Business Ombudsman Council Receives 1000 Complaints from Ukrainian Entrepreneurs

The Business Ombudsman Council received its first thousand complaints from Ukrainian entrepreneurs for 14 months of its operations in Ukraine, with 455 cases successfully closed. Direct financial impact of organization employing just 15 employees amounted to UAH 3.5 bln.
Complaints came predominantly from manufacturers, wholesalers, agribusiness, and mining industry, as well as from individual entrepreneurs. Small and medium enterprises (78%) operating locally (82%) were most active in filing complaints to the BOC. The biggest part of complaints were from Kyiv, as well as Kyiv, Kharkiv, Dnipro, Odesa and Zaporizhzhya regions. The fewest complaints came from Khmelnytsky, Chernivtsi regions and the Crimea.
Interactions between business entities and fiscal agencies remain the most troublesome area. These include tax inspections, VAT electronic administration, dilatory VAT refund, as well as criminal proceedings initiated by the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine against business. The challenges that businesses face with local government agencies also remain acute. The range of questionable decisions made by these agencies includes issues revolving around land, the regulation of SMEs in the regions. Interactions with law enforcement agencies, such as excess of power during investigations and initiating criminal proceedings against business, remain the laggard in this regard. 
Among the positive trends are the decrease of complaints regarding registration of business and property rights. This can be explained by successful implementation of registration services reform. There was a decrease of complaints regarding obtaining permits and licenses.
It should be noted that the BOC’s dialogue with government agencies is rather productive: the rate of implementing BOC’s recommendations has grown from 64% in the first quarter to 70% by the end of the second quarter of 2016. For transparency of interactions during investigations and preparation of recommendations the BOC has signed six memoranda of cooperation and partnership with government agencies: the State Regulatory Service, the State Fiscal Service, the Ministry of Justice, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau, the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources, and Kyiv Municipal State Administration.
Since mid-July 7 new employees have joined the BOC’s team – highly-qualified experts with experience in commercial, corporate, tax, criminal and antimonopoly legislation. As a result of appointments the BOC’s team has grown up to 23 employees. This is first staff extension since launch of operations back in 2015. 
“Hundreds of businessmen have perceived the positive effect of dealing with us – 94% of our complainants said they are satisfied with our cooperation. Our team has grown and gained experience, so we will be able to thouroughly investigate even a bigger number of claims from Ukrainian entrepreneurs,” says Algirdas Semeta, Ukrainian Business Ombudsman.  
You can find a range of selected cases closed by the BOC in the course of the first year year of operations here: https://boi.org.ua/case-studies

Next news: ANNOUNCEMENT: On July 29, Business Ombudsman Will Present Results of Quarter II Operations