intention to substantially automate audit. What main stages of this process do you select?
Mikhail Petrov: Alexey Leonidovich's statement, really, designated for us a reference point. First of all, we should take away routine processes of activity of the inspector in automation and digitalization. What does its activity consist in? First, the verification plan prepares. It is formed for a year, we will directly tell – without accurately formalized criteria and parameters, a selection technique. At first the draft of the plan on the basis of which the management makes the decision that in it to leave what to exclude, than to add is formed. This the first what everything begins with. And at this stage we should give to inspectors who make plans, the means allowing to select objects of check most objectively. It should be certain analytical tools which allow to range objects, to consider, for example, violations in the organizations for the last period, volumes of budget financing and so on, to look for information on them in a set of sources, including open, to build all this story according to riskoriyentirovanny approach.
There is no such tool now?
Mikhail Petrov: So far not. So far it becomes substantially manually that, generally, raises many questions. At least because working time of inspectors is the main resource, and it is important for the head what it is spent for. One case when the inspector is busy with some trifle, and absolutely another – when search of important and system problems in the system of financing.
What next stage?
Mikhail Petrov: After the plan was born, we should perform it, i.e. carry out specific inspections. What is done by the inspector? He collects information on each object of check, comes for this purpose into different information bases to which the Accounts Chamber already has an access, watches what information is there. Something unloads from there, does reports. Further the inspector goes to the place of direct check and more deeply plunges into a perspective.
There is one more backlog on increase in efficiency. Now the inspector performs search and information analysis manually. We consider that the analytical tool which will allow to pull out only what is necessary and the handmade most part – to remove should be for this purpose created. For this purpose we need to have information not in foreign bases, and somewhere at ourselves. It is necessary to increase quality of these data, it is no secret, that in many information systems of state bodies data "dirty" – not relevant, with errors, etc.
And the next moment – when check took place, the inspector writes the act, prepares the report. Then the report is considered, approved. Many divisions participate in its adjustment. After that the report is taken out on board with projects of some actions following the results. There can be an instruction something to correct, the information letter, the appeal to prosecutor's office and other. A certain set of corrective actions of different degree of force on object of check. Here too it is possible to remove a certain part of work from the inspector – by the maximum standardization of process of preparation of the reporting, ordered storage and passing of approvals of the minimum participation of the person. We already conduct work in this direction. For example – we conduct work on the solution which provides independent quality control of preparation of the report (that all significant facts from it found reflection in the report), and further passing, maybe, to semi-automatic generation of the report from acts.
Thus, the main reserves which we have now consist in these key moments. By our preliminary estimates, digitalization will allow to save not less than 10-20% of resources of inspectors of Accounts Chamber and also to lower labor costs of objects of check on preparation of information for checking.
In this case a resource is time?
Mikhail Petrov: Yes, time is the main resource. As far as these estimates correct, can show only pilot projects which we in 2019, I hope, we will carry out.
Projects on development of such tools?
Mikhail Petrov: Yes. We will be able to count, what is the time the inspector spent for these or those transactions before implementation of the tool and how many it will spend after implementation of the tool. And then we will have certain more or less objective picture as far as what we do, brings effect.
Besides, the problem of quality improvement of public administration is registered in our strategy. And the fact that we pass from manual methods of work and data collection to automated hits also into achievement of this purpose. If we begin to collect and process data automatically, then thereby we force a source of these data to prepare data on those rules which are necessary to us. As we define rules on a centralized basis, we thus, in general, very strongly influence quality improvement of data in the country. But this task is not really obviously digitized as KPI.
Do you define the activity as digital transformation or informatization? Whether you see a difference in these concepts?
Mikhail Petrov: The question is absolutely correct. We have a problem of transformation. We for ourselves define transformation as cardinal change of business processes which "drama" improves them. For example, we consider verification process and we see that from this process it is possible to take out potentially the whole interim documents which were born in the current technique and in the current business process. If to transfer all this to a "normal" type, then it is possible to refuse these documents, as well as steps which these documents generate.
Or, for example, the inspector looks eyes at thousands of records in information base. And if we give him the tool, then the analysis of these thousands of records regarding suspiciousness will be automatic. The tool will indicate to the inspector suspicious transactions which there can be several tens. And it will work these several tens transactions, but not on all base. Volume will be reduced qualitatively, and the inspector will hold business trips on object of check not weeks, but days.
We on it look as at cardinal improvements of processes and quality of those products which are made by Accounts Chamber. And our products are acts, reports, instructions, analytics and so on.
Increase in efficiency for 10-20% about which you spoke above it is cardinal, in your opinion?
Mikhail Petrov: Well, you look. 10-20% are a reduction of time which is spent by the inspector on a routine. And some routine transactions disappear in principle. And there saving of time can reach 100%. If to speak about 20% as about mean value, then it will mean that the inspector will be able to direct 20% of the working time to some other tasks without decrease in total amount of performance in checks.
Globally speaking, 10-20%, of course, not what it is necessary to aim at. On one of our stratsessiya I was asked: "What you see Accounts Chamber through … years?". And I answered: "Ideally, of course, it is several racks of servers, at them – several dozens of experts in the data domains directing researches, the analysts and developers accepting data and developing algorithms of their analysis. And all.". But this status is hardly achievable in the near future, on the horizon at least years 10.
Or less inspectors on accomplishment of necessary volume of checks will be required?
Mikhail Petrov: No, is not present and once again not! There is an ordinary opinion that technologies will move away people, but actually nothing similar! At us it is made it is precisely impossible because our product – intellectual, and for 100% it is impossible to separate it from the person. On the other hand – there is a weight more of tasks where data collection and analytics can only help, but not replace the person.
You told that you would like to have data which now departments have, at the order, here, in Accounts Chamber. I correctly understood you?
Mikhail Petrov: Yes
Thus you want to increase availability of these data to inspectors?
Mikhail Petrov: Of course. Now we have data access of departments as users. The inspector can log into others information system and construct there some simplest reports. But to do more serious analytics, after all it is necessary to have an opportunity to work more actively with these data – to start scripts, to use instruments of visualization and so on. In others systems nobody will allow to do it to us and if we ask operators of these systems something for us to make – it will be very long way. We live in the Federal Law system 44 and if you want something today, then you had to think of it a year ago, and it is even better two, to put it in programs of activity and budgets, to buy according to the tender.
If only you have no subveda which can quickly tighten up something …
Mikhail Petrov: Yes, there slightly more maneuver by resources, but anyway, globally they live too in the same conditions when the budget is manufactured under specific work plans.
How you would like to organize data access?
Mikhail Petrov: To have a possibility of operational work with data, we should take them to ourselves and have in own storage. In this direction we, probably, will also move.
How will it look in practice?
Mikhail Petrov: We, in many respects, need not primary data of specific transactions, and rather aggregated. Of course, we are not going to take the system of Treasury and to translate all its data to ourselves. But partially we will make it. We will not touch a system monsters. Why to us to repeat capacities of the same of FTS? Approach will be sensible. What is not really expensive gives real effect and is required repeated we will try to take to ourselves.
You can give an example of department whose data will be necessary for you first of all?
Mikhail Petrov: First of all, it is the system of Treasury, the system of the budget. It is a basis of bases. Still purchasing system, for example.
Will you take away to yourself data on contracts or as well documents, including technical projects, etc.?
Mikhail Petrov: They are necessary to us too, and we will watch here what should be taken away and that is not necessary. Also other systems of the Ministry of Finance, the system of Rosstat, Rosimushchestvo, Rosreestr with which we will be will be interesting, I hope, to interact.
Why do we do it?
I will give the example connected with the analysis of texts. The area of checks of Accounts Chamber enter GIS – the state information systems, the most different IT solutions implemented and used by the state. Everything makes related them one: existence of technical specifications – on an input, and at the exit – the project documentation, delivery and acceptance certificates. All this can try to be compared by methods of text analysis and machine learning too and to try to reveal a certain sort of pattern (including – patterns of pricing, reference of costs for these or those articles, determinations of real labor input of implementation of these or those functions), or to monitor "not overlapping" of functionality of systems (that the state did not pay two times for same), completeness of accomplishment of technical specifications.
There are interesting practices in the field of an affiliation research – it becomes clear that if to look at procurement procedures with participation of the affiliated companies, then it is possible to reveal certain patterns in decrease in the starting minimum price of the contract, and the behavior of participants of procurement procedures can give information for reflection to checking.
There is a question, how fast further and the national data management system will actively develop. Proceeding from an idea, apparently, that should be to make tools which will allow, simply speaking, to all state bodies without serious consequences to exchange data among themselves. We will watch in what direction they will move, and we will not duplicate activity of specialized bodies, of course.
What means does the Accounts Chamber have to affect quality of data in information systems of federal bodies?
Mikhail Petrov: So far we can "recommend" to objects of check a format of the data provided to us. To carry out systematic work on quality improvement of data – it is necessary to fix appropriate authority at the legislative level. It is necessary to prepare the regulation for solution in systemically. Or to fulfill with everyone objects the specific interchange format.
The Ministry of Communications for many years is engaged in coordination of informatization of federal agencies. This work is to some extent crossed with in what you are engaged?
Mikhail Petrov: I would tell so – we reap the fruits of their works when, for example, the systems of Rosimushchestvo and Rosreestr in certain parts disperse. Why it occurs? Because someone once approved creation of two adjacent systems with cross functionality and with not a quite certain responsibility for quality of data, for input of these data in a system.
The current situation such is that globally nobody in the country is engaged in architecture of information systems. Formally the Minsvyaz, it seems, had to watch plans of informatization of departments, but all perfectly understand that the devil begins to hide in technical details which arise at specific design of specific information systems or solutions. And at this level already absolutely nobody controlled what data where and to whom get as then are used with whom are crossed, zadvaivatsya, duplicated, and other.
This, unfortunately, the system moment which was missed. If the updated Mintsifra undertakes system work, at least, on a data exchange layer, it will be quite good.
Problem also with openness of data on information systems...
Mikhail Petrov: You had fine article about it.
Thanks! Do you agree that this problem exists?
What do you mean under requirements of the present?
Mikhail Petrov: First of all is an ensuring flexibility of change of information systems. Now practically all federal systems are monoliths which change expensively and slowly.
In the interview Alexey Kudrin spoke about need of systems analysis of data on state procurements. What tools are going to be developed here?
Mikhail Petrov: There are several moments. The first moment - quality of data and their reduction though to some reasonable format. For this purpose it is necessary to create that is called the lake of "normal" data to which to shift all this, and to work with it. The second is tools on analytics. We will need to move in these directions for what at us in the next plans – to create the technology platform on which we will have all these data. For this purpose we broaden the state now and we look for analysts who can work with this information as modern technology means.
Mikhail Petrov: At us the special department which is responsible for audit of information systems therefore for parts it is better to address them was engaged in preparation of this report. Personally the situation, of course, does not surprise me.
Too not strongly surprises me, but the fact that, 4-5 years later from the moment of start of the import substitution program, these indicators did not move anywhere, depress...
Mikhail Petrov: Let's begin with the fact that until recently there were no distinct products which can replace something. It and office applications which the government employee, and server solutions should use. Partially, of course, all begin to try already gradually clones of Linux and open products. We have this process too – gradually change Oracle for PostgreSQL. But all this long. We have in operation several big systems, and one of them already works for PostgreSQL.
What a system is?
Mikhail Petrov: It is ESGFK which collects the reporting from control and calculating bodies of regions, from Treasury, and all this stores.
You are happy with stability of its work?
Mikhail Petrov: Works.
And what plans about other systems?
Mikhail Petrov: There on transfer a lot of money is required. We so far over it think.
How many employees in Accounts Chamber?
Mikhail Petrov: About 1100-1200.
In Windows workplaces?
Mikhail Petrov: Yes.
You are not going to transfer to Linux?
Mikhail Petrov: In the nearest future is definitely not present. First, yet is not present for 100% of the tested solution, including the office suite …
And My office?
Mikhail Petrov: Even if there everything well works – a question in mastering by personnel and integration. Hardly I imagine that employees, having got used to products of Microsoft, will be able to switch to absolutely other interfaces easily. It turns out that I should hold at least half a year such support service which with each employee will be engaged in migration and adaptation. I still not really well imagine how on it to ask money. And on the other hand, the result will be what? What is called, I will complicate to people life, big money. And what all will receive? Purely business question. The answer, seems to me, rhetorical.
And you use 1C?
Mikhail Petrov: of course, we use 1C. Actually, everything, except databases and means of developments, at us domestic.
What resources do you have as CDO? What staff? What budget on digitalization?
Mikhail Petrov: According to the staff list in department there were 38 people, and still we have a subordinated organization in which about 50 specialists worked (and not only on IT to a profile). Now we amplify and in the amount we are going to create a team of about 100 people. From them under new problems about 20% of number.
As for the budget, it is about 280 million rubles. Actually it is enough only for the current maintenance and small development – many tasks connected with maintenance of wide functionality of a set of systems, technologies, solutions on security, etc. Now we finish development of the concept of digitalization, and based on its consideration we will come for additional financing of projects on creation of the digital platform and analytical solutions.
You have an extensive work experience in business. The Accounts Chamber, in your opinion, considerably lags behind in development of IT commercial structures?
Mikhail Petrov: Where as, actually. In terms of infrastructure solutions, in general, everything is normal. In terms of information systems which developed here it seems to me that everything that is possible in the conditions of the existing restrictions and conditions was made. It is difficult to compare us to leaders in commerce – there absolutely other human and financial resource, other flexibility if we had a comparable resource and conditions – we would move much quicker. But also already we do by the current resource result which is not a shame for showing. So it turned out that I have a wide experience on creation "from scratch" or to reformatting of commands under new tasks, with and that frame which is in Accounts Chamber there is very correct command under new tasks which can do serious work.
Against the background of federal agencies, I consider, from the point of view of IT Accounts Chamber quite at the level. But not to lag behind leaders in the nearest future significant gain by resources, of course, is necessary – we work on it.