State Committees

State Committees


(in the USSR), central interbranch agencies of state administration with special jurisdiction that function on a nationwide level. The system of state committees was developed in the 1950’s and 1960’s in connection with the increasing complexity of state management of the national economy; with the expanded role of scientific planning, of regulation of the main trends in the development of science and technology, and of efficient organization of material and technical supply, as well as with the growth of the Soviet state’s foreign economic ties. State committees coordinate and supervise the work of ministries and departments in these fields, ensure the qualified scientific working out of interbranch problems of state administration, provide the government with evaluations, and participate in the planning of the national economy.

Because of the interbranch nature of their work, state committees are given certain administrative powers in the performance of their planning and organizing, coordinating, and supervisory functions with regard to all ministries and departments. They hear reports by heads of institutions, order necessary materials, and give binding instructions regarding certain types of problems. The legal normative acts issued by state committees within the bounds of their jurisdiction must be carried out by all ministries, departments, institutions, organizations, and enterprises.

State committees of the USSR are formed (and their chairmen are appointed) by the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Regulations for state committees and their structure are approved by the Council of Ministers of the USSR.

A list of the state committees of the Council of Ministers of the USSR (1971) and their functions follows.

The State Planning Committee of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, known as Gosplan, was formed in 1921 and is a Union-republic agency that plans the development of the national economy and supervises the fulfillment of national economic plans.

The State Committee of the Council of Ministers of the USSR for Construction, or Gosstroi, was formed in 1950 and works for a unified technical policy, for increased effectiveness in capital construction, for technical progress, for improved quality in construction and shortening of construction periods, for the development of the construction industry, for better city planning and architectural design, and for improved planning and estimates. The committee also carries out state appraisals of plans and estimates. Gosstroi works out and establishes all-Union norms and technical conditions for construction planning, norms for the length of construction periods, and norms for estimate, appraisals, and price lists (Regulations for Gosstroi, in Collection of Decrees of the USSR, 1968, no. 3, art. 14).

The State Committee on Labor and Wages (formed in 1955) exercises systematic control over the work of ministries and departments dealing with labor and wages, regulates interbranch and interregional conditions and wages, drafts laws and government resolutions on questions of labor and wages and organizes scientific research in this field, and provides explanations and instructions on the application of labor legislation (Regulations for the State Committee on Labor and Wages, ibid., 1957, no. 15, art. 146).

The State Committee for Science and Technology (formed in 1965) ensures that a unified state policy for scientific and technical progress is carried out and that the achievements of science and technology are utilized to the utmost in the national economy. Together with the Academy of Sciences it draws up proposals concerning the main trends in the development of science and technology, organizes the working out of interbranch scientific and technical problems, provides scientific and technical information, and establishes ties with foreign countries on questions of scientific and technical cooperation (Regulations for the State Committee for Science and Technology, ibid., 1966, no. 21, art. 193).

The State Committee for Material and Technical Supply, or Gossnab (formed in 1965), carries out plans for material and technical supply, distributes output to consumers according to an established schedule, works for interbranch cooperation in deliveries, and ensures the fulfillment of plans for the delivery of output (Regulations for Gossnab, ibid., 1969, no. 13, art. 69).

The State Committee on Foreign Economic Relations (formed in 1957) takes measures to expand and strengthen economic cooperation with foreign countries and to ensure the fulfillment of obligations in economic cooperation. The committee also directs the work of such all-Union organizations as Tekhnoexport and Prommashexport, through which industrial and other equipment for enterprises and facilities being built by the USSR is shipped to socialist and developing countries (Bulletin of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, 1957, no. 15, art. 388).

The State Committee for Vocational and Technical Education (formed in 1959) conducts a unified state policy for training skilled workers both in vocational and technical educational institutions and on the job. supervises the carrying out of government resolutions concerning vocational and technical education and the development of the system of educational institutions, and oversees the training and educational work among pupils (Regulations for the State Committee for Vocational and Technical Education, in Collection of Decrees of the USSR. 1969, no. 16, art. 87).

The State Forestry Committee (formed in 1966) manages state forest reserves and coordinates and directs the activities of forestry agencies (Bulletin of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, 1966. no. 8. art. 126).

The State Price Committee was formed in 1969; between 1965 and 1969 it was the State Price Committee u. ider Gosplan. The committee’s tasks include increasing supervision of price setting, ensuring the unity of pricing policy, and making prices a more useful instrument in stimulating production.

The State Committee for Television and Radio was created in 1970.

The State Committee on Standards, or Gosstandart, was established in 1970 to improve standardization, to enhance the role of standards in the improvement of the quality of output, and so forth (Regulations for Gosstandart, Collection of Decrees of the USSR, 1972, no. 21, art. 117).

State committees may be either all-Union, for example, the State Committee on Labor and Wages and the Committee on Foreign Economic Relations, or Union-republic, such as Gosplan, Gosstroi. and the State Price Committee.

The State Committee for Supervision of Work Safety in Industry and for Mining Supervision under the Council of Ministers of the USSR, or Gosgortekhnadzor, was created in 1958 (Regulations for Gosgortekhnadzor. ibid., 1966, no. 2, art. 17).

The State Committee of the USSR Council of Ministers on Cinematography was created in 1972. The committee’s tasks include supervision of the activities of film studios in the country (Regulations for the State Committee on Cinematography, ibid., 1974, no. 2, art. 11).

The State Committee of the USSR Council of Ministers on Publishing, Printing, and the Book Trade, established in 1972, supervises the publishing and printing industry and exercises national control over the thematic trend and content of literature (Regulations for the State Committee on Publishing, Printing, and the Book Trade, ibid., 1972, no. 23, art. 130).

The State Committee for Inventions and Discoveries of the USSR Council of Ministers was established in 1973.


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