DABI approves putting supermarket into operation with the Council’s facilitation

Other state regulators DABI Kyiv region

Complainee: Department of the State Architectural and Construction Inspectorate in Kyiv Oblast (DABI)
Complaint in brief: The Business Ombudsman Council received a complaint from a developer, a contractor and a customer of a supermarket construction in Kyiv Oblast. DABI did not allow developers to commission a ready-made object and declared all already approved documents invalid.
The Architectural Service got interested in the facility after an NGO complained about developers. In the activists’ view, the developer violated the urban planning legislation during construction, in particular, might not have had due permits (as it turned out later, it was not true) 
Therefore, during the year DABI tried several times to conduct an unscheduled inspection of the facility, issued a series of orders to companies, fined them and eventually canceled registration of the notice of construction commencement. The Complainant insisted DABI’s orders and decisions were illegal and civil servants’ actions were unlawful. 
The Council’s investigators started working on such a controversial case.
Actions taken: Having examined the circumstances of the case and parties’ positions, the Council upheld the company. In particular, investigators found out activists’ appeal had no nitty-gritty, except for suspicion the developer might not have permits (which could be easily denied without any inspections by using the online register). The law provides for such situations and prohibits initiation of unscheduled inspections based on anonymous or other clearly unreasonable inquiries. However, supervisory authorities are usually afraid of being accused of lack of attention to activists’ complaints and proceed from the logic: “it’s better to double check” without taking into account how much inconveniences an inspection will cause to a business.
The Council’s investigators also found out DABI’s officers committed a number of procedural violations trying to conduct an unscheduled inspection. For example, the subject of inspection should have been compliance with construction law in general, not only permits availability issue activists drew attention to. The company thus had reasonable grounds to really fear activists’ appeal could be a formal pretext to apply sanctions and block construction.
A Deputy Business Ombudsman and the Council’s investigator met with the DABI top management and comprehensively discussed complaints from the developer, the contractor and the construction customer. 
Result achieved: DABI went to the extra mile and, despite some disputable issues on the object, which would be resolved in court, promised not to interfere with its putting into operation. Developers resubmitted their notice of construction works commencement and shortly afterwards – the declaration of commissioning of the ready-made facility. The documents were successfully approved and the supermarket was put into operation. The Complainants thanked the Council for their assistance in resolving the case. 

Next case:: Is your real business on a risky list? What can you do?