The Ministry of Economy proposes to slightly change the approach to determining the frequency of control measures in relation to business – not to conduct a scheduled inspection within the time frame provided for by the schedule, if an unscheduled inspection has already been carried out on the same issue during the last year. The department believes that this will reduce the administrative burden on entrepreneurs. The business community considers the initiative correct, but notes that due to the bias towards unscheduled inspections, the real workload may remain the same.
The Ministry of Economy has prepared a draft amendment to the rules for the formation of the annual schedule of control measures, proposing to exclude scheduled inspections from it if unscheduled inspections have already been carried out on the same occasion over the past year. Let us clarify that the frequency of scheduled inspections depends on the degree of risks in the organization’s activities – for example, in relation to objects from the “medium risk” category, they are carried out at least once every six years, and at most once every three years. However, unscheduled inspections are now more common, the frequency of which depends on risk indicators such as the number of complaints received.
According to the project, it will also be possible to delete the check from the plan in case of an emergency situation related to the spread of the disease, in particular covid.
As noted in the Ministry of Economy, the department “receives requests, including examples when up to 90% of the staff of inspectors are on sick leave – in such a situation, it is extremely difficult to fulfill the inspection plan, and this carries the risk of spreading the disease.”
The proposed procedure will apply from 2023 to almost all types of control (except for tax, customs and banking, as well as control of security forces) at all levels. The only exception will be inspections of enterprises classified as extremely high risk (for example, coal mines), for which the frequency of inspections will remain the same. However, small concessions are also offered for them – the abolition of checklists for scheduled inspections and raid inspections of facilities subject to permanent state control.
In general, an increase in the pause between scheduled inspections, as conceived by the Ministry of Economy, should reduce the administrative burden on business – the department believes that the innovation will be in demand.
At the same time, forecasts of a possible reduction in the number of inspections are considered premature there. It should be noted that the innovation fits into the reform of control and supervision activities launched by the government, which, in particular, involves a shift in emphasis from verification measures to preventive ones. As Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Grigorenko, who oversees the reform, previously reported, in 2021, about 700 thousand inspections were carried out, which is half as much as in 2019 (1.5 million).
Marina Bludyan, First Vice President of Opora Rossii, agrees that the administrative burden may be reduced: “If an unscheduled inspection has already passed, what is the point of conducting another one next year? It is necessary to count the next three years from it, after which it is already to come with the next scheduled inspection. She also considers it expedient to cancel checklists for extremely high-risk objects: “It is almost impossible to draw up a checklist for them, it will be an 800-page document that no one can apply during an on-site check.”
Elena Dybova, Vice-President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, notes that now unscheduled and scheduled inspections can take place with a difference of two weeks, but they do not provide the desired efficiency. She believes that “we need to go further” – for example, to establish that after an unscheduled inspection has been passed, the next one can be carried out in a year. Ekaterina Karpunova, executive secretary of the Delovaya Rossiya CND expert center, believes that after the rules are adjusted, the administrative burden may remain at the same level – after all, the focus may shift to unscheduled inspections, the frequency of which is not regulated.