What are the results of the control and supervision reform over the last 10 years and what are the prospects for further improvement of legislation in this area? How has the approved model of oversight activities changed with the adoption of the Law on State Control? How is the system of pre-trial appeals against decisions of control and oversight bodies being implemented? These issues were discussed by the participants in the panel session titled “The Guillotine and Oversight Reform: Results and an Outlook” on the second day of the Gaidar Forum 2021.
For several years now, Russia has been going through an oversight reform aimed at revising and abolishing regulations that have a negative effect on the overall business climate and regulatory environment. The updated requirements, informally called the “regulatory guillotine”, came into force on 1 January 2021, as instructed by the President.
The discussion was attended by Dmitry Grigorenko, deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation and Chief of the Government Staff; Sergey Katyrin, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation; Marina Bludyan, First Vice President of the All-Russian Public Organization for Small and Medium Business “OPORA ROSSII”; and Vladimir Vlasov, General Director of Roads and Bridges JSC.
The discussion was moderated by Sergey Katyrin, who noted that the reform had been implemented quite successfully. “In my opinion, it was a titanic job, which was appreciated by the businesses, because all the government’s work was conducted in parallel with the private sector,” he stressed.
The cooperation resulted in a thorough update of the legal framework. “More than 12 thousand regulatory documents were abolished. <...> Out of these 12 thousand, almost 9 thousand originated back from the Soviet times”, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Grigorenko shared the statistics. “Not only is it important that the President has given the go-ahead for the work, but he also set a specific deadline for its completion – 1 January 2021,” he said.
Given that 2020 had been quite a challenging year, the impact of these changes may be delayed. The greatest effect of the reform is seen in the construction industry, which has not stopped during the crisis because “simplifying the procedures allowed a reduction of the construction costs and accelerated the documentation-related procedures in the construction industry,” Mr. Grigorenko said. Updating sanitary regulations and standards has been an equally challenging task.
The “guillotine” work has been performed at a grand scale indeed. “One-third of the requirements have been eliminated as excessive and duplicative, and the other two thirds have been brought up to date. This component is even more important, as these are the requirements the businesses will have to live with”, Deputy Prime Minister said. According to Grigorenko, the regulations currently in force are in fact “agreements between the state and business” outlining the rules for various activities.
In the course of reform preparation, 43 working groups in different areas were established, which included representatives of respective executive authorities and business circles. The groups held more than 1,500 meetings in 2020 alone, according to Mr. Grigorenko.
The importance of broad engagement of entrepreneurial and expert communities in the regulatory update work was also noted by Marina Bludyan, First Vice-President of the All-Russian Public Organization of Small and Medium Entrepreneurship “OPORA RUSSIA”. “The ice has broken in the relationship between the businesses and the government. We learned to work together,” she affirmed. Bludyan also noted the quality of the organizational procedures, unprecedented pace of work, the principled position in the consideration of regulations containing mandatory requirements.
Vladimir Vlasov, General Director of Roads and Bridges JSC noted positive dynamics of the changes for the transport construction industry. “It is already evident that a number of immediate obstacles have been lifted. However, as far as we can see, the situation has not yet changed,” he said. According to Mr. Vlasov, it is important to make the transition from targeted actions to systemic ones, defining the final target against which all the “guillotine” actions would be measured. It is necessary to formulate a targeted regulatory model, and to actively involve representatives of leading design institutes not only in “guillotining”, but also in the development of new regulations, he believes.
Speaking about the future, Dmitry Grigorenko noted that the work is not over yet, and cited the example of a new rule that provides for regular review of the mandatory requirements. “This is a very important norm, because the state actually commits to review and update the existing rules and requirements every six years,” Grigorenko said.
In his opinion, the work format established in the course of the reform is effective, first of all, because it involved a review of every legal norm that exists in the state as part of the work guillotining procedure. “We believe that it is necessary to keep the mechanism in place, and moreover, apply it not only to the oversight activities but generally, as we use the process for any documents being adopted by the government”, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation said about the prospects of using the experience gained.
Dmitry Grigorenko singled out unification of inspection rules and procedures, fixing the term for periodic review of the regulations, setting uniform deadlines for enactment of mandatory requirements (a minimum of 90 days), as well as coordination of unscheduled inspections with the General Prosecutor’s Office and the emergence of a transparent mechanism for pre-trial appeal, and a direct legal rule stating that prevention of violations prevails over inspection. “Any inspector, any oversight agency, even when going out to inspect a business, they must always have traces and explanations of the cause and effect in numbers, pieces, units, as to why it chose to inspect,” he explained.
The Gaidar Forum “Russia and the World After the Pandemic” will be held on January 14 and 15 at the Presidential Academy. The Forum will traditionally open the annual business agenda of Russia. In 2021, this large-scale event will be held in a hybrid format, both online and offline.
This time, the main discussion track will be social and economic transformations that have occurred in the country and the world as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The expert discussions will be focused on the national and global development goals and the search for practical solutions to the most urgent challenges of today. The Forum’s participants include ministers from the Russian Government, members of the Federal Assembly, governors of the Russian regions, largest world experts, representatives of foreign states.
The general partners of the Gaidar Forum are Gazprom PJSC and Gazprombank JSC.
The strategic partners are Russian Railways OJSC, Johnson&Johnson, ACIG Group, Novartis.
The partner of the forum is MasterCard, Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF)
The discussion partners are Magnit, Pepsi, Huawei, Coca-Cola, AstraZeneca, Takeda, EY.
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