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21 May 2024, 15:16

Lukashenko sends draft decree on control and oversight activities for finalization 

MINSK, 21 May (BelTA) - Control and oversight activities in Belarus will be improved. The task is to streamline various types of inspections and oversight activities and to improve the performance of enterprises, rather than apply penalties. This is what the president's draft decree is aimed at. The document was considered at a meeting with Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko, BelTA has learned.

"The head of state decided to instruct the government to finalize this project together with the governors. This will not be the draft on amendments  but a a new edition so that it is clear and convenient for use. After that, the draft will be submitted to the State Control Committee and then to the head of state. The deadline is until August," Chairman of the State Control Committee Vasily Gerasimov told reporters following the meeting.

As First Deputy Prime Minister Nikolai Snopkov explained, the document as a whole was agreed by state bodies. It is balanced and addresses the basic task, namely to change the style and methods of work of the supervisory bodies. 

The government bodies have the common goal - to help enterprises prevent violations in the future and increase the efficiency of their activities. The president stressed that the revised draft decree should ultimately be beneficial for enterprises, society and, above all, the economy.

During the meeting Nikolai Snopkov reported that the draft decree pursues two key goals. The first is minimal interference from the state in the activities of business entities. Excessive control is excluded through the reduction of inspections and, most importantly, duplicating of functions of inspectors.

“For these purposes, the draft decree proposes to limit the number of monitoring events to no more than one in three months and to hold no monitoring activities within a year after an inspection, unless reports of possible violations were filed,” added the first deputy prime minister.

In order to streamline the process, inspectors will be obliged to register monitoring and technical activities. The Code of Administrative Offences will be amended to include provisions establishing the responsibility of inspectors for failure to fulfill this procedure.

According to Nikolai Snopkov, the list of technical (technological, monitoring) measures and the procedure to implement them are laid out in the draft decree. Previously, such a list was established by the Council of Ministers. “These activities have nothing to do with the inspection of economic activities. Their main goal is to prevent accidents and other emergency situations, as well as mass diseases through continuous preventive control and oversight,” the first deputy prime minister explained.

For example, the Ministry of Internal Affairs oversees the destruction and use of vials and bottles of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. The Healthcare Ministry is authorized to investigate the occurrence of occupational diseases.

“The list has been optimized by eliminating overlapping functions. About 20 activities were scrapped. A limit was also set on the frequency of these events. About half of them will be carried out half as often,” said Nikolai Snopkov. He is confident that such measures will significantly reduce the number of control activities, which will enable business entities to focus on operational processes.

At the same time, the draft decree seeks to shift the focus from punitive measures towards preventive activities. Inspectors will need to determine a deadline for eliminating identified violations depending on their specificity and the possibility of elimination within a specified period. This period can be extended once at the request of the inspected entity.

There will be a ban on holding a company head and employees accountable for a year for violations committed before their appointment to the position.

More gross violations by an official of a regulatory body will be punishable by disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from work. The audited subject may file a corresponding complaint with a higher supervisory body or the State Control Committee. Such violations, for example, include conducting monitoring in places that are not publicly accessible without a written consent of the subject; requesting documents and information which go beyond the monitoring procedure.

A system is introduced to assess the efficiency of performance of supervisory oversight bodies, eliminating the linkage of their activities to fines. On the contrary, priority will be given to how this work and a particular inspection affected the efficiency of an enterprise. As such criteria it is planned to establish the share of preventive measures from all conducted measures; the share of canceled decisions or requirements from the total made; the share of justified complaints about the actions of supervisors in the total number of complaints. The relevant criteria will be determined by the government with regard to the bodies subordinate to it. Bodies and organizations subordinate to the president will develop such criteria independently.

The second direction of the draft decree is to strengthen control in order to protect state and public interests, the life and health of citizens. Here, the draft decree establishes the possibility of conducting operational inspections of compliance with legislation on pricing and fire safety requirements in places where more than 300 people are present. The list of grounds for sending audit materials to law enforcement agencies is expanded. For example, it can be a case of non-payment of taxes of more than 2,000 basic amounts (currently it is Br80,000).

he bodies under the State Pharmaceutical Supervisory Authority (Gospharmnadzor) will exercise powers of  state supervision over the circulation of medicines and medical devices.

The list of grounds when unscheduled inspections of entities may be ordered within two years from the date of their registration has been expanded. For example, such grounds include the information on violations of legislation (in this case, the inspection may be appointed by the chairman of the State Control Committee), instructions from the courts on cases in work, and the continuation of the violation identified in the course of monitoring.

“In general, the adoption of the decree will significantly reduce the interference of supervisory bodies in the current activities of enterprises, without weakening the control in vital areas, to timely identify systemic violations of legislation and negative trends in the economy and social welfare sector,” Nikolai Snopkov said.
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