Calculator as a mythbuster.

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…Or once again about the size of Belarusian police.

Vitality of socio-political myths in our rational time is admirable. It would seem that there are verifiable facts, against the background of which the mythology represents its promoters and creators in not really good light. But at the same time there are quite many statements and claims that, putting it mildly, have little to do with objective reality.
One example is the “tale” about extremely big size of the Interior Ministry. We have already drawn attention to this problem.

Mythical figures of 100, 125 and even 135 thousand militiamen continue to be used by the media. It is necessary to note that even if one wants to believe that information, the number of 135 thousand should be taken. It will include not only the number of Ministry of Internal Affairs employees, but also all persons serving custodial sentence. This figure would be somehow fitting the realities of 2000s, when there were about 50 thousand prisoners in Belarus. Number of Ministry of Internal Affairs at the time was about 90-93 thousand employees. To make it simple, we will call all of them “MIA employees”.

The analysis of the Interior Ministry budget for the current year will help us to dot all «i». It definitely shows that the size of the MIA of 100-135 thousand employees, according to some media is complete lie.

In 2013, the Ministry of Internal Affairs budget was planned at the amount of Br 3,931 trillion. It is necessary to add here the MIA Execution of Sentences Department budget — Br 0,963 trillion, the Interior Ministry Guards Department — Br 0,039 trillion, Interior Ministry troops budget — Br 0,602 trillion, which are funded separately.

Small budget funding of the Guards Department is connected with the fact that this agency is mainly self-financed through the provision of appropriate services to organizations and individuals. The Department receives budget funds as payment for protection of the state objects, subject to mandatory protection, and also as weapons.

Thus, in 2013 the total budget of the Ministry of Internal Affairs was planned in the amount of Br 5,535 trillion.

The keyword here is “planned”. It is unknown, which sum the agency really got. It is necessary to recall that at the end of the previous year budget expenditures have been reduced by more than Br 13 trillion. Also we should pay attention, that the inflation rate in 2013 was 16.5%. This is an important point, because the costs are planned at the beginning of the year, and the money are received throughout the year.

Referring to the figures, PLANNED to be provided to Ministry of Internal Affairs this year:
— Ministry of Internal Affairs Br — 4,781 trillion. (+ 21.6%);
— MIA Execution of Sentences Department — Br 1,092 trillion (+13.4%);
— Ministry of Internal Affairs — Br 0,054 trillion (+39%);
— Interior Ministry troops — Br 0,712 trillion (+ 18.3%).

The total budget of Ministry of Internal Affairs in 2014 is planned at the amount of Br 6,639 trillion (+ 20%), inflation is planned at the level of 14.5%, and the income growth — at the level of 3%.

While analyzing budget expenditures of Belarusian authorities we face one problem: we see the overall figures, but we see no expenditures of the agencies. However, it is worth noting that more than 75% of the MIA budget is spent on wages of the employees and similar payments, as well as for social insurance. So, 20% budget increase won’t make the police grow fat. But it won’t make them lose weight too. Unlike the healthcare and medical sphere, the budget of which will grow by only 12%: the rest will be probably got from the pockets of citizens through all sorts of paid services and rise in price of the medications, which are already not the cheapest ones (for example, in comparison with Lithuania).
It’s also necessary to note that the comparison of costs in rubles, but not dollars, is more correct, because the dollar in our situation is something difficultly predictable.

These information on the MIA budget allow to destroy all speculations about the size of the agency. But first things first.

Let’s start with a favourite tale about the fact, that “the Internal troops outnumber the Army”. This tale was born at a time when the size Belarusian Army was about 70 thousand people. It is doubtful that now it is more than 43-45 thousand. Let’s take the number of 40 thousand to simplify calculations and to give some handicap for the. Br 0,712 trillion for 40 thousand employees is 17.8 million Br a year. Or Br 1,483,333 per month. For everything.

In the last call approximately 1,500 people were sent to Interior Ministry troops. Thus, the total number of conscripts in the MIA even in theory, does not exceed 4500, and in fact it is lower due to the serving time difference for people with higher education and without it. But not having more detailed layout, we will take the number of conscripts as 4500.
So, as calculated above, budget spending per MIA troops soldier, based on their number, is Br 1,483,333 per month. As we mentioned above, the allowance is 75% of that sum, or about Br 1,113,000 per month for one soldier, warrant officer or an officer of the Internal Troops on average. Even if conscripts live only with help of Holy Spirit and watching the evening TV-program “Panorama”, this does not change the size of such “salary”. But there’s a problem here: there are no such salaries. A soldier on contract has allowance of Br 3,5 million, a conscript on average “costs” the state 2 times cheaper. So, if the MIA troops outnumber the Army, the allowance there is just over a million Belarusian rubles. And if there allowance is about a million Belarusian rubles, where did the authorities got 35 500 idiots (with 1st group health, by the way) ready to work for “salary”? It seems that the authors of the tale about the extremely big size of MIA troops think the audience are idiots. The situation changes dramatically if you consider the size of MIA troops to be 11-13 thousand people. Moreover, the first figure looks more real.

And next, the same logic is extrapolated to the Ministry of Internal Affairs in whole. As a starting point we take the personnel of the Interior Ministry in the amount of 135 thousand people. This figure is much-loved, because it can be found in some UN reports on the index of law enforcement officers per 100 thousand population. That report tells, that Belarus has 1442 Interior Ministry official per 100 thousand population. Take about 12 thousand of MIA troops, 7.8 thousand of MIA Execution of Sentences Department employees and 12 thousand of MIA Guards Department from these 135 thousand. So, we get a remainder of 103.2 thousand. This year the sum of Br 4,781 trillion., 75% of which  are conditional salary fund, is provided for them. Total is less than Br 35 million per year for employee. This amount should be divided by 13, because in addition to monthly payments there are 2 annual salaries for recuperation (“holiday money”). Altogether it is less than Br 2,7 million per month for employee. And this is before taxes! And after taxes it is about Br 2,3-2,4 million. But this also is not true, because the same people, who have notified us of more than 100 thousand size of police and interior troops, which outnumber the Army, regularly report about the huge salaries in the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Because it can’t be otherwise: the dictatorship feeds its faithful “Cerberus” to a fare-you-well at the expense of teachers, doctors and retirees, of course. But calculator is implacable: dictatorship equalled the “Cerberus” in income with nannies in kindergartens.

Actually dilemma is resolved simply: there is no “more than a hundred thousand policemen”. And there never was.

The size of Ministry of Internal Affairs (including the police, civil servants, students) is unlikely to exceed 50 thousand people. In reality this number is even smaller: the staff shortage still takes place. Of course, we must add Guards Department, Interior troops and MIA Execution of Sentences Department here. As a result, we get something around 80 thousand people. It is the maximum POSSIBLE size of the MIA.

By the way, the size of all of the conditional salaries, mentioned above, is overrated (sic!), because the calculation does not take into account the percentage of the budget of Internal Affairs, made by pension contributions. That’s connected with the fact, that there’s no reliable data on this issue, which can be used in the calculations.

Is this a lot or a little compared to other European countries? UN date claims, that’s a lot. But there is the “Belarusian specifics” here: UN records the number of police and not personnel of the Interior Ministry. The main difference of European MIAs from ours is that in most of other countries only those who are directly involved in policing wear uniform. In Europe there is no tradition to give the major and colonel shoulder straps to office clerks, who see criminals only on TV. It turns out that the police abroad is only part of the Interior Ministry, and in Belarus the police is almost “equal” to MIA.

About 35 thousand employees (excluding Guards Department, Interior troops and MIA Execution of Sentences Department) are directly fighting crime in Belarus. Such conclusions can be drawn, if we analyze the number of service departments, which are sometimes announced in the press. This is the level of France or the Czech Republic.

The second interesting point is that the UN records only constant staff of the central state police. But there is a municipal police, whose number depends on the local budget. It is missed by Statistics.

The third interesting point is a number of functions, that in Belarus are assigned to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, but abroad are carried out by other agencies. For example, the Ministry of Justice or separate prison ministry is responsible for the execution of sentences. And returning to the MIA Execution of Sentences Department budget: the fact, that one employee accounts for about 150 million Br rubles budget expenditure a year, does not indicate a high salary in the agency. It shows that the prison authorities are unable to reach the breakeven point of the contingent, which outnumbers the MIA Execution of Sentences Department 5 times.

It also remains questionable, where the UN has taken the figure of 1442 MIA officers per 100 thousand population in Belarus. It is likely that the experts, responsible for the research, were really “experts”.

So, where are the roots of such gigantomania in respect to the Interior Ministry? The situation is following: there is a group of people, having very negative attitude to the existing regime. One of the ways of their struggle with the authorities is to discredit them, for example, spread the exaggerated data about the size of Internal Affairs. It’s all done of good intentions: for the victory of democracy and the rule of human and civil rights. However, these intentions have led to a completely different result: propagating blatant lies, its authors and distributors thereby discredit the democratic movement among the Belarusian law-enforcement agencies.

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