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Georgia

Introduction of electronic licensing system in the field of natural resources application (GE0044)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Georgia National Action Plan 2016-2018

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: LEPL – National Environment Agency, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection of Georgia

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, E-Government, Extractive Industries, Public Service Delivery, Records Management

IRM Review

IRM Report: Georgia Mid-Term Report 2016-2018

Starred: No

Early Results: Marginal Marginal

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Introduction of electronic licensing system in the field of natural resources application. Currently, issuance of licenses for using natural resources (except for oil and natural gas) are only partially electonized by the National Environment Agency. A licensee is only able to participate in the auction through electronic means. A citizen who is willing to obtain a license and/or receive any other paid services outside the auction, within the auction or afterwards, must complete additional paperwork (for example, submission of an application and other accompanying documents, the owner’s consent and decision, statistical form, etc.) before and after the auction. This process requires additional time and financial resources both for the citizen and the agency. Sorting and analyzing information received non-electronically is another complication. The current liscensing system is problematic because it is important to distribute high quality information in a timely fashion not only for formation of the database, but to deliver virious services promptly for the the licensees, license seekers, public structures and other stakeholders. Through this commitment, the National Environment Agency shall issue licenses and render other paid services entirely in an electronic manner. The new electronic system allows for documents pertaining to the licensing field to be available electronically. As a result, the agency will be able to sort and form the statistical database of collected information in a much more efficient manner. The system will ensure prompt, high-quality delivery of the processed information. Furthermore, the customer will have simplified access to any public information (statistics, online map of resources, guidebook, etc.) available in the licensing field. It is important that and the licensees will be able to contact and share information with one another. Date of implementation: 2016-2017 Issues to be Addressed: Issuance of licenses and other type of services are only partially electronized. Most of the documents are available as hard copies which complicates the process and requires more time, additional financial and human resources. Main Objective: - Improvement of services - Simplification of relations between the government and the citizen - Avoiding risks of corruption - Optimization of human resource application - More transparency during the service delivery

IRM Midterm Status Summary

3. Introduction of electronic licensing system in the field of natural resource application

Commitment Text:

Currently, issuance of licenses for using natural resources (except for oil and natural gas) are only partially electronized by the National Environment Agency. A licensee is only able to participate in the auction through electronic means.

A citizen who is willing to obtain a license and/or receive any other paid services outside the auction, within the auction or afterwards, must complete additional paperwork (for example, submission of an application and other accompanying documents, the owner’s consent and decision, statistical form, etc.) before and after the auction. This process requires additional time and financial resources both for the citizen and the agency. Sorting and analyzing information received non-electronically is another complication. The current liscensing system is problematic because it is important to distribute high quality information in a timely fashion not only for formation of the database, but to deliver virious services promptly for the the licensees, license seekers, public structures and other stakeholders.

Through this commitment, the National Environment Agency shall issue licenses and render other paid services entirely in an electronic manner. The new electronic system allows for documents pertaining to the licensing field to be available electronically. As a result, the agency will be able to sort and form the statistical database of collected information in a much more efficient manner. The system will ensure prompt, high-quality delivery of the processed information. Furthermore, the customer will have simplified access to any public information (statistics, online map of resources, guidebook, etc.) available in the licensing field. It is important that and the licensees will be able to contact and share information with one another.

Responsible institution: LEPL – National Evironment Agency, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection of Georgia

Supporting institution(s): None

Start date: December 2015

End date: December 2017

Context and Objectives

Investors in Georgia have faced difficulties in obtaining licenses from the National Environment Agency for using natural resources. There is a significant amount of paperwork to do, and the process drags. This commitment aims to expedite the processing of licensing documentation by introducing an electronic licensing system.

Currently, most requests for licenses concern the exploitation of sand, gravel, and water. Prior to developing this commitment, the National Environmental Agency conducted numerous focus groups with large and small enterprises, most of whom asked for the creation of the electronic licensing system. As part of the consultation process, the Agency also met with key CSOs in the field, such as the Green Alternative and the Caucasus Environmental NGO Network (CENN), who provided positive feedback on the commitment.[1]

The new system represents a positive but minor step in improving the licensing procedures in the field of natural resources. The new system would allow investors to register online with a username and a password and create personal pages containing all relevant information that they exchange with the National Environment Agency. The system will use the same model as the Revenue Service website, rs.ge, which contains personalized information exchanged between the Service and the taxpayers. The new electronic licensing portal will also include publicly available information, such as statistics on the number of licenses issued, characteristics of the licensed objects, an online map of resources, and guidebooks.[2] Therefore this commitment is relevant to advancing the OGP value of access to information.

Completion

At the midterm point, the commitment’s implementation is limited. The Agency representative noted that the first phase, including analyzing business processes, was successfully completed in June 2017. However, at the next stage, the Agency came up with two new ideas that turned out to be more challenging to implement: 1) integrating the Environmental Supervision Department into the new system to monitor how the licensees are implementing their obligations; and 2) developing more robust electronic modules in the field of mineral resources application. The Agency’s IT specialists are currently analyzing whether it is possible to add these two components to the system, which might result in a delay in implementation.[3]

Next Steps

Stakeholders commended the government’s decision to expand the OGP action plan to cover the area of environment and natural resources, especially if it would allow citizens to have access to statistics, online maps, and guidebooks on the licensing of natural resources. They also agreed that digitizing the process of issuing licenses in natural resources application would improve relations between the National Environment Agency and the investors while making it easier for the latter to apply for relevant licenses.[4]

That said, stakeholders had numerous recommendations for increasing transparency in the management of natural resources:

  • Specifically, citizens should be involved in decision-making over the selection of natural resources that need to be auctioned from the very beginning and not at a later stage when the resource is already auctioned and the license for its exploitation is already granted. This means that the government should publish the information about the planned licensing and explain its benefits to the public prior to proceeding to the auctioning process.
  • Secondly, all reports on how the companies are fulfilling their licensing terms should be proactively published. Currently, most of this information is closed under the commercial secrecy rules. The Green Alternative appealed to the Constitutional Court to declassify this and all other information concerning the environment based on public administrative proceedings.[5] Therefore, it is important that the new online licensing system operates under the principles of transparency and accountability set by the Environmental Assessment Code.[6]
  • According to stakeholders, the new system should also cover other types of natural resources, such as the forest and the land. For instance, given that 35–40 percent of Georgian territory is comprised of forests, there should also be an online portal for forest management, including the component of public monitoring.[7] Further, in accordance with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) guidelines on land tenure, the government should consider land as a natural resource and apply internationally recognized protection standards for its exploitation.[8]

[1] Elene Kemashvili, Head of the Systemic Management Service at Strategic Planning and Systemic Management Department of National Environment Agency, interview with IRM researcher, 10 August 2017.

[2] Kemashvili, interview, August 2017.

[3] Kemashvili, interview, August 2017.

[4] Nino Antadze, Energy and Environment Team Leader at United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), interview with IRM researcher, 14 August 2017.

[5] Keti Gujaraidze, Policy Analyst at Green Alternative, interview with IRM researcher, 9 August 2017.

[6] Environmental Assessment Code, 2017, http://bit.ly/2xdr4Vy.

[7] Rezo Getiashvili, Environmental Projects Coordinator at Caucasus Environmental NGO Network (CENN), interview with IRM researcher, 11 August 2017.

[8] Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security, Rome, 2012, see here: http://bit.ly/1lZY3gX.


Georgia's Commitments

  1. improved public services

    GE0066, 2018, Capacity Building

  2. citizen engagement platform

    GE0067, 2018, Capacity Building

  3. unified authentication system

    GE0068, 2018, E-Government

  4. economic governance

    GE0069, 2018, E-Government

  5. environment portal

    GE0070, 2018, E-Government

  6. strengthen anti-corruption institutions

    GE0071, 2018, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  7. Monitor SDGs

    GE0072, 2018, Capacity Building

  8. citizen engagement legislation

    GE0073, 2018, Legislation & Regulation

  9. publish court decisions

    GE0074, 2018, E-Government

  10. Increasing transparency of the Ministry of Internal Affairs

    GE0075, 2018, E-Government

  11. citizen participation in public finance

    GE0076, 2018, Audits and Controls

  12. transparent public funding system

    GE0077, 2018, Fiscal Transparency

  13. public procurement improvements

    GE0078, 2018, E-Government

  14. housing policy planning

    GE0079, 2018, Land & Spatial Planning

  15. Openness and accountability of state-owned enterprises

    GE0080, 2018, E-Government

  16. transparency and good governance

    GE0081, 2018, Legislation & Regulation

  17. open data collection and publication

    GE0082, 2018, E-Government

  18. participation for disabled individuals

    GE0083, 2018, Infrastructure & Transport

  19. Participatory budgeting

    GE0084, 2018, Capacity Building

  20. Your idea for the Zugdidi Mayor

    GE0085, 2018, Capacity Building

  21. electronic services

    GE0086, 2018, E-Government

  22. I. Gov. Zugdidi

    GE0087, 2018, Capacity Building

  23. service and citizen satisfaction assessment

    GE0088, 2018, Capacity Building

  24. Promoting and Monitoring SDGs

    GE0089, 2018, Legislature

  25. Citizen involvement in budget

    GE0090, 2018, E-Government

  26. Technology for Transparency

    GE0091, 2018, E-Government

  27. Citizen Engagement Center

    GE0092, 2018, Capacity Building

  28. Raising Public Awareness about Parliamentary Democracy

    GE0093, 2018, E-Government

  29. Electronic innovations for more transparency and efficiency of Public Procurement

    GE0056, 2016, Capacity Building

  30. Starred commitment Adoption of the Environmental Assessment Code

    GE0057, 2016, Capacity Building

  31. Introduction of a mobile app as an alternative channel to connect to “112”

    GE0058, 2016, E-Government

  32. Development of local councils for crime prevention

    GE0059, 2016, Public Service Delivery

  33. Development of a Guidebook for Economic Agents

    GE0060, 2016, Capacity Building

  34. Development and introduction of the quality control program of commercial service

    GE0061, 2016, Capacity Building

  35. Presentation of company reports in an electronic form and provision of their accessibility

    GE0062, 2016, Capacity Building

  36. Introduction of an electronic petition portal and “Zugdidi-INFO” on the webpage of Zugdidi Municipality Assembly

    GE0063, 2016, Capacity Building

  37. Transparency of Ozurgeti Municipality Assembly meetings

    GE0064, 2016, Capacity Building

  38. Creation of Electronic Mechanism for Local Budget Planning in Kutaisi, Ozurgeti, Batumi and Akhaltsikhe

    GE0065, 2016, E-Government

  39. Adapting the Public Service Hall to the needs of the people with disabilities

    GE0042, 2016, Capacity Building

  40. Launch of the unified healthcare system information portal

    GE0043, 2016, Capacity Building

  41. Introduction of electronic licensing system in the field of natural resources application

    GE0044, 2016, Capacity Building

  42. Creation of spatial (Geographic) data web-portal for the energy sector

    GE0045, 2016, Capacity Building

  43. Creation of innovation ecosystem

    GE0046, 2016, Capacity Building

  44. Electronic portal for registering and disposal of State Property – Customer’s Module

    GE0047, 2016, E-Government

  45. Development of the Freedom of Information Law

    GE0048, 2016, Legislation & Regulation

  46. Development of a monitoring and assessment system of the Government policy and legislative acts

    GE0049, 2016, Capacity Building

  47. Starred commitment Introduction of the public officials’ asset declarations monitoring system

    GE0050, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  48. Establishing unified regulations to publish court decisions

    GE0051, 2016, Judiciary

  49. Development of transparency and integrity strategy and action plan in the field of regional development and infrastructure

    GE0052, 2016, Capacity Building

  50. Improvement of the database of the convicted and transfer of the penitentiary department entirely onto the electronic workflow management

    GE0053, 2016, Capacity Building

  51. Publication of phone tapping data according to the nature of the crime and geographic area

    GE0054, 2016, E-Government

  52. Starred commitment Increasing citizen participation in supervision of public finances (Public Audit)

    GE0055, 2016, Capacity Building

  53. "Voice of the Consumer"

    GE0013, 2014, Public Participation

  54. JUSTdrive

    GE0014, 2014, Public Service Delivery

  55. Educational services

    GE0015, 2014, Public Service Delivery

  56. Citizen's Portal (www.mygov.ge)

    GE0016, 2014, Capacity Building

  57. Transformation of public libraries for regional development

    GE0017, 2014, Capacity Building

  58. Digital signature and online authentication

    GE0018, 2014, E-Government

  59. Open data portal (data.gov.ge)

    GE0019, 2014, E-Government

  60. Freedom of information act (FoIA) draft

    GE0020, 2014, Legislation & Regulation

  61. Georgia's OGP forum

    GE0021, 2014, OGP

  62. I-Change.ge

    GE0022, 2014, E-Government

  63. Transparency of public service recruitment

    GE0023, 2014, E-Government

  64. Asset declaration monitoring system

    GE0024, 2014, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  65. Starred commitment Political party financial declarations

    GE0025, 2014, E-Government

  66. Accessibility of Ministry of Interior's webpage to people with special needs

    GE0026, 2014, E-Government

  67. Starred commitment Proactive publishing of surveillance data

    GE0027, 2014, Civic Space

  68. Public awareness of the electoral process

    GE0028, 2014, Capacity Building

  69. Transparency of budgetary processes

    GE0029, 2014, E-Government

  70. Electronic system of procurement

    GE0030, 2014, E-Government

  71. Digital human resource management system

    GE0031, 2014, E-Government

  72. Digital preservation system: E-archive

    GE0032, 2014, E-Government

  73. Openness and accessibility of national archives

    GE0033, 2014, E-Government

  74. Electronic catalogues of Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) archives

    GE0034, 2014, E-Government

  75. Public finance management system

    GE0035, 2014, E-Government

  76. Alternative channels to "112"

    GE0036, 2014, E-Government

  77. Interactive statistics and crime mapping

    GE0037, 2014, E-Government

  78. Travel insurance services

    GE0038, 2014, Citizenship and Immigration

  79. State property registration

    GE0039, 2014, Public Service Delivery

  80. Development of community centers in Georgia

    GE0040, 2014, E-Government

  81. Introduction of e-governance in local self-governments

    GE0041, 2014, E-Government

  82. Public Service Hall-Hub of Public Services

    GE0001, 2012, Citizenship and Immigration

  83. E-Governance in Local Governments

    GE0002, 2012, E-Government

  84. Citizens’ Portal

    GE0003, 2012, E-Government

  85. Easily Accessible and Better Healthcare

    GE0004, 2012, E-Government

  86. Launch Ichange.ge and Data.gov.ge

    GE0005, 2012, E-Government

  87. Platform for Participating in the Legislative Process

    GE0006, 2012, E-Government

  88. Citizens and Justice

    GE0007, 2012, Judiciary

  89. Starred commitment Transparent Party Financing

    GE0008, 2012,

  90. Home-grown concept of E-procurement

    GE0009, 2012, E-Government

  91. E-declarations

    GE0010, 2012, Asset Disclosure

  92. Technology Cares for Safety: ICCMS, Crime Mapping, and Safety in Your Neighbourhood

    GE0011, 2012, E-Government

  93. NGO Forum

    GE0012, 2012, Capacity Building