|THE STRATEGIC PLAN FOR ST. PETERSBURG
Address by the Governor of St. Petersburg
Declaration of the General Council
The Strategic Plan for St. Petersburg (CONTENTS)
The Main Goal and Principal Strategic Objectives
The Strategic Plan for St. Petersburg: Main Bearings
IMPLEMENTATION AND UPDATING OF THE STRATEGIC PLANThe chosen approach to strategic planning is unique in that the planning process is as important as the end result, there being no rigid separation of the planning and implementation phases. The process of analysis, formulation of objectives and selection of measures to be taken is organized in such a way as to involve as many individuals and organizations as possible. This explains why, even as it was being developed, the Strategic Plan for St. Petersburg was successful in producing consensus on the city's development priorities. Discussions, seminars, conferences and exhibitions held in the course of drafting such a plan - all this offers a place where people from various sectors of life can come together to talk about their city's vital problems. In this way a field for negotiations is created, a place where views and decisions can be worked out regarding projects or strategies to be carried out by the local authorities, public associations and business working in tandem. The Strategic Plan for St. Petersburg has been drafted by a large team consisting mainly of repre-sentatives of organizations with an interest in the implementation of the measures recommended herein. This drafting process contributed to the crystallization of ideas, to the making of contacts and the formation of teams to carry out the plan's measures, and has undoubtedly already influenced decisions taken by businesses and the city authorities. Which is to say, the Strategic Plan is already being implemented.
The result of the drafting phase was the creation of specific organizational structures capable of coordinating and monitoring the process of implementation. These are: on the political level, the General Council and the Executive Committee for the Strategic Plan; and, on the operative level, the thematic committees and working groups composed of civil servants, businessmen and public figures involved in hands-on implementation of the measures recommended by the Strategic Plan. For each of the plan's measures a special working group has been, or is in the process of being, set up; such groups consist of representatives from organizations involved in implementation of the measure in question.
The above system of organizational structures responsible for monitoring implementation and updating of the plan has to be kept in working order: this is one of the indispensable preconditions for effective implementation of the plan.
The Strategic Plan for St. Petersburg has been signed by all those who have taken part in its preparation. Signatories undertake to strive for the implementation of the measures given in the plan and to uphold the priorities identified therein. The way in which the Strategic Plan is laid out as a list of specific measures to be undertaken in itself facilitates its implementation. The measures herein recommended have been selected both for their strategic importance and ability to further the plan's strategic goals, and for their specificity. In the final selection only measures which had a clear implementation procedure passed into the plan itself. For each measure a performance indicator is given, i.e. an indicator making it possible to judge the extent to which the measure in question has been implemented and, in some cases, the effectiveness of the given measure. For most of the measures given those who are to participate in their implementation and, more importantly, the main organizations responsible for such implementation have been identified. Fifty priority measures have been selected. All this enhances the practical feasibility of the Strategic Plan.
Numerous companies and organizations are involved in implementation of the Strategic Plan, but of particular importance are the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg and the city administration of St. Petersburg. The latter two organizations are to play a leading role in the practical execution of most of the measures incorporated in the plan. For this reason their participation in the implementation of the Strategic Plan requires a special mechanism. If the Strategic Plan for St. Petersburg is not in itself a normative document, the plans of action adopted by the city administration and the Legislative Assembly can and should have a binding normative force on the latter organizations.
Implementation of most of the measures recommended in the Strategic Plan depends upon specific action to be taken by the city administration and upon funding from the city exchequer. Those parts of the plan which are to be executed by departments of the administration have been grouped together in a separate document entitled "Plan of Action to be Undertaken by the City Administration in order to Implement the Strategic Plan". Implementation of such measures shall be funded by the city exchequer. It is to be supposed that the Legislative Assembly will likewise approve and carry out its own "Plan of Legislative Action to Ensure Implementation of Measures Contained in the Strategic Plan". Such plans should ensure that the Strategic Plan's strategic goals are reflected in the day-to-day agenda of all those participating in it.
The Strategic Plan will be taken into account when the municipal investment program and the annual budget are drafted. It is to be supposed that the budget-drafting procedure will allow the city administration to propose, and the Legislative Assembly to pass, allocation of finance to fund measures contained in the Strategic Plan.
It is to be supposed that the Legislative Assembly will play an active role in monitoring implementation of the Strategic Plan - by including in its scheduled budgetary debates discussion of the progress of implementation of the plan and by holding special joint meetings with the city administration regarding the same.
The public may also play an important part in monitoring implementation. An annual public conference may be held at which reports on progress in implementation of the plan will be given. Such a conference may be included in the agenda of the Economic Forum.
Effective use of the text of the Strategic Plan will also contribute to its successful implementation. The text is available in three versions - each of which, when published in the appropriate way, should play its role in the implementation process. The short presentational version will raise awareness of the plan amongst citizens, the business community and potential investors; it will enhance the city's positive image and furnish additional arguments for investors to invest in the city. The basic version, on the other hand, is needed to provide interested businesses with more specific information on St. Petersburg's priority development strategies, as well as to act as an aid in monitoring implementation of measures in the plan. The full version - which incorporates detailed justification of measures selected, as well as specific projects, programs and proposals giving more specific information on each measure - will become the working version during actual implementation of the plan. One way in which the plan may be published is by placing it on the Internet on the server run by the city administration and on that specially reserved for the Strategic Plan.
Furthermore, we should not neglect the opportunity to promote the interests of the city represented by official presentation of the Strategic Plan at the federal level. The effectiveness of lobbying based on a document which is a thorough and balanced reflection of concerted opinions and interests is much higher than is the case when individual projects are being promoted. Similarly, attraction and use of international assistance funds and loans will be directed predominantly towards implementation of measures contained in the Strategic Plan.
It is envisaged that the implementation process will involve the following:
Finance for implementation of individual measures contained in the Strategic Plan is to be raised in each case individually. However, measures recommended by the plan will, all other things being equal, have preference when funds are allocated in the city budget and when federal funds and international loans are lobbied for. It should be borne in mind that the fact of a given project's inclusion in the Strategic Plan should act as an additional argument in the attraction of finance from private investors.
The cooperation of various foundations - e.g. the Foundation of Federal and Regional Programs (established by the city administration of St. Petersburg) - will be sought in implementation of the Strategic Plan.
In order to maintain in operational order the existing strategic partnership, which is vital for revision of the Strategic Plan and for monitoring the progress of its implementation, there is a need for relatively minor financial support from the city exchequer and other sources.