Meeting to Discuss the Reformation of the Interior Ministry

    The reform of the Interior Ministry is nothing like a radical breakdown of the government agency but an optimization of the structure. President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko made the statement at the government session held on 15 November to discuss the reformation of the Interior Ministry.

    “We don’t need a radical remodeling of the agency. We need constructive improvement of its work for the sake of securing the protection of people, the society, and the state from criminal endeavors taking into account modern phenomena and trends. The key task is adjusting the police to the situation evolving in and around the country,” believes Aleksandr Lukashenko.

    According to the President, to achieve the goal, it will be necessary to optimize the structure of the Interior Ministry, making it simpler and pruning doubled branches.

    Besides, it is necessary to reduce the personnel numbers, relieve the police of non-core functions, and bring the military component up to date.

    The head of state underlined that the work should be done at all levels ranging from district police officers to top executives of the Interior Ministry. The efforts should be focused on the district police officer level. Aleksandr Lukashenko believes that if the funding is unchanged, the reform will be able to raise the financial encouragement of the personnel without putting additional drain on the public budget. “In other words, everything that will be saved by the Interior Ministry reform should be left in your hands so that you could distribute it to match your needs,” explained the President.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed out that it was necessary to determine the key reformation areas in view of the main mission of the Interior Ministry and without forgetting internal reserves that should be used in full.

    As an example the head of state mentioned transport police, which handles about 1% of the total number of registered crimes. “It is obvious that the workload over there is way lower than that in territorial police bodies. Fixing the misbalance would be only logical. The transport security system took years to evolve and has stayed unchanged for decades despite considerable changes in the equipment and the organization of the service. The huge country that existed when the transport police was created is no longer around,” said the President. The head of state underlined that the decision should be reasonable and should take into account people’s interests in addition to streamlining the work.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko also believes that police should be relieved of expert duties because with the creation of the Investigation Committee expert duties are no longer a core function of police. The bulk of expert examinations are initiated by the investigators. “It would be logical to discuss the possibility of relieving police of non-core functions. At the same time the step would rule out corporate influence and would secure the independence of experts. It would make investigations more objective, securing legal rights and interests of our citizens more fully,” remarked the President.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko added that along with the Interior Ministry the view of the Investigation Committee, other interested government agencies is important, including the view on creating a common forensic examination service in Belarus.

    “The central office for the fight against organized crime and corruption has been working rather effectively since 1991. However, organized crime may not be that threatening to the national security now,” said the head of state. “You may remember that the best officers were chosen for this service. Now we can draw on the loan taking into account the present state of affairs and without damaging the cause. The personnel of the central office could enhance other units of the criminal police, which bears the bulk of the crime detection workload. At the same time the central office should remain an effective factor to deter corruption and the return of organized crime”.