Russian regions sharply reduce ICT spending

News has prepared a rating of ICT budgets of Russian regions for the current year. It provides data on projected spending for 2021 and actual spending for 2020. Despite the economic difficulties caused by the pandemic, regions as a whole spent 6% more on digitalization in 2020 than they planned at the beginning of the year. In 2021, the ICT budgets of the subjects will be reduced by almost 20% due to a decrease in funding for the digital circuit in healthcare.

How regional ICT budgets are changing

Changes are periodically made to the regional budgets approved at the end of the year. In 2020, due to the unexpectedly onset of a pandemic, one could expect a significant reduction in digitalization costs – the economy faced unforeseen difficulties, and the state was forced to allocate additional funds to support business and fight against COVID-19.

As the results of the analysis of the actual budgets of the regions have shown, by the end of 2020, the total expenses for digitalization not only did not decrease, but even increased – by 6%. The main reason is the growth of ICT expenses of the Department of Information Technologies of the Moscow Government. The capital accounts for 40% of all regional ICT costs in Russia.

In the versions of regional budgets for 2021-2023 approved at the end of 2020. It is planned to reduce ICT costs by almost 20% this year – a significant part of them falls on the project to create a single digital circuit in healthcare, the peak of funding for which has already passed.

Rise or fall

At the beginning of 2020, it was planned that, compared to 2019, the total regional expenditures on ICT would increase by 31.6% and reach ₽212.4 billion.The main reason for such a rapid growth is the allocation of subsidies to the regions for creating a digital health care circuit based on the Unified State Health Information System. …

An analysis of the final versions of regional budgets showed that despite the pandemic and economic difficulties of the past year, the total ICT expenditures of the regions not only did not decrease, but even grew to ₽225.1 billion, which is 39.5% more than in 2019. and 6% more than planned in early 2020.

The three leaders in terms of actual ICT spending in 2020 remained unchanged: these are Moscow (₽90.8 billion, 10.1% more than planned), St. Petersburg (₽18.4 billion, 4.6% less) and the Moscow region (₽9.1 billion, 9.4% less).

A more detailed analysis shows that, in fact, most regions had to reduce their ICT costs, and the increase in the total indicator was due to Moscow, which increased ICT costs by more than RUB8 billion. When asked by CNews, what IT projects were implemented in the capital last year , in the capital DIT did not answer.

Under the sign of a pandemic

CNews found out to which projects in the first place the regions directed funding in 2020.

The Ministry of Public Administration, Information Technologies and Communications of the Moscow Region told CNews that in 2020, 11 systems and services were created in the region to combat the pandemic and support citizens and businesses. One of these projects is the so-called “Megadashboard-103”, with the help of which the work of the ambulance in the Moscow region is controlled. On the regional portal of public services, 20 new services have appeared, and in the Regional Management Center – new opportunities for monitoring and controlling key projects. The reduction in total expenditures on ICT at the end of the year affected the digitalization of education, the creation of a digital circuit in healthcare, as well as the Ministry of Information Technologies and Communications of the Moscow Region.

The Committee for Informatization and Communications of St. Petersburg told CNews that in 2020, work began to create a “digital twin” of the city. The regional segment of the unified healthcare system in 2020 developed primarily in the direction of combating COVID-19 and mass vaccination of St. Petersburg residents. However, in general, the ICT budget of the Northern capital was missing almost RUB 900 million due to a reduction in funding for the Committee itself and the digital circuit in healthcare.

The Ministry of Digital Development and Communications of the Novosibirsk Region reports that the main result of work on the development of information infrastructure in the region in 2020 was the provision of fixed broadband Internet access to settlements with a population of more than 250 people, the purchase of computer equipment in medical institutions and the introduction of digital services for fight against coronavirus infection. Overall, the region had to cut ICT spending by about 2%.

In the Department of Informatization of the Tyumen Region, among the projects implemented in 2020, they note the creation of a system for monitoring the coverage of settlements with the Internet, and roads with cellular communications, as well as the appearance in the regional MFCs of a virtual consultant capable of handling up to half of incoming calls. As part of creating a digital circuit in healthcare, the computer park of medical institutions was updated, a medical information system was introduced in all polyclinics and 71% of hospitals, regional laboratory, radiological, cardiological systems were created, and a regional mobile application for telemedicine consultations was launched. The actual reduction of regional ICT expenses in comparison with the planned by 8% was mainly due to the financing of the Department of Informatization itself.

In addition to Moscow, actual ICT spending increased in several other regions. As a rule, these are regions with a small ICT budget, for which financing the transition to teleworking of all public sector employees has become a serious test. For example, the Ivanovo and Magadan regions had to allocate almost 40% more money for informatization, the Altai and Komi Republics – almost 30% more than it was expected at the beginning of 2020.

Future plans

The onset of 2021 promises to be, if not easier, then at least more predictable than the past. The peak of funding for a single digital circuit in healthcare has already passed, and the amount of funds allocated for this to the regions is decreasing. If in 2020 the share of expenses for the creation of a unified digital circuit in health care based on the Unified State Health Information System in the ICT budgets of some regions reached 89%, then in 2021 it will average 9%. Accordingly, the volume of regional ICT budgets will also decrease.

The planned total ICT expenditures of the Russian regions in the current 2021 should amount to RUB 181.2 billion, which is 19.5% less than actual expenditures in 2020 and 12.3% more than planned in 2019.

The five leaders are still the same: Moscow (₽76.9 billion), St. Petersburg (₽22.3 billion), Moscow Region (₽5.9 billion), Perm (₽3.9 billion) and Krasnodar Territory (₽3 , 6 billion). Their total ICT costs account for 62% of the ICT costs of all Russian regions – more than last year (57%). The top 10 participants in the rating of regions account for almost 70% of all regional ICT expenditures – more than in 2020 (64.7%).

The smallest ICT budgets are in the Kostroma (₽92.8 million) and Pskov (₽122.4 million) regions, as well as in the Jewish Autonomous Region (₽113.5 million). The budget of the leader of the rating – Moscow – exceeds the budget of the 85th place of the Kostroma region by 828 times (in 2019 this figure was 938 times, in 2020 – 380 times). “It is not serious to expect the Kostroma region to be in the top ten in terms of IT spending. But at the same time, the tasks we face are the same as those of other regions. And we are looking for options for their solution, many of which are unique, ”said Dmitry Didenko , head of the digital development department of the Kostroma region administration, in an interview with CNews .

According to him, the region is actively using free, free software, developing public-private partnerships and attracting regional IT companies to work. “We have favorable investment legislation, legislation on the implementation of telecom projects. In particular, a simplified procedure for obtaining a building permit, a number of tax incentives for investors, ”said Dmitry Didenko.

In 2021, ICT spending should grow in 7 regions: the Komi Republic, Nizhny Novgorod, Volgograd, Kaluga, Magadan regions, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug and St. Petersburg. So, the main project in 2021 in St. Petersburg will be the creation of the “Omnichannel intelligent urban platform”, told CNews in the Committee for Informatization and Communications of the Northern Capital. The platform will provide access to electronic state services of the city in social networks and messengers through a set of new applications and chat bots.

The list of leaders in the growth of ICT spending includes the Komi Republic (+ 91.8% to ₽1.5 billion) and the Nizhny Novgorod Region (+ 65.4% to ₽2.8 billion). In other regions, ICT expenditures will decrease, for example, in the Kurgan, Tomsk, Pskov, Bryansk regions and the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic by almost 70%.

Per capita spending

The leaders in terms of the level of ICT expenditures per capita for a year in a row are the Nenets AO (₽9,460), Yamalo-Nenets AO (₽6781), Moscow (₽6200), Chukotka AO (₽5472).

The lowest indicator of ICT expenditures per capita is in the Tomsk region – ₽147.7.

Rating methodology

The rating of regional ICT expenditures by CNews is based on the data of the current regional budgets. In 2021, it was decided to clarify the data collected at the beginning of 2020. Recall that then the regional budgets for 2020–2022 published in official sources were analyzed. as of March 20, 2020. The new ranking provides data from the latest published versions of regional budgets for 2020-2022. – as a rule, changes were made to them in November-December 2020.

The rest of the methodology for calculating the total indicator of ICT expenditures remained the same. The approved regional budgets for 2021-2023 were examined. in the version posted in the public domain as of March 10, 2021. When calculating ICT costs, the budgets of relevant ministries or departments responsible for informatization and digitalization of the region were taken into account, the costs of all other regional departments under the item “Communications and Informatics”, the costs of implementing activities in the field of ICT, such as the creation of a unified digital circuit in health care based on the Unified State Health Information System (EHISZ), a system for providing calls to emergency services at a single number “112”, “Safe City”, connecting public libraries to the Internet,

In some regions, ministries responsible for digitalization are simultaneously involved in the media, transport or industry. In this case, the rating included only that part of their budget that can be attributed to the ICT sector.

It must be said that over the years of compiling a rating of ICT expenditures in Russian regions, the search for data in regional budgets has become easier. First, these costs are increasingly concentrated in the hands of specialized agencies. Secondly, the description of the tasks to which they will be directed is becoming more and more clear. It should be noted that this year the word “Digitalization” has been added to the list of keywords for searching for ICT projects.

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