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What do business people say about inspection oversight

29.11.2017. 00h

Second focus group – open discussions with business people about inspections and the Law on Inspection Oversight

The second focus group, organized within the project of the Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government (MPALSG) "Monitoring and analyzing the implementation of the Law on Inspection Oversight and Informing the Public on the Results", was held in Belgrade, on 20 November 2017, gathering the representatives of the economy. The second focus groups (the first one gathered representatives of republic and local inspections) aimed to contribute identifying issues in practice in order to prepare recommendations for the improvement of the Law on Inspection Oversight and its better implementation.

Since the entry into force of the Law on Inspection Oversight, the situation regarding the inspection work is far better than it was. The assessment of the focus group participants is that the Republic inspectors are much better qualified for the work of the inspection oversight, in comparison to inspectors at the local level.

Business people gathered in this focus group believe that inspectors, but also businesses, need additional training so that the application of the laws - sectoral but also the Law on Inspection Oversight - are better implemented.

The situation today is such that in practice the penalty of businessmen due to formal deficiencies is much rarer compared to the period before the adoption of the Law, and we have many more examples in which inspectors provide instructions for remedying these shortcomings. After the submission of evidence on the removal of formal defect there is no further procedure, representatives of focus group pointed out. This is one of the indicators that the novelties of this law which, in this particular case, relate to the preventive function of the inspections, have fully come to life.

Knowledge of business people about checklists is quite low, and they most often rely on third party knowledge, such as bookkeepers and lawyers, for example. These lists should be made accessible prior to the inspection oversight, as this would raise the role of the inspections to a much higher level. If we make these checklists more accessible, the role of the inspections would be more advisory, not only aimed at punishing business entities, participants said. Although checklists are published on inspections web sites, business people are not fully familiar with them. It would be useful to get the checklists via e-mail, as we receive inspections notice, so that we can adapt our business to the requirements of the law, the businessmen pointed out.

The experience of businessmen is that inspectors often come to unannounced visits, while joint inspections happen in rare cases. Instead inspections go to visits successively, one after another. It would be much more useful if the visits were announced and organized together with several inspections at the same time, because the business entities could prepare in advance, and such visits would be more efficient and effective, it was said at the focus group.

The duration of inspections since the has not been shortened nor extended adoption of the Law on Inspection Oversight.

The next step for the improvement of the Law on Inspection Oversight is preparation of the analysis and formulation of proposals for improvement of the Law on Inspection Oversight and its implementation, which will be prepared on the basis of opinions expressed in the focus groups, but also on the basis of findings collected from 368 questionnaires arrived from 104 cities and municipalities and 8 Republic inspections. After finalizing the analysis, it would be worthwhile to start with implementation of recommendations in order to overcome identifies shortcomings.