Trainings on One-Stop-Shop in the process of electronic issuance of construction permits
Serbian construction industry has been heavily crisis-affected in past several years. World Bank Doing Business 2015 ranked Serbia as 186th of 189 world economies for issuing construction permits. For this dramatic situation, construction industry mostly accused slow administration, inefficient, complicated, non-transparent and expensive construction procedures as well as corruption. Improvement efforts of the Government resulted in amending the Law on Planning and Construction on 8 December 2014, followed by the Unified Procedure Rulebook and other bylaws adoption.
These legal acts introduced the obligation of establishing Unified Procedure (One-Stop-Shop – OSS) on national, province and local level as of 1 March 2015 thus replacing multiple interactions, procedures and waiting periods with one contact point and a streamlined process. Introduction of e-permitting process through the centralized software application for Procedure (One-Stop-Shop – OSS), which became legal obligation as of 1 January 2016, has been the next reforming step.
Unified Procedure (One-Stop-Shop – OSS) introduced substantive and organizational changes for actors involved in the issuing processes - the Ministry of Construction, Traffic and Infrastructure , Serbian Business Registration Agency , Vojvodina Province Secretariat for Urbanism, Construction and Environmental Protection, local governments, public utility companies, Cadastre offices, and other holders of public authority involved in construction permitting process. Multiple interactions of investors with various entities have been replaced with one focal point. The legislator’s idea was that the competent authority, in the name and for the account of the investor, obtains ex officio the needed documents issued by the state and local public enterprises, the Cadaster and other involved holders of public authority.
E-permitting covers all processes under the Unified Procedure (One-Stop-Shop) and all interactions between involved parties, including investor. In order to ensure effective and efficient usage of the OSS software application and prevent deadlocks in issuing construction procedures, the Ministry of Construction, Traffic and Infrastructure, in collaboration with donors and other organizations is taking efforts in building capacities of state authorities, local governments and other holders of public authorities such as public utility companies, Cadastre and others.
As part of these efforts, National Alliance for Local Economic Development engaged OPTIMUS – Center for Good Governance in delivering part of the trainings on using the Unified Procedure (One-Stop-Shop) software application in issuing construction permits.
On behalf of OPTIMUS, its Director, Sladjana Karavdić Kočević, delivers trainings for state and local public officials and holders of public authority. The trainings cover topics such as: general functionality of the application, digital signatures usage, electronic process of issuing location conditions, construction permit, usage permit, and permits from the Article 145 of the Law as well as other processes and software elements.
Initial construction reforms showed progress in dropping of Serbia on the Doing Business list. Doing Business 2016 ranks Serbia as 139th economy for issuing construction permits which is decline by 47 places comparing to the last Report. It is expected that efficient implementation of e-permitting in the upcoming period brings less costs and time for businesses resulting in even largely enhanced business environment and even greater improvement in the next Doing Business Report.