INSPECTION PROCEDURES IN ARMENIA TO BECOME ‘TARGETED, CLEAR AND TRANSPARENT’ – IFC
May 14, 2012 | 23:50
As a result of the introduction of a risk-based approach, inspection
procedures in Armenia will become “more targeted, clear and
transparent,” said Arsen Nazaryan, project manager of the Armenia
Investment Climate Reform Project, implemented by IFC, a member of
the World Bank Group.
The new approach groups businesses into three risk categories: high-,
moderate-, and low-risk. As a result, the number of inspections for
businesses in the low-risk category will be reduced significantly,
saving businesses’ time and resources while making the inspection
system more efficient.
“The introduction of this new approach became possible thanks to our
successful cooperation with the Ministry of Economy,” Nazaryan told
Armenian News – NEWS.am.
The project has assisted the government of Armenia in introducing the
fundamental changes needed to adopt a risk-based approach. IFC has
provided advice reflected in the amendments to Armenia’s inspections
law adopted by the government last summer.
The Armenia Investment Climate Reform Project is currently working
on simplifying and streamlining inspections conducted by agencies
such as the Food Safety Service, Sanitary-Epidemiological Service,
Fire Inspectorate and others.
There are 18 state agencies in charge of at least one type of
inspection in Armenia.
“We shared best international practices with the Inspection Reform
Coordination Council – a private-public platform established upon the
project’s recommendations, presided over by the Prime Minister. The
underlying logic of the simplification proposed by IFC is to focus
on high risk issues. For example, the Fire Inspectorate would deal
with the buildings evacuation and leave alone the toxicity of the
wall paint,” said Nazaryan.
Special checklists, which will be used by the inspecting bodies
in Armenia, are essential for conducting inspections in a more
efficient and transparent way. The project helped develop draft
checklists for the Food Safety Service, Fire Inspectorate, and
Sanitary-Epidemiological Service. Under the decision of the Inspection
Reform Coordination Council, the checklists shall be tested by initial
inspections in the state agencies. After probation, the checklists
will be adjusted, and then submitted to the government for final
approval. Development of checklists may in turn prompt relevant
recommendations for legislative changes.
“The Project also helps the mentioned inspecting bodies to draft risk
criteria and risk assessment methodologies, which along with checklists
and the inspections plan will be available for public via Internet,”
Armenia’s Tax Service has been the first agency to set an example:
its website contains the first-ever yearly inspections plan.
The first stage of IFC’s Armenia Investment Climate Reform Project
began in 2009 and targeted improvements in the areas of taxation,
trade logistics, construction permits, and business registration and
inspections. The second stage of the project has started in October
2011 and will continue until 2014. This will include a new component –
IFC’s Armenia Investment Climate Reform Project is supported with
funds from the Austrian Ministry of Finance and the Netherlands
Ministry of Foreign Affairs.