Alyaksandr Lukashenka on October 16 signed a presidential edict that puts limits on the frequency and duration of audits and inspections of economic entities.
According to the presidential press office, the edict contains a list of all existing inspection and audit agencies and bans other agencies from conducting inspections and audits.
The edict also introduces a moratorium on audits of newly started businesses in the first two years.
The edict divides all economic entities into high-, medium- and low-risk groups depending on the probability of irregularities. Entities in the high-risk group may be audited no more frequently than once a year, entities in the medium-risk group no more frequently than once in three years, and those belonging to the low-risk group no more frequently than once in five years.
If an audit of an entity of the high-risk group finds no irregularities and violations, the next audit may be conducted no earlier than after two years. If no irregularities are found with an entity of the medium-risk group, the next audit may be conducted no earlier than after five years.
An audit of a company may not last more than 30 working days, and an audit of a small business owner with sole entrepreneur status may last no more than 15 working days.
The edict also imposes restrictions on raids and inspections. Only eight agencies have the right to make raids and inspections and the purposes of such raids and inspections may not be other than those specified in the edict.
Officials ordering an audit or an inspection without valid reasons may be punished with dismissal. Ordering an audit out of selfish or personal motives may entail criminal prosecution and the audit itself will be declared illegal.