the ministry does not reduce the administrative burden sufficiently

the ministry does not reduce the administrative burden sufficiently
the ministry does not reduce the administrative burden sufficiently

The Ministry of Agriculture (ŽŪM) changes certain legal acts too often, does not sufficiently reduce the administrative burden and cooperates too little with municipalities and subordinate institutions, according to the 2020-2022 performance audit conducted by the State Audit Office. As Rasa Pupeikytė-Usačiova, the chief state auditor of the State Audit Office, explains, the legislative process of the ministry needs to be improved, for which she was given recommendations.

“After evaluating the ministry’s policy formulation, we found that the legislative process needs to be improved. Since 2014 monitoring of legal regulation was not carried out in the ministry. The Ministry did not systematize the submission of the received statements due to legal regulation problems,” said R. Pupeikytė-Usačiova last week during the meeting of the Committee on Rural Affairs, presenting the results of the audit of the Ministry of Agriculture.

As the auditor explained, the ministry often changes legislation, which negatively affects the sustainability of legislation and public trust. She gives an example – 2022. about 66 percent The rules of the rural development program were changed 2 times, and 11% rules, even 3 or 4 times.

“The Ministry points out that in most cases, the changes were of an explanatory nature and did not affect the beneficiaries or administrators. According to the auditors, the changes should be made before the application collection process starts,” she explained.

Also, according to her, the institution does not provide sufficient methodological assistance both to municipalities that have to adapt these changes, and does not set quality indicators for subordinate services.

“Two-thirds of the municipalities indicated that the methodological assistance provided to them in the administration of agricultural support measures is only partially sufficient or insufficient. It is mentioned that seminars are not always organized on time, there is a lack of practical training. Therefore, municipalities cannot provide relevant information to applicants and avoid mistakes when administering support”, explained R. Pupeikytė-Usačiova.

“Also, qualitative indicators were not established for the institutions under the ministry, the Fisheries and Plantation Services. In addition, the ministry did not provide feedback to these institutions,” she added.

The audit of the state control also showed that although the Ministry of Agriculture takes measures to reduce the administrative burden, it is not enough, and it does not accumulate and systematize the proposals received from the Agricultural Associations. According to the institution, 88 percent associations consider the administrative burden too high.

The Chief Auditor also mentioned that in 2020-2023 during the period, less than 5% declared agricultural land and crops independently through the electronic government portal. of all applicants. According to her, the ministry has not assessed the complexity of the declaration.

“The Ministry has not conducted an assessment to assess the difficulties of declaration and is not taking steps to improve this system, which would help reduce the administrative burden,” she explained.

Also, according to her, the audit showed that social partners are included in only 38% of cases. The activities of the working groups formed by the Ministry of Economy, and the activities of the groups related to policy formation are not made public to the partners. In addition, according to her, there are no established criteria that would determine when and which social partners would be included in working groups.

“The European Commission recommends involving the social partners in the early stages of the policy-making process,” she mentioned.

Data from the National Audit Office also show that ŽűM did not reach an average of one-fifth in 2020-2022. indicators of continuous activity goals, and in 2022 in almost a third of cases, the reasons for this are not specified.

Based on such audit results, the State Commission submitted 7 recommendations. They ask to improve the analysis of the reasons for non-implementation of indicators, to encourage farmers to insure crops, to improve the provision of methodological assistance measures to municipalities. Also, assess and reduce the administrative burden, improve the crop declaration system, improve cooperation with social partners and subordinate institutions.

The article is in Lithuanian

Tags: ministry reduce administrative burden sufficiently


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