Business Ombudsman Institution may appear in Kyrgyzstan

Expert opinion.

 “For the timely and targeted protection of business interests, it is planned to introduce a business ombudsman institution,” said the Prime Minister Muhammedkaliy Abylgaziev on June 28 of this year, speaking at the next meeting of the Business Development and Investments Council under the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic.

We asked Gulnara Uskenbaeva, the President of the Suppliers Association of the Kyrgyz Republic, a member of the Advisory Board of OJSC “Guarantee Fund”, to comment on the possible appearance of a business ombudsman in Kyrgyzstan.

“The need for this institute has already appeared in our country,” says Gulnara Turarovna, “small and medium enterprises (SMEs), especially in the regions, need protection. This especially concerns inspection by some government agencies. The Prime Minister Muhammedkaliy Abylgaziev said that “an increase in the volume of investments is possible only when entrepreneurs are confident in the future, in their personal safety and business integrity, and state bodies should make maximum efforts to create favorable conditions for doing business in the country “.

Today, all entrepreneurs and the business community, in general, are waiting for concrete measures to protect the interests of entrepreneurs, to eliminate various bureaucratic obstacles hindering their successful development.

It is necessary to improve and simplify tax reporting for SMEs, transfer the relationship between business and government bodies to electronic format and reduce administrative pressure on entrepreneurs. Therefore, we, the business community, welcome the idea of ​​creating an institution of a business ombudsman in Kyrgyzstan”.

Information: According to the Internet, at present the institution of business ombudsman has been established in more than a hundred countries. In different countries, business ombudsmen have different names and differ in terms of their powers, place and role in the system of state bodies. In some states, the powers to protect the rights of entrepreneurs and business in relations with state bodies are assigned to human rights ombudsmen. Sometimes self-regulated (independent) business ombudsmen operate on the basis of unions, associations of business entities or chambers of commerce (Spain, Austria). However, in most countries, ombudsmen for the rights of entrepreneurs exist in the status of independent state bodies (officials).

In France the ombudsman institution is called Mediator, that is, the mediator (intermediary). The mediator does not advocate rights and freedoms, but “encourages” the state body to review its actions or inaction. The mediator in France is a structural unit of the Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industry. The mediator considers the complaints of entrepreneurs, following which makes recommendations aimed at improving the work of the relevant structural units of the Ministry.

In the US the Business Ombudsman Institute is part of the Small Business Administration (SBA). The National Ombudsman is appointed by the head of the SBA and is an official of this administration. A distinctive feature of the institution of the US National Ombudsman is that it deals exclusively with small business affairs. Another of its features is the presence of a regional network of offices and representative offices, which are officially called “fair regulatory enforcement in small business”.

In addition, unlike the practice of other countries, the US National Ombudsman usually does not complete the consideration of the case with recommendations to the parties. Instead, the consideration of the case ends, as a rule, with the direct response of the state body to the applicant, and the ombudsman performs the role of a “business attorney” aimed at ensuring that the matter is considered at the required level and that the principles of legality and justice are observed.

In Georgia the business ombudsman institution is called the tax ombudsman. This institute appeared due to tax reform and was established in 2011 by the Tax Code. The law states that the duties of the Ombudsman are to oversee the protection of the rights and legitimate interests of taxpayers, identify violations of rights and facilitate their recovery. This is a feature of the ombudsman institution in Georgia, which solves problems only in the field of taxation and does not deal with the resolution of other business problems.

As it can be seen from the examples given, the main functional responsibilities of business ombudsmen are related to the consideration of complaints from entrepreneurs, the issuance of opinions and the sending of recommendations to state bodies. Some business ombudsmen have the right to initiate legislation, that is, they have the right to propose to the law-making body to make changes to the current legislation in order to improve the conditions for business (Sweden). Others do not have such a right, but they can come up with proposals to improve the activities of government bodies (the United Kingdom, France).

It should be noted that business ombudsmen in all countries accept complaints only after the applicant made an attempt to resolve the disputed issue with the relevant government agency and this attempt did not lead to a satisfactory result.