Reintroduced fuel inspection bonus pay not producing results

The reintroduction of a bonus pay system for inspectors at KEDAK, a fuel handling and storage controls authority, stopped at the beginning of 2016 and reinstated late in 2017, has done little to increase the number of checks made with the intention to clamp down on fuel smuggling and tampering activity.

A total of just 720 inspections on fuel traders were made in the first half of 2018 and a mere two offenders were reported, prompting fines totaling 126,000 euros, energy minister Giorgos Stathakis recently told parliament in response to a question by an opposition party MP.

The General Chemical State Laboratory still needs to conduct tests on seven gasoline and five diesel samples collected by KEDAK inspectors, meaning that, at best, the number of offenders in the first half of 2018 will reach 14 in total.

Head inspectors are paid 97.15 euros per in bonus money for every check conducted and their assistants receive 77.72 euros. These amounts are increased by 20 percent for inspections conducted on Sundays, after hours, and on public holidays. The bonus pay system includes a monthly limit of 300 euros per inspector.

The number of fuel inspections registered has been on a downward trajectory in recent years. A total of 4,018 inspections were made in 2014 and 1,875 in 2016. The numbers have since slid further.