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Special Features of Usage of the DSTU 4163:2020 Standard
When cooperating with international companies, one cannot help but pay attention to the degree of meticulousness with which top managers approach professional tasks. It is necessary to review corporate approaches systematically in order to meet current regulatory requirements.
Therefore, Kateryna Malamaniuk, Lawyer of the “Prime” Law Firm, explains the basic points which the HR specialist needs to know about paperwork management and possible consequences resulting from the failure to comply with the norms of the relevant standard, with reference to judicial practice.
1) In accordance with Article 23 of paragraph 2 of the Law of Ukraine “On Standardization”, national standards and codes of established practice shall be applied on a voluntary basis, unless their mandatory application is established by regulatory legal acts.
As of the date of the request, the obligation to bring documents in accordance with the DSTU 4163:2020 “Unified System of Organizational and Administrative Documentation. Requirements for the Execution of Documents” has not been approved at the legislative level.
Paragraph 11(1) of the section “Documentation of Administrative Information” of the Rules of Organization of Paperwork Management and Archival Storage of Documents in State Bodies, Bodies of Local Government, Enterprises, Institutions and Organizations, approved by Order of the Ministry of Justice on 18 June 2015 No. 1000/5, stipulates that the design of the requisites of the organizational and administrative documentation and the order of their arrangement shall comply with the National Standard of Ukraine “State Unified System of Documentation. Unified System of Organizational and Administrative Documentation. Requirements for the Execution of Documents. DSTU 4163-2003”, approved by the Order of the State Committee of Ukraine on Technical Regulation and Consumer Policy on April 7, 2003 No. 55.
At the same time, there is currently a legal conflict due to the fact that the State Enterprise “Ukrainian Research and Training Centre for Standardization, Certification and Quality Problems” adopted Order No. 144 dated July 01, 2020, which abolished DSTU 4163-2003.
Thus, DSTU 4163-2003 is currently mandatory, but is no longer in force. Since DSTU 4163:2020 is not legally binding, there are no penalties for non-compliance.
Generally, based on the analysis of court decisions from the Unified State Register of Court Decisions, it can be concluded that enterprises are not and have not been held liable for non-compliance even under the previously effective DSTU 4163-2003.
2) In response to the question concerning the possibility of declaring a document invalid, it should be noted that, in accordance with the Rules of Organization of Paperwork Management and Archival Storage of Documents in State Bodies, Bodies of Local Government, Enterprises, Institutions and Organizations, approved by Order of the Ministry of Justice on June 18, 2015 No. 1000/5, the mandatory elements recorded in the document for its identification, organization of accounting and its legal force are the particulars of the service document.
Consequently, provided that all the mandatory particulars for such a document are specified in the service document (order), it is impossible to declare the document as not mandatory for execution.
In general, from the analysis of judicial practice, it follows that sometimes employees apply to the court with certain claims against the employer (e.g., the revocation of the order on dismissal), motivating this, among other things, by the non-conformity between the order and the provisions of the DSTU. The courts confirm the need to adhere to the DSTU in terms of including mandatory particulars in documents.
For instance, the decision of the Stryi City District Court of the Lviv Region dated October 31, 2017 in case No. 456/2563/17:
“The court does not take into account the applicant’s complaint about the failure to comply with the form of the order to impose a disciplinary sanction when drawing up the order (its execution on a sheet which is not a corporate letterhead) and the presence of personal motives of the director of the Stryi College when making an appeal because the court was not provided with any evidence to confirm such arguments. Moreover, from the analysis of this order, it appears that it contains all the mandatory particulars prescribed by paragraph 4.4. of DSTU 4163-2003.”
The decision of the Vasylkivskyi District Court of the Kyiv Region dated August 02, 2017 in case No. 362/5606/16-ц is illustrative in this matter. It states:
“Additionally, the court does not take into account the reference of the plaintiff to paragraph 5.26 of the National Standard of Ukraine DSTU 4163-2003 as the basis of violation during the preparation of documents on dismissal and the basis for declaring the dismissal illegal, since the dismissal warnings of August 03, 2016, Dismissal Order No. 52 of October 08, 2016 were issued on the letterheads of the Public Organization “SM “Hlevakha-3”, no claims were made to declare them invalid or ineffective, the court has no doubts about their validity, and the failure to comply with certain formal rules does not affect the essence of the text contained in these documents.”
As such, if all the particulars are indicated in the document, it cannot be questioned either by the regulatory authorities or by the employees themselves (as confirmed by the established judicial practice).
3) With regard to filling out the text of the document (order) by hand, the following should be noted.
According to paragraph 7.1 of section 7 “Requirements for the Execution of Documents” of DSTU 4163:2020, organizational and administrative documents shall be produced by automated and/or printed means. Certain internal documents (statements, explanatory notes and memorandums, etc.), the authors of which are officials and other individuals, can be drawn up in handwritten form.
Thus, it can be concluded that, in accordance with the requirements of DSTU 4163:2020, orders must be produced by automated and/or printed means.
However, there is no liability for non-compliance with this rule, and if the order contains all the mandatory particulars, it shall be valid.