The best results in introducing the risk-oriented approach are being demonstrated by the Russian Civil Defence, Emergencies and Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disasters Ministry

19 april 2017

"The ministries and agencies that have introduced the risk-oriented approach in their work have already achieved some tangible results such as a decrease in the number of scheduled audits and a shift towards other methods of working with the organizations they supervise," said Mikhail Abyzov, a Russian Federation Minister, as he opened a seminar titled Determinig criteria for classifying activities of legal bodies and self-employed entrepreneurs to specific risk categories or hazard classes.

Mr. Abyzov noted that in 2016 the Emergencies Ministry conducted 36% less scheduled audits, while in the audit program announced for 2017 it reduced the number of scheduled audits from 140 to 98.

Risks are constantly changing with new ones appearing in new areas, so the participants in the reform are not interested in developing a rigid system to be adopted once and for all. "If we realize that the model for identifying high risks is not working, we are going to change it," Mr. Abyzov explained. "This is called a dynamic model, which means that the criteria for assigning specific risk categories to specific organizations are going to be constantly changing." The minister believes work should be organized in the following way: review the available statistics, analyze the criteria for assigning risks and categories of audited organizations, and change them if necessary.

"Risks represent factors that affect the overall monitoring and supervision function, the organization's internal operations, the motivations of the staff, the number of audits and efficiency estimates. So what we are doing now is laying the foundation and even the smallest mistake can cause everything we do later on to collapse," believes Savva Shipov, Deputy Minister for Economic Development of Russia. The minister reminded those present about the strict deadlines they were facing: the ministries must submit their documents to the Ministry of Justice by April 24 and by May 15 an agreed resolution needs to be presented on the division of monitoring and supervision functions and on the organizational structure to support the monitoring and supervision activities. So far it is only the Russian Emergencies Ministry that has hit all these targets, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Healthcare Supervision Service are close to completion. Mr. Shipov noted that it was extremely important not to omit the stage of expert consultations, as experts are supposed to offer their comments and endorse the document.

One of the main problems that the ministries are still facing is the low level of cooperation between federal executive bodies, Mr. Shipov believes. "Ministries and agencies need to hold internal meetings on a weekly basis to discuss what has been done so far and where to go from there. The head of the organization must be interested in this work," the deputy minister believes. Another problem, according to Mr. Shipov, is that the document is very poorly prepared from the legal standpoint: It is not enough to simply figure out the criteria and offer justification for them, everything must also be written in a legally correct language, he is convinced.

The participants in the discussion praised the work done by the Ministry of the Economic Development of the Russian Federation, noting that the ministry never lets through documents that fail to meet the fundamental requirements. Representatives of the Emergencies Ministry of Russia, the Healthcare Supervision Service and the Transport Supervision Service talked about the difficulties they ran into when identifying the risk criteria and categories and made recommendations for their colleagues in the agencies and ministries that have yet to start this work.

Aleksey Sokhnev, Head of projects at the "Forum" Analytical Center, believes it is important to track the number of organizations that end up in various risk categories. The share of such organizations must match the target indicators based on the findings of several ministries and agencies, the expert believes. "The decisions about which risk category to put a company in must be based on damage statistics; however, in practice, most federal authorities do not have access to this kind of statistics," Mr. Sokhnev said. "In other countries the standard practice is to assign risks based on potential estimated damages, while in Russia, government officials often look at the track record of violations."

The event was held as part of the implementation of the Reform of the Monitoring and Supervision Activities as well as the implementation of Clause 10 of Meeting Minutes #AM-P36-25pr dated 14-15 March 2017.