Commentary to Decree No. 376 of 16 October 2017
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko signed Decree
No.376 “On measures to improve auditing (oversight) activities” on 16
The interference of oversight
and auditing agencies in the operation of commercial entities in Belarus will be
The focus in efforts of
government agencies will be shifted to prevention. Instead of audits more
technical and verification measures will be taken. If faults are found,
punishment will not be exacted if the subject at fault fixes the
The document provides for
moving away from regular scheduled audits, which allow government inspectors to
audit a commercial entity without compelling reasons and without obvious
violations. Scheduled audits will be replaced with random checks, which allow
auditing a company only if valid reasons are available such as repeated
violations and results of a checklist analysis.
The list of reasons that can trigger unscheduled audits will be
decreased. If an unscheduled audit is authorized, the inspectors will focus only
on the specific facts and circumstances that have triggered the audit.
Inspections will no longer be triggered using
the materials that law enforcement agencies are investigating. Inspections can
be authorized only if a criminal case has been opened.
Auditors will not be able to suspend the operation of the
company being audited, its departments, plant and equipment, or manufacturing
facilities. The head of the company will be the only to decide on suspending
business operations on the basis of recommendations from the auditors. The head
of the company will bear full responsibility (including criminal responsibility)
for addressing the shortcomings the audit has revealed.
Auditors will face administrative responsibility for blatant
violations in the course of audits (failure to make a note about the audit in
the audit registry or launching an audit without valid reasons). Officials of
the auditing agency will face a fine of up to 30 base amounts for such
An interagency council will be
created under the aegis of the State Control Committee to analyze the current
state of auditing and oversight practices in Belarus. If negative trends are
detected, the council will be authorized to tell the agencies at fault to fix
their shortcomings. If the recommendations fall on deaf ears, reports will be
forwarded to the Council of Ministers and the head of state.
The institutional control system will be
reformed. These services will be repurposed to audit (analyze) and take measures
to improve the performance of enterprises and companies. In essence for
government agencies, including municipal government agencies, these services
will serve as instruments for the owner to ensure the effective operation of
The list of
auditing agencies and their spheres of interest will be optimized. One third of
the auditors will lose their power to carry out audits. The number of spheres to
audit (inspect) will be nearly halved.
The decree’s implementation is supposed to bring about a more
rational system of state oversight. It will improve the transparency component
in the operation of state auditing (oversight) agencies and will ease up the
burden of unwarranted audits for Belarusian commercial entities.