02.02.2018

“In 2017, we reached a new level of effectiveness,” says Business Ombudsman Algirdas Semeta

In 2017, the Business Ombudsman Council received 1638 complaints from entrepreneurs from all oblasts of Ukraine and closed 1042 investigations — twice as many as in 2016. State bodies implemented 91% of Council’s recommendations. The vast majority of complainants – 97% – expressed satisfaction with the work of the Business Ombudsman Council team.
“In 2017, we reached a new level of effectiveness,” said Business Ombudsman Semeta during a press conference in Kyiv on February 2. “Since the launch of operations, our financial result for business exceeded UAH 11.3 bln. We are proud of the Business Ombudsman Council’s achievements last year and keenly anticipate the work we will do this business season.”
The most common complaints were about the actions of fiscal agencies (61%). Considerably behind them came law enforcement agencies (12%), state regulators (9%), local authorities (5%), and customs officials (3%). Altogether, these agencies accounted for 90% of all appeals. 
Almost three quarters of complaints were lodged by small and medium-sized businesses. The share of Ukrainian business in total appeals was 82%. Among the most active industries that contacted the Business Ombudsman were wholesalers (30%), manufacturers (15%), agri-business (10%), property developers (8%), and private entrepreneurs (6%).
Over one third of complaints originated in Kyiv, but the share of complaints from the capital, which accounted for almost a half in 2016, is gradually decreasing in favor of regions. The most complaints lodged came Dnipropetrovsk (8%), Odesa (8%), Kyiv (7%) and Kharkiv (7%) Oblasts.
The Business Ombudsman Council signed a memorandum on cooperation with the Security Service of Ukraine. This is already the ninth document on partnership between the institution and state bodies.
In 2017, the Council paid special attention to implementing systemic recommendations. The BOC took an active part in the development of a bill known as #MaskShowStop, working jointly with the Prime-Minister’s team and with the Ministry of Justice, UkraineInvest and leading Ukrainian business associations. This document ensures implementation of the vast majority of recommendations from the institution’s systemic report on the abuse of law enforcement agencies when dealing with the business.
The Council prepared 2 packages of systemic recommendations to the Government on combating raidership and challenges for business in dealing with local councils.
During this year, 11 new employees joined the Council’s staff, expanding the team to 32 specialists.
In 2017, the Business Ombudsman Council jointly with the EBRD and OECD initiated the Ukrainian Network of Integrity and Compliance (UNIC). The key objective of the network is to unite businesses that want to work transparently. The UNIC currently embraces more than 55 companies from 46 cities across Ukraine.
The Q4 report and summary for 2017 are available upon the link.