Autokurtas, a heavy-duty vehicle repair company, has been awarded with the transparent business mark Clear Wave. It is the first time when the appreciation of resistance to shadow economy and unfair business practices was given to a motor service company. The company emphasises that this demonstration of trust is important not only for Autokurtas, but also for the entire sector, which is still often associated with shadow economy.
“The vehicle repair and maintenance sector is still viewed as one of the most non-transparent in Lithuania. Heavy taxes of wages, environmental and safety requirements or other tax obligations are often mentioned for justification. Shadow economy results in a lower quality of services, distortion of the competitive environment and prevents business from contributing to the well-being of society. Therefore, the appreciation given to Autokurtas is a first step towards change, which may inspire other motor service centres to declare transparency,” says Arvydas Saročka, who is currently the acting director of Autokurtas.
He adds that a medium for fraudulent activities is also created by cash settlements, which is still a frequent practice, so the company plans to abandon such payments from the beginning of next year.
Every company wishing to receive the Clear Wave mark is to undergo a comprehensive inspection process consisting of recommendations from the State Tax Inspectorate, the State Labour Inspectorate, the Special Investigations Service and CreditInfo. Statements made by the company’s representatives in the public space, the values declared by the business and the principles of work are also taken into consideration.
Ieva Lapeikienė, the leader of the initiative, is glad that Autokurtas has voluntarily expressed its desire to join the initiative and receive a transparency mark.
“Having decided to join the initiative, a company undertakes to apply different operating principles and set higher transparency standards. Furthermore, if business adheres to ethical norms and all the requirements, it can apply its energy and potential to what is really important: creativity, innovation and the provision of highest-quality services. We are glad that more and more companies are voluntarily expressing their desire to be audited,” she says.
Autokurtas, which has been carrying out its activities for more than two decades, is engaged in the repair and comprehensive maintenance of all makes of tractors, trucks and other heavy-duty vehicles as well as the sale of truck parts. The company, which became the official representative of Ford Trucks in Lithuania last year, operates one of the largest heavy-duty vehicle service networks, and its customers include logistics, production, and trade companies as well as state institutions. Units of Autokurtas operating in four major cities of the country repair over a thousand commercial vehicles every month. The Clear Wave initiative aims to create a transparent business environment based on the principles of fair competition and a responsible and respectful relationship with employees, customers, partners and the state. Companies that have been awarded with the Clear Wave mark undertake to participate in public procurement procedures in a transparent manner, to comply with the laws of the Republic of Lithuania, to pay all established taxes and to settle fairly with their employees.