2021-07-07 04:57

"The batons are off": the authorities have completely revised the approach to inspections for businesses

A law on the reform of control and supervisory activities (CSR) has been introduced in Russia. According to the Russian authorities and public activists, it drastically changes the logic of interaction between business and controlling bodies. But entrepreneurs believe that as long as the former employees of the regulators remain in their place, no global changes will be possible. Read about the main provisions of the reform in the article "Made in Russia".

PREVENTION VS. PUNISHMENT

Deputy Minister of Economic Development Alexei Khersontsev said that the reform is designed to reduce the administrative burden on business while increasing the efficiency of control and oversight activities.

"This is a crucial document that sets the framework for subsequent changes to state municipal control rules. It is designed to shift the focus from inspections to prevention of violations and should change the culture of the bodies' work. Prevention of violations in the activities of control bodies should prevail over punishment, punishment is not an end in itself," Khersontsev said.

Marina Bludyan, public ombudsman for entrepreneurs' rights under the Russian president and first vice president of Opora Rossii, also pointed out that 2/3 of the law is prevention.

"We had an eternal struggle, the courts: we are hunted down, then we are hunted by the controllers if we did something wrong. And now we are turning from hunters and game to colleagues who cooperate in achieving a level of public safety. A businessman is recognized as a normal person and controllers are also recognized as normal people who do not run around with batons but strive to reach the level of safety," Bludyan said.

Besides, she pointed out that the law has a rigid logic, a risk-based approach. "The law contains something which we dreamt of long ago - assessment of bona fides of a person under control. It affects the risk category, and the risk category affects the frequency of inspections. If you behave in good faith, interact openly, you can safely move to a lower risk category, which will entail fewer inspections and less reaction to complaints," she explained.

"REFORM NEEDS TO COME DOWN TO THE FIELDS..."

Sergei Mironov, public commissioner for the restaurant business in Moscow, fully supported the reform of the CND, but stressed that an important aspect would be the internal motivation of the inspectors.

"It is necessary that the mentality of the inspectors gradually changes. We need to help businesses and support them. It is important not to catch and punish, but to prevent. The whole reform says that the approach of the inspectors should be different. But we have to do something with the heads of the people who check. They are attuned to other things. We have to change them, we have to get rid of people who throw themselves at entrepreneurs like sheepdogs and start gnawing. There are a huge number of them, I encounter them daily. There are those who want to help, but most are trying to punish. We need to bring this reform down to the fields," Mironov said, adding that sanctions should be imposed against such hard workers.

He also drew attention to the problems faced specifically by the restaurant industry.

"Risk-based approach and limitation of planned inspections - this is great. But it is worth solving the issues with unscheduled inspections. I get dozens of appeals every day about unscheduled inspections. In fact, they are not restricted for us, because in our business there is a possibility of so called health damage. Because of this there can be one inspection after another. They are not checked. We have to do something on the spot," said the expert.

Khersontsev, however, noted that "a paradigm shift in the culture of control agencies" is a hard work that takes time.

"But we expect that all the ideas will be implemented and the fact for the economy and entrepreneurs will be serious. It is impossible to do this without the adjustment of the CAO. And the next issue that comes from the business community is the request for its adjustment," he added.

Bludyan, for her part, noted that the law provides for an annual assessment of the effectiveness of the control and supervision body.

"And it is spelled out directly in the law that this assessment can not be counted by the number of carried out checks and the amount of collected fines. "Sticks system is canceled," she assured.

The commissioner for the protection of entrepreneurs' rights in the capital, Tatiana Mineeva, reported that the capital's business has already noticed positive changes.

"On July 1 this year, the law on the reform of control and supervisory activities, adopted a year earlier, came into force. For this purpose, 132 laws of the Russian Federation have been changed. Moscow businessmen are already feeling the difference. In the capital there are more than 772 thousand small and medium enterprises. This is about 13% of SMEs in the whole of Russia. This year the CND received 24 complaints, last year there were 91. Major changes will appear at the end of the year," she said.

Made in Russia / Made in Russia

Author: Maria Buzanakova