The relevant Decree was signed by the President on March 15.
First of all, the document provides for measures to enhance the protection of the interests of entrepreneurs, namely, in the field of state control of the business. If earlier the prosecution authorities were in charge of coordinating business inspections and monitoring the legality of business activities, now this competence is transferred to the Commissioner (ombudsman) for the Protection of the Rights and Legitimate Interests of Entrepreneurs under the president. The unified system of electronic business registration, previously subordinated to the General Prosecutor's Office, is also transferred to the Ombudsman. At the same time, the decisions of the ombudsman are compulsory for the supervisory authorities. Following the principle of checks and balances, the tasks entrusted to the ombudsman should also be coordinated by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uzbekistan responsible for observing the legality of business inspections.
It is worth noting that this measure, taken with due account of the international experience, is intended both to strengthen the role of the ombudsman in the field of protecting the rights of entrepreneurs, and to optimize the activities of the prosecutor’s office by excluding the performance of tasks and functions that are not inherent thereto.
To enhance the protection of business interests and direct dialogue in the regions, the Decree provides for the introduction of regional representatives of the Office of the Commissioner for the Protection of the Rights and Legitimate Interests of Entrepreneurs operating in buildings of the national reception offices of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, as well as the creation of new regional offices under the State Tax Committee.
The main tasks of the business ombudsman include:
- monitoring compliance by supervisory authorities with the requirements of the law in the field of conducting business audits;
- consideration of the validity of applications from supervisory authorities for conducting business audits;
- taking measures to bring to responsibility the guilty officials;
- permitting or refusing to conduct business inspections, extension, and postponement of their deadlines.
In our opinion, the Decree contains effective mechanisms for ensuring greater freedom for local businesses and foreign investors. If earlier the nature of inspections had a strict vertical character, now it is acquiring elements of dialogue and mutually beneficial cooperation.