IT Companies Disclose Risks Due to Outreach Law

The Association of Computer and Information Technology Enterprises (APKIT), Developers and Operators of Electronic Services Systems (ROSEU), Non-Profit Partnership of Software Suppliers (NP PPP) and Russoft sent a letter to the Minister of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media Maksut Shadayev criticizing the draft government decree “On the approval of the regulation on the implementation of educational activities.” This document was posted on the portal of draft regulatory legal acts on April 21. It regulates the “procedure, conditions and forms” of enlightenment in organizations “carrying out educational, scientific and cultural activities.”

“Kommersant” got acquainted with a copy of the letter, the fact of its receipt was confirmed to the publication by the Ministry of Digital Science. IT companies argue that the adoption of the resolution, the public discussion of which should last until May 7, will complicate the cooperation of organizations in the field of information technology with educational institutions.

So, it follows from the project that in order to conduct lectures outside the framework of educational programs, the author must have at least two years of experience in educational activities. In addition, he needs to undergo a medical examination. As for companies, they cannot have debts in taxes and fees and the status of an NPO-foreign agent.

It turns out that it is “easier for companies not to talk about new technologies at all” than to register each time, conclude contracts, receive certificates, the letter says to Shadayev. The executive director of APKIT Nikolay Komlev noted that in order to conduct a lecture at the university, an IT specialist will have to spend several days on a medical examination and other formalities, in fact, “falling out” of the work process. In addition, the decree will exacerbate the staffing problem not only in the IT industry, but throughout the digital economy. Finally, in this case it will be impossible to use the expert services of foreign specialists, the authors of the letter warned.

Experts interviewed by Kommersant said that in the current state, the initiative could negatively affect almost the entire IT industry. For example, the president of Russoft, Valentin Makarov, noted that at least 80% of Russian information technology companies now work with universities, colleges and schools.

IT companies asked the Ministry of Digital and the Ministry of Education to remove the issues of dissemination of engineering and technical information from the initiative. They also insist on extending the discussion of the document until May 21.

On April 5, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the federal law “On Education in the Russian Federation” aimed at combating foreign interference in the educational process in the country – the so-called law on educational activities. It is considered educational activities that go beyond the curriculum, for example, reading popular science lectures.

From now on, the government will control it. To organize such events, you will now need to obtain a special license based on a government opinion. It is prohibited to use educational activities to incite any hatred, agitation and propaganda.

The law comes into force on June 1 this year. The scientific community, as well as the Accounts Chamber, spoke out against him. In its report, the department stated that this measure would lead to restriction of the activities of civil society organizations, including NGOs. In addition, the JV called the law “redundant”, stating that Art. 282 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation already provides for punishment for inciting social, racial and other hatred.



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