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Belarus President Administration in for renovation

MINSK (BelTA) – The Belarus President Administration will be reformed. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko made the relevant statements on 21 December as he appointed several people to executive positions in the agency, BelTA has learned.

Alexander Lukashenko drew attention to the importance of the ideological component in the work of the Belarus President Administration. “Culture, sport, and healthcare represent the main foundation of our ideology,” he remarked. Concrete actions in specific areas will be in focus instead of discussions in mass media although honest and objective discussions are necessary, too.

“I believe we should lay off one of the deputy heads of the agency, most likely the deputy head in charge of ideology. We should drastically remodel ideological work and put the first deputy head of the agency in charge of it. It is only a suggestion on my part. Taking specific actions is your call,” Alexander Lukashenko told the newly appointed top-ranking officials of the Belarus President Administration. 

The head of state believes it is necessary to preserve the ideology division as part of the agency because a great spectrum of work lies within the division's area of responsibility.

According to the President, some of the relevant functions and authority should be transferred to the press secretary of the head of state. “[Natalya Eismont] is an experienced person now and could do with a bit more work and more authority and organizational powers. This is why she should get involved in this. Because the ideological component primarily originates from the president,” said the head of state. “This is why you have to involve the press secretary and the comparatively small press service.”

Functions and responsibilities of the aides to the Belarus president is another area to be reformed. “In accordance with the Constitution the president stands above the branches of power. And the president needs to work with these branches of power via its aides,” noted the Belarusian leader.

Alexander Lukashenko reminded about his instructions to cut down on red tape and optimize the state machine. “The Belarus President Administration should set an example. We need to reform the agency bearing in mind the fact that these people represent the key staff of the president,” said the head of state.

“Let me emphasize once again that red tape reduction should be the key concern of the Belarus President Administration. Ideology, human resources, expert evaluation of economic ideas, legal considerations involved in the president's work. In addition to interaction with branches of power — the judicial power, the legislative power, and the banking industry — via aides. Possibly something else,” added the President.

Alexander Lukashenko described the Belarus President Administration's handling of requests and petitions submitted by citizens as poor. “We work like in Soviet times. It is understandable that the Administration is overburdened with these petitions because people contact the Administration as the last resort,” he remarked. “And just look at how the petitions are handled! Just like in Soviet times we mainly forward the complaints to those the citizens complain about.”

“If a person contacts us and we alone can and are to resolve the problem, we cannot bounce the petition. Please, pay serious attention to the matter. If necessary, replace all the personnel that deal with this bureaucratic work,” stressed the head of state.

The President noted that the Administration should be reformed in a calm and wise manner. Alexander Lukashenko mentioned renovation as the core idea behind the reform. Employing younger people is not the idea because it is important to preserve professional and capable personnel. “Those, who can work, may come to work and offer their services even at 80 years of age. I am ready to accept them. If a young person can do the work, they are welcome, too. We'll find work for them,” said the Belarusian leader.

Alexander Lukashenko instructed the new top-ranking officials of the Belarus President Administration to act fast and submit proposals on renovating the agency. Later on the relevant matters will be discussed at a major government conference involving the head of state.

Alexander Lukashenko believes he could use aides in charge of working with the legislative power, the judicial power, the banking industry, and possibly some other areas. “All the other assistant positions and the rest must be laid off. They have done their part and are virtually no longer necessary,” said the head of state.

The President believes it is necessary to improve the work of the presidential aides in the regions. “Their meetings even with the head of state are infrequent. It is not good,” noted the Belarusian leader. In his words, the top officials of the Belarus President Administration should coordinate the work of the aides the way it was done in the past in addition to overseeing their work, collecting proposals and information. “It should be done via the senior aide or an aide for special assignments. The job title needs more thinking about… I think they should gather every month or two months. The senior aide should collect information from them possibly bypassing the Belarus President Administration. Not because I don't trust them. Some people are still afraid of speaking up in public. It will be yet another way to contact the president,” said the head of state.