The Embassy of the Kingdom of Norway, in cooperation with NALED and the Ministry of State Administration and Local Government (MSALG), provided masks, gloves, visors and disinfectants for 620 inspectors of the Market, Sanitary, Health Inspectorate and the Labor Inspectorate, in order to protect them more effectively during oversight due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The donation was handed over at the ceremony together with Minister Branko Ruzic and is part of the support within the Strengthening inspection, administrative and judicial supervision project funded by the Norwegian Embassy and implemented by NALED in cooperation with the MSALG.
- The COVID-19 pandemic presented us with a new, extraordinary task of cooperation between businesses and inspections in order to preserve public health and market stability. Since mid-March, inspections have carried out about 269,000 oversights, which is more than in the regular state. The biggest burden was borne by the inspections to which we deliver protective equipment today, and I thank them for taking care of the health of all of us and the market stability and supply - said the Minister of State Administration and Local Government, Branko Ružić.
According to him, on March 25, the Ministry, in cooperation with the EBRD and NALED, established the Contact Center for National-Level Inspections, to which citizens and businesses sent more than 3,000 reports of food and medical equipment price gouging, as well as in the field of labor. The Minister pointed out that irregularities were found in only 12% of the reports, which speaks of the high conscientiousness of our businesses.
- After this pandemic and through our future joint activities, I am convinced that both citizens and businesses will be more aware of the importance of inspectors, who work in the interest of the society as a whole. We would like inspectors in Serbia to be equally respected as inspectors in Norway, because they really deserve it, especially after their immense contribution in the fight against COVID-19. That is why we are excited about the planned opening of 1,200 new jobs for inspectors in the next three years. I am glad that the inspections changed their approach and that they acted preventively during the state of emergency, and during situations like this one, it is clear that repressive mechanisms should be a thing of the past - said Norwegian Ambassador Jern Eugen Gjelstad, thanking the inspectors for contributing to the preservation of market stability and public heath during the state of emergency.
Igor Lončarević, Vice President of NALED's Fair Competition Alliance and a partner in KPMG, points out the strengthening of trust between citizens and businesses as the project’s important contribution, since inspection bodies increasingly are perceived as the most responsible for countering shadow economy. This is evidenced by more than 3,000 reports submitted to the Contact Center for National-Level Inspections, just a month after its launch.
- Through amendments to the Law on Inspection Supervision, and the following training of about 400 inspectors, preparation of almost 100 opinions and explanations for the implementaion of regulations and 55 model forms used by inspectors during and after supervision, we have significantly reduced the possibility of making mistakes and improved their efficiency. This allowed us to reduce the number of annulled inspectors’ decisions after appeals by 20% and appeal resolution alone is twice as fast as before the start of the project. More importantly, the inspection practice is uniform on a large number of issues, which means that businesspersons know in advance what they can expect during the inspector's visit – Lončarević said.
In the next project phase, the emphasis will be on reorganizing the inspection system in order to merge inspections with the related scope of work into inspectorates, strengthen the position, professionalism and independence of inspectors, as well as improve the inspectors' performance evaluation. There will be continuous work on strengthening cooperation and dialogue between the businesses, regulators and inspections.
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