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Serbia

ePAPER (RS0036)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Serbia Action Plan 2018-2020

Action Plan Cycle: 2018

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Public Policy Secretariat

Support Institution(s): Administration Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunicaions, Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government Civil sector organisations, private sector, working groups Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia All interested economic operators

Policy Areas

E-Government, Legislation & Regulation

IRM Review

IRM Report: Serbia Design Report 2018-2020

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information Technology

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Simplification of administrative procedures and regulations –
ePAPER
Ongoing - Q1 2021
Lead implementing agency Public Policy Secretariat
Description of Commitment
Problem addressed by the
commitment
There is no integrated database of currently applicable
administrative requirements (procedures) in the existing public
administration system. For this reason, economic operators and
citizens wishing to start their own business often do not know
where to ask or how to find information about administrative
procedures and other conditions for pursuing a business activity
and costs of services provided by state administration bodies.
This often leads to unjustified additional expenses and waste of
time for public service users. In 2016, administrative expenses
of businesses equalled 3.46% of GDP. Once this commitment is
implemented, administrative expenses of businesses should be
cut by 15-20%, to 3% of GDP. A comprehensive and up-to-date
electronic database of administrative procedures and
requirements would give citizens and businesses ready access to
necessary information, thereby avoiding the incurrence of these
additional expenses.
Main objective A single public register is an objective pursued by the project
implemented by the Government of the Republic of Serbia
entitled ePAPER. The single public register of administrative
procedures is being established in parallel with a process of
simplification of administrative procedures and soliciting
initiatives from businesses and citizens for changes and
improvements to the existing processes. This public register will
give citizens and businesses access to all administrative
requirements and procedures that need to be achieved and met
in order to exercise a right or obligation. The register will
39
provide all necessary information on the selected procedures –
the required documentation, the timeframe and the admissibility
of appeals, including all expenses in the form of fees, surcharges
etc. Simplification of the procedure, slashing of unnecessary
levies and digitalisation of the most common procedures will
reduce the business expenses of economic operators in the
pursuit of their business activity. This will increase
predictability and transparency of business. Communication
with economic operators is key for compliance with this
commitment, with recommendations and proposals for
simplification, modification or improvement of administrative
procedures, because it will be the best way to identify
procedures which lead to wasteful spending of resources of
economic operators, i.e. those that create the heaviest
administrative burden in terms of frequency, complexity or
expenses.
How will this commitment
contribute to problem solving?
The register will be a publicly available database of all
administrative procedures and other conditions for pursuing a
business activity imposed by public administration bodies and
organisations. Economic operators and citizens will have a onestop-shop where they will obtain all necessary information
relevant for a specific procedure, including: whether there is an
application form (to download); to whom the application should
be submitted and if it may be submitted electronically; what
other documentation is required, in what form and whether there
are steps to be completed before that (certification by a notary
public etc.); what are the financial expenses (fees, surcharges
etc.); the timeframe for deciding on applications; the validity
term of the issued document and the possibility of appeal.
Such publicly available information will help economic
operators save resources, leaving them more time to focus on
the pursuit of their business activity. Simplification of
procedures will reduce administrative burden by eliminating
obstacles to simple compliance of economic operators with their
obligations, which will make the business climate in the
Republic of Serbia more favourable and attractive to prospective
investors.
Implementation of this commitment began in June 2016, when
the Working Group held its first meeting. The following results
have been achieved to date: 84 authorities and organisations
actively participated in the inventorying of administrative
procedures; 35 trainings have been held for the representatives
of all authorities which participated in the inventorying of
administrative procedures, with 16 trainers of civil servants and
40
479 civil servants from 107 authorities and organisations
trained; 2500 procedures have been inventoried in a uniform
manner; and an analysis has been made of almost all procedures
(99%), as a first step in the process of issuing recommendations
for simplification of administrative procedures.
In addition, a set of documents comprising the Methodology for
Simplification of Administrative Procedures has been prepared
(Guidance for Analysis of Simplification of Administrative
Procedures and Methodology for Calculating Administrative
Expenses). The first 254 recommendations for simplification of
procedures have been made. Five recommendations have been
accepted, which marks the beginning of implementation; three
of those recommendations will be fully implemented as of 1
January 2019, resulting in the abolishment of three procedures
and the saving of 3.6 billion dinars in expenses for the economy
in 2019.
The Draft Law on the Single Public Register is currently being
developed. It will constitute the legal basis for the establishment
of the Register and will set forth the obligations and duties of
state authorities in terms of data entry and updating.
A form for inventorying administrative requirements and other
conditions for the pursuit of business activity has been prepared
and trainings have been held for the civil servants who will be
inventorying these requirements.
The portal http://www.epapir.rsjp.gov.rs has been launched to solicit
initiatives for improvement and modification of existing
procedures and to ensure the necessary cooperation with
businesses.
The way in which this commitment
is relevant to further advancing
OGP values
Compliance with this commitment will improve the quality of
public services and improve the reputation of public
administration, facilitate communication between authorities
and enable data exchange. The Register will contribute to
greater transparency in the actions of public administration,
bring about to fewer opportunities for abuse and corruption and
facilitate day-to-day operations of economic operators.
Additional information Funding for the implementation of this commitment has been
secured from the following projects:
• Support to improvement of the business environment, an
EU Project (IPA 2013) worth EUR 2,301,120.
• Improving the Business Environment, a project of the UK
Good Governance Fund implemented by the International
41
Financial Corporation (IFC), worth EUR 4,072,085.
• IPA project – Implementation of the Services Directive
2006/123/EC and establishment of a single electronic
contact point. The total approved amount is EUR 2,000,000
and the tendering procedure is underway.
• GIZ project Support to Public Administration Reform in
Serbia, worth EUR 200,000
This commitment is planned in the Action Plan on
Implementation of the Strategy for Regulatory Reform and
Improvement of the Public Policy Management System 2016-
2017
Activity with a verifiable
deliverable and completion date
Start Date: End Date:
1. The Bill on Single Public
Register adopted
May 2017 – forming of the
Working Group on preparation
of the Draft Law
Q1 2020
2. Inventory of administrative
procedures at autonomous
province level completed
Q1 2019 Q4 2019
3. Soliciting of initiatives from
businesses and citizens for
modification, improvement or
abolishment of procedures or
ineffective regulations
Q2 2018
(May 2018)
Implemented continually
4. 500 most frequent and most
expensive procedures simplified
or abolished
Q1 2018 Q1 2021
5. 100 procedures for the issuing
of licences, permits etc.
digitalised
Q1 2018
(February 2018)
Q1 2021
6. Single public register of
administrative procedures and
other conditions for the pursuit
of business activity established
Q1 2016
(March 2016)
Q1 2021
Contact information
Name of a responsible person in the
implementing agency
Ninoslav Kekić
Title, Department Acting Assistant Director, Sector for Quality Assurance of
42
Public Policies
Email and phone number Ninoslav Kekić, 333 4203
Other
actors
involved Administration
Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Trade,
Tourism and Telecommunicaions, Ministry of Public
Administration and Local Self-Government
Civil sector
organisations, private
sector, working groups
Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia
All interested economic operators

IRM Midterm Status Summary

9. ePAPER

Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan:

Title: Simplification of administrative procedures and regulations – ePAPER

A single public register is an objective pursued by the project implemented by the Government of the Republic of Serbia entitled ePAPER. The single public register of administrative procedures is being established in parallel with a process of simplification of administrative procedures and soliciting initiatives from businesses and citizens for changes and improvements to the existing processes. This public register will give citizens and businesses access to all administrative requirements and procedures that need to be achieved and met in order to exercise a right or obligation. The register will provide all necessary information on the selected procedures – the required documentation, the timeframe and the admissibility of appeals, including all expenses in the form of fees, surcharges etc. Simplification of the procedure, slashing of unnecessary levies and digitalisation of the most common procedures will reduce the business expenses of economic operators in the pursuit of their business activity. This will increase predictability and transparency of business. Communication with economic operators is key for compliance with this commitment, with recommendations and proposals for simplification, modification or improvement of administrative procedures, because it will be the best way to identify procedures which lead to wasteful spending of resources of economic operators, i.e. those that create the heaviest administrative burden in terms of frequency, complexity or expenses.

  1. The Bill on Single Public Register adopted.
  2. Inventory of administrative procedures at autonomous province level completed
  3. Soliciting of initiatives from businesses and citizens for modification, improvement or abolishment of procedures or ineffective regulations
  4. 500 most frequent and most expensive procedures simplified or abolished
  5. 100 procedures for the issuing of licences, permits etc. digitalized
  6. Single public register of administrative procedures and other conditions for the pursuit of business activity established

For full commitment text, please refer to the National Action Plan at https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Serbia_Action-Plan_2018-2020_EN.pdf

Start Date: Ongoing

End Date: Q1 2021

Context and Objectives

Users of public services face significant administrative hurdles owing to complicated and expensive procedures, many of which are still paper-based or redundant. [121] To illustrate, change of ownership of a personal vehicle in Serbia requires five days, eight different forms to be filled out, and eight physical visits to four different institutions, compared with Germany where the procedure is done in a single day using one form. [122] Entrepreneurs and others in the business community have complained about the costs of bureaucracy, [123] and in 2019, Serbia dropped from 43th to 48th place in the World Bank’s “Doing Business” ranking. [124]

The objective of the commitment is to reduce the administrative costs for businesses by 15%–20%, in other words, from 3.26% to 3% of GDP. To achieve this goal, the Public Policy Secretariat (PPS) committed to simplifying overly complicated procedures, cutting the red tape, digitizing procedures that can be done fully online, and creating a central public register of administrative procedures. [125] The purpose of the register will be to provide complete and up-to-date information on business-related administrative procedures on both the national and provincial levels (such as the required steps, responsible institutions, legal grounds, necessary forms, and other details). As such, the commitment is relevant for the OGP values of access to information and technology and innovation for transparency and accountability.

The government carried forward this commitment from the previous action plan because it was incomplete at the end of term. Following the inventory of ca. 2,500 state-level administrative procedures and the launch of online portal to collect inputs from businesses on administrative simplification, three procedures were abolished. The administration has yet to draft the law governing the register, to make an inventory of provincial-level procedures, and to reach the goals of launching the register, simplifying/cutting 500, and digitizing the 100 most frequent and most expensive procedures.

If fully implemented as designed, the commitment would mitigate the status quo burdens that businesses face, reducing the time and cost of pursuing business activities. A representative of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce thought the project would have significant benefits for Serbian entrepreneurs. [126] With electronic data exchange among institutions, for instance, business entities would no longer need to provide the same document that they have already submitted to another public body, [127] and the register is also expected to enable online submission of requests due to the compatibility with the public services eGovernment Portal. [128] One weakness in the commitment is that the register lacks local administrative procedures, which towns and municipalities regulate independently. Though there have been independent efforts to establish local digital registers through a one-time project run by the Center for Good Governance “Optimus” and Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities, [129] the PPS stated that it had insufficient capacities for including local procedures in the single register of this commitment, as doing so requires at least eight months just for human resources preparation alone. [130]

Next steps

The IRM researchers recommend the following activities to expand the existing scope of commitment:

  • Because the proposed activities are predominantly oriented towards the business sector, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs), [131] the benefits for citizens are less articulated. To go further, experts advocate for the same effort toward simplifying the procedures regular citizens face, such as registering a car, or the automatic update of personal information across the government information systems. [132]
  • Consider building upon the practices from the project “Improving the business environment at the local level through regulatory reform” by Optimus and Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities.
  • The PPS should include a wide range of stakeholders in drafting of the law on the single register of administrative procedures, including civil society organizations.
[121] SIGMA Monitoring Report, Serbia 2017, available at http://www.sigmaweb.org/publications/Monitoring-Report-2017-Serbia.pdf
[122] MPALSG press release, “Svi uspesi Ministarstva državne uprave i lokalne samouprave u prvih godinu dana rada Vlade,” available at http://mduls.gov.rs/saopstenja/svi-uspesi-ministarstva-drzavne-uprave-i-lokalne-samouprave-u-prvih-godinu-dana-vlade-srbije/?script=lat;
[123] Optimus, “Elektronski registar administrativnih postupaka i propisa,” http://www.optimus.org.rs/onamaadministrativni-postupci.php.
[125] This commitment has been carried forward from the previous action plan as the activities had not been completed within one cycle. The government is realizing this plan through the “ePaper” project led by the Public Policy Secretariat in partnership with the Ministry of Economy and the Office for Information Technologies and eGovernment. As the project is run outside the scope of OGP, with its deadlines and resources, the end date falls outside of the action plan’s time framework – the first quarter of 2021.
[126] Representative of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, interviewed by IRM Researcher, 21 February 2019.
[127] Politika daily, “Poslovanje iz fotelje postaje stvarnost,” http://www.politika.rs/sr/clanak/404018/Poslovanje-iz-fotelje-postaje-stvarnost
[128] PPS representatives, interviewed by IRM Researcher, 7 February 2019.
[129] See examples of local registers of administrative procedures: http://www.eregistar.gradleskovac.org/
[130] PPS Representative, interviewed by IRM researcher, 7 February 2019
[131] Politika daily, “Poslovanje iz fotelje postaje stvarnost,” http://www.politika.rs/sr/clanak/404018/Poslovanje-iz-fotelje-postaje-stvarnost

Commitments

  1. Increasing transparency and participation in parliament

    RS0042, 2018, Civic Space

  2. Publishing Budget Law

    RS0028, 2018, E-Government

  3. e-calendar for financing civil society

    RS0029, 2018, E-Government

  4. publish data on environmental protection funds

    RS0030, 2018, Capacity Building

  5. opening data for public calls for media development

    RS0031, 2018, E-Government

  6. open data reports on CSOs

    RS0032, 2018, E-Government

  7. amending media registration bylaws

    RS0033, 2018, E-Government

  8. Assistance with and monitoring of adoption of LAP

    RS0034, 2018, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  9. Updating of electoral roll

    RS0035, 2018, E-Government

  10. ePAPER

    RS0036, 2018, E-Government

  11. e-notice board

    RS0037, 2018, E-Government

  12. Improving proactive transparency – Information Booklet

    RS0038, 2018, E-Government

  13. Access to Information Law

    RS0039, 2018, Capacity Building

  14. cooperation with CSOs on regulations

    RS0040, 2018, Capacity Building

  15. e-civic engagement

    RS0041, 2018, E-Government

  16. Develop a Model of Job Description or Part of Job Description of an Officer Responsible for Cooperation with Civil Society in Local Administration

    RS0014, 2016, Capacity Building

  17. Organise Trainings for Public Administration Officers in Connection with the Application of the Guidelines on Inclusion of Civil Society Organisations in the Process of Passing Regulations

    RS0015, 2016, Capacity Building

  18. Organise Trainings for CSO in Connection with Application of the Guidelines on Inclusion of Civil Society Organisations in the Process of Passing Regulations

    RS0016, 2016, Capacity Building

  19. Improve the System for Collecting Initiatives from Citizens and Businesses

    RS0017, 2016, Capacity Building

  20. Introducing Standards for Civic Participation in the Public Policy Management System

    RS0018, 2016, Capacity Building

  21. Improving Proactive Transparency – Information Booklet

    RS0019, 2016, Capacity Building

  22. Amendments to the Law on Free Access to Information of Public Importance

    RS0020, 2016, Legislation & Regulation

  23. Development of an Open Data Portal

    RS0021, 2016, Capacity Building

  24. Draft a Bylaw Based on the Guidelines for Evaluation of Websites

    RS0022, 2016, Capacity Building

  25. Improve the Institute of Public Hearing in the Drafting of Laws

    RS0023, 2016, Legislation & Regulation

  26. Development of a Uniform Methodology for Planning, Monitoring and Performance Evaluation of Programmes and Projects Implemented by Civil Society Organisations and Monitoring the Spending of Allocated Funds

    RS0024, 2016, Capacity Building

  27. Amend the Regulation on Funds to Support Programmes or Missing Amount of Funds for Programmes of Public Interest Implemented by Associations

    RS0025, 2016, Capacity Building

  28. Enactment of a Law on Electronic Documents, Electronic Identification and Trusted Services in Electronic Business

    RS0026, 2016, Capacity Building

  29. Establish a Single Public Register of Administrative Procedures and Other Conditions for Pursuing a Business Activity

    RS0027, 2016, Capacity Building

  30. Transparency in Monitoring Budget Expenditures

    RS0001, 2014, Capacity Building

  31. Law on Financing Political Activities

    RS0002, 2014, Legislation & Regulation

  32. Transparent Public Procurement Procedures

    RS0003, 2014, Open Contracting and Procurement

  33. Transparent Financing of Civil Society Organizations

    RS0004, 2014, Civic Space

  34. Extending and Clarifying Responsibilities of the Anti-Corruption Agency

    RS0005, 2014, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  35. Whistleblower Protection Trainings and Campaigns

    RS0006, 2014, Legislation & Regulation

  36. Draft Law Regulating Inspections in Public Administration

    RS0007, 2014, Audits and Controls

  37. e-Governmental Portal Awareness and Mobile Application

    RS0008, 2014, E-Government

  38. Starred commitment Public Administration Website Harmonization and Amendments to the Law on Free Access to Information of Public Importance

    RS0009, 2014, E-Government

  39. New Technologies to Improve Citizen Services

    RS0010, 2014, E-Government

  40. Cooperation with Civil Society Organizations in Public Policymaking

    RS0011, 2014, Civic Space

  41. Citizen Participation in Local Government Affairs

    RS0012, 2014, Public Participation

  42. Civil Society Participation in Monitoring the Public Administration (PAR) Strategy

    RS0013, 2014, Audits and Controls