1921 - The Establishment of Gosplan

Decree of the Council of People's Commissars

22 February 1921

Statute on the State General Planning Commission

1. A General Planning Commission, attached to the Council of Labour and Defence, is established to devise a single all-state economic plan based on the electrification plan approved by the VIII Congress of Soviets, and to supervise the overall implementation of this plan.

Immediate economic tasks, especially those which should be fulfilled in the very near future, particularly in the course of 1921, should be elaborated by the General Planning Commission or its Sub-commission in the greatest detail, taking full account of existing concrete economic conditions.

2. The State General Planning Commission has the following tasks:
a. to devise a single all-state economic plan, and the methods and order for implementing it;
b. to examine, and to co-ordinate with the general state plan, the production programmes and planning proposals of various institutions as well as of oblast' economic organisations in all sectors of the economy, and to establish the order in which work will be carried out;
c. to devise all-state measures for developing the knowledge and organising the research necessary for implementing a plan of state economy, as well as deploying and training the necessary personnel
d. to devise measures for disseminating widely among the population information about the plan for the national economy, how it is to be implemented, and the corresponding ways in which labour is to be organised

3. In carrying out the tasks it has been set, the State General Planning Commission will have the right to communicate directly with all the highest state and central institutions and establishments of the republic.

4. Commissariats, oblast' and local institutions are obliged to provide the State General Planning Commission any information and materials it may request, and also to provide necessary explanations via responsible members of staff.

5. All planning proposals arising in commissariats and departments on matters of the state economy, and production programmes to implement it, must be submitted to the State General Planning Commission for examination and co-ordination with the all-state economic plan.

6. The Presidium and the members of the State General Planning Commission are appointed by the Council of Labour and Defence.
The Chairman of the State General Planning Commission is granted the right to report directly to the Chairman of the Council of Labour and Defence.

7. The State General Planning Commission has its own staff for carrying out its tasks. In addition, the Commission has the right to employ individual specialists to work temporarily or permanently in the Commission, and to contract out individual jobs on a piecework basis.

8. The expenses of running the Commission and paying for work done on its behalf will be covered by special credits. Until the overall volume of work of the State General Planning Commission has been established, it will be granted an advance of 300 million rubles. The expenses of the State General Planning Commission will be considered in the next audit.

[Translator's note: Gosplan, the Soviet State Planning Commission, was one of the most important institutions of the USSR for 70 years. As can be seen from this statute establishing the commission, it was originally intended primarily as a means to implement the celebrated GOELRO plan for the electrification of all Russia, mooted at the end of 1920. However, in the first years of its existence it was mainly concerned with small-scale sectoral planning and information-gathering. It was not until 1925 that Gosplan was able to produce its first all-Union plan, the annual "control figures" for 1925-1926. However, from 1928 the potential of "five-year plans" as a mobilising tool for rapid industrialisation was realised by the Soviet leadership, and Gosplan's importance in allocating resources grew immensely. Gosplan survived numerous attempts at reforming the Soviet economy, and its central role in determining production and investment decisions lasted right up to the disintegration of the USSR in 1991. - FK]
[Source: K U Chernenko and M S Smirtyukov, compilers, Resheniya partii i pravitel'stva po khozyaystvennym voprosam, Vol. 1, 1917 - 1928, izdatel'stvo politicheskoy literatury, Moscow, 1967, pp. 199 - 200.]