Contact center for reporting shadow economy by late 2019

Shadow economy and unregistered business operations are most efficiently detected by inspections based on reports made by citizens and businesses. However, in 43 national inspections there are only seven functional contact centers, and their numbers are most commonly not adequately visible. The search for right contacts and line inspection, with common transfer of responsibility, creates additional frustrations and lack of trust in inspection oversight.

Only 26% citizens would report a facility that fails to issue a fiscal receipt, only 38% would report an employer who hires them without registration, while only one in three businesses would indicate unfair competition to inspections. The citizens do not have sufficient knowledge of regulations, so in nine out of ten cases they address the wrong inspection, which in turn do not forward the information to institutions that are actually in charge.

- The new National program for countering shadow economy stipulates the establishing of a unified contact center for all inspections, which should significantly ease the reporting and enable more efficient reactions, as seen by NALED and Fair Competition Alliance. Citizens and businesses could submit reports to the Contact center via a unified telephone number, mobile application or a web portal, simply and without the need to be strongly familiar with jurisdictions – says Dragan Penezić, Head of Legal and External Affairs in British American Tobacco, a member of Fair Competition Alliance. 

The Contact center could also be used to file a complaint regarding the work of inspectors, and the reports would serve as a basis to create a so-called Book of Inspection Practices, i.e. the records of inspectors' field activities, with the aim of harmonizing the supervision procedures and improving more than 1,000 regulations now governing the inspection oversight.

The Contact center employees would receive reports and estimate whether inspections should react. Justified assumptions for inspection would then be forwarded to line the institution, and for those who would like to receive feedback, they would be informed about the applied measures within 48 hours, and later on about the outcome of supervision.

The Contact center would be linked with the eInspector system, which is planned to network all national inspections, providing insight to all of them about the citizens' complaints about companies, employers, etc. This would ease the process of initiating supervision, or provide information about which companies stand as a risk and could be subject to inspection oversight in the future.

The Action plan for implementing the National program stipulates the establishment of a Contact center by later 2019 within the Ministry of Public Administration and Local Government. It would be managed by the Support Unit to Coordination Commission for Inspection Oversight, established by MPALG and NALED with the support of European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.