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Russia: Reduction in Force for Civil Servants

(Jan. 4, 2011) On January 3, 2011, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev issued a Decree on Optimization of the Number of Federal Civil Employees and Employees of Federal Government Institutions. According to information published by the President's press service, the Decree provides for a phased-in 20% decrease in the federal workforce during the 2011-2013 period. (Decree on Optimization of the Number of Federal Civil Servants Signed [in Russian], President of the Russian Federation website (Jan. 3, 2011), It is expected that five percent of government positions will be eliminated each year in 2011 and 2012, and then the remaining ten percent of the positions extant on January 3, 2011, the date when the Decree entered into force, will be terminated by March 31, 2013. (Text of the Decree [in Russian], art. 1.3, President of the Russian Federation website,

The Decree does not apply to the employees of the Administration of the President, the Prosecutor General's Office, the Federal Investigation Committee, the Central Election Commission, the Office of General Accountability, or legislative branch institutions; however, these institutions are required to provide the government with their own plans for workforce reduction (id. art. 4). Under article 5 of the Decree, up to 50% of the funds saved from the cuts will be spent to increase the salaries of and provide performance incentives to the remaining government employees. The Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation estimated that the savings will amount to up to US$1.5 billion. (There Will Be Fewer Civil Servants in Russia [in Russian], ECHO OF MOSCOW [radio station] (Jan. 3, 2011),

According to the Federal Statistics Committee, 1.7 million people in Russia were on the government payroll at the end of 2009, excluding military, law enforcement, and security personnel. However, the employees of federal executive institutions made up about half of this number. Some 47,000 persons work in the central offices of federal agencies in Moscow. (Number of Employees of State Government and Local Self-Government Bodies Divided by Branches of Power and Level of Government [chart, in Russian], Federal Statistics Committee website, (last visited Jan. 3, 2011).)