“The third quarter has become a record one for us” – Business Ombudsman Algirdas Semeta

In Quarter III 2017, the Business Ombudsman Council received a record number of complaints since launch of operations – 408 – and closed the biggest number of investigations – 214. The financial impact of the Council’s work exceeded UAH 10.4 billion for 2.5 years of activities. 98% of complainants are satisfied with the results of dealing with the Council.
91% of all complaints received by the Council concerned tax and customs issues (65%), actions of law enforcement agencies (12%), state regulators (8%) and local councils and municipalities (6%). The number of complaints concerning dilatory VAT refund, a common problem of previous periods, has decreased more than twice in comparison with the previous quarter.
Following the bulk of complaints regarding tax invoices suspension (40% in the total amount of complaints), certain changes in the complainant’s portrait were observed. The share of small and medium enterprises increased by 11 percentage points (up to 74%), while the share of Ukrainian companies increased by 10 percentage points (up to 82%). Wholesalers and distributors, manufacturers and agrarians submitted the biggest number of complaints. Meanwhile, since the beginning of the year, a steady increase in appeals from large and foreign businesses has been recorded. The most active regions were Kyiv (157 complaints), Dnipro (40), Kharkiv (35), Kyiv (32) and Odesa (23) regions.
Cooperation with government agencies remained effective – by the end of the reporting quarter, government agencies implemented 87% of recommendations provided by the Council. Also, the Business Ombudsman Council signed a memorandum of partnership with the State Security Service of Ukraine.
Eight new employees – highly qualified professionals with experience in law, economics, auditing and risk management – joined the Council’s team. Now there are 30 experts in the Business Ombudsman’s team.
“The reporting quarter has become a record one for us by many indicators: the number of complaints received and cases closed, the timeliness of conducting investigations. We strongly commit to working at the same fast pace and serving the legitimate interests of Ukrainian businesses,” says Algirdas Semeta, the Business Ombudsman.
The Business Ombudsman Council continued to develop the Ukrainian Network of Integrity and Compliance, a new initiative for responsible business, presented jointly with EBRD and OECD this May. In early October, its Founding Meeting took place, when the Network officially launched its operations.
Full versions of the quarterly report in Ukrainian and English are available on the BOC’s website: https://boi.org.ua/en/reports-categories/quarterly-reports/

Next news: CMU approved the Draft Law “On Introducing Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts Aimed at Preventing Pressure of Law Enforcement Bodies on Business”