AmCham Macedonia Summer 2016 (issue 50) - Page 7

COVER STORY Summer 2016 / Issue 50 inspection departments, conducting training sessions for professional development and training of inspectors, issuing and revoking inspector licenses and the implementation of an electronic system for inspection services (e-inspectorates). In the past two and a half years since its creation, the Inspections Council managed to set the foundations of the new inspection system in the country. All bylaws incorporated in the Law of Inspection Oversight were proposed by the Inspections Council. We manage registries for monitoring the work of inspectorates, we formed a group of 60 educators from among the inspectors who conduct training for 45 different types of inspectors and we successfully conducted the first inspector exams, followed by issuing the licenses to those that passed. ACM: How often do individuals and legal entities object to the work of inspectors and are these complaints substantiated? What are the main complaints of the inspected entity‘s towards inspectors? Kjoseva: The Inspection Council holds regular monthly sessions where we discuss all petitions and complaints filed by individuals and legal entities that are affected by the work of inspectors. In the past year, we reviewed 52 complaints, but in most of them, citizens complained about issues that are under the purview of the State Commission for Appeals in the field of inspection and misdemeanor proceedings; only a few of the complaints were about inspectors’ work. On the IC’s initiative and in line with the Law on Administrative Officers, we pursued disciplinary proceedings, wherever there was a reasonable suspicion of an inspector offense and also took disciplinary measures. So far, we have not revoked any inspector’s license. ACM: In your opinion, are Macedonia’s inspectorates properly equipped and staffed? Kjoseva: The IC monitors and analyzes staff and technical equipment of inspectorates and inspection services. Our analysis of staffing shows that 72% of the inspector positions have been filled so far. Realistically, we expect an increase in this percentage in the coming year, with about two hundred civil servants currently working in other jobs within the administration who have passed the inspector exam and are waiting to be reallocated to inspector posts. Most inspectorates and inspection services face problems due to inadequate technical equipment, such as a lack of vehicles and IT equipment. Though budget funds for this purpose are minimal, some inspectorates – such as the State Environmental Inspectorate – have overcome this obstacle by utilizing international grant funds. We expect this positive practice to be transferred to other inspectorates in the future. Inspectorate (16 complaints), the State Education Inspectorate (11 complaints), the State Market Inspectorate (10 complaints) and the State Inspectorate for Agriculture (5 complaints). ACM: Tell us about the USAID support you received in creating the „Manual of Inspection Methodology“. Kjoseva: USAID Macedonia recognized the importance of the reform of the inspection system conducted by IC in Macedonia and supported our work through the „Program to improve organizational operations“ as well as the „Project to promote investment and exports” within which the “Methodology for conducting inspections” was developed. The methodology is a handbook for inspectors detailing basic principles upon which modern inspection systems are based. The positive experiences and practices of these systems will be a model and framework for development of the system for inspection in Macedonia. ACM: Tell us about your personal career. What will be your personal mark on the work of the Council? Kjoseva: I am a civil engineer and I have worked both in the private and the public sector. I have been a part of the IC since its creation, first as a member of the Construction, Urban planning and Transport department. I have been the IC President for the past 11 months. I am proud that in this period we have managed to implement the first licensing of inspectors, which is an important part of the reform of the inspection system in the country. On May 19th this year, the IC granted 1,020 inspector licenses to candidates who successfully passed the inspector exam. In the upcoming period, the IC will work on the development and implementation of software solutions for inspection services to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of inspections. Also, our activities will be directed toward raising awareness among those being supervised of regulatory requirements, as well as promoting the principle of „voluntary compliance“ with the law. ACM: Which inspectorates receive the most complaints? Kjoseva: Inspectorates or inspection agencies range from those with only two working inspectors and those with over 100 inspectors. Therefore, naturally, most complaints received in 2015 are in response to the larger inspectorates such as the State Labor ACM: What is more important, increasing the number or the quality of inspections? Kjoseva: The quality of inspections is more important. Modern inspection systems recognize that it is not practical to search and punish every irregularity, because it requires a large number of inspectors and a large budget to support their work. Frequent inspections create a restrictive environment that stifles innovation and entrepreneurship. The planning of inspections should be carried out based on risk analysis, which is made by processing the available data collected in previous inspections. AMCHAM MAGAZINE 7