Citizens and businesses often face complex, expensive and non-transparent procedures in order to acquire licenses, permits or certificates, or to fulfill their obligation(s). To solve this issue, the Register of Administrative Procedures (RAP) and its public portal provide information about more than 2300 procedures for citizens and businesses within competences of more than 90 authorities in Serbia – all in one place. It makes public services easy, transparent, predictable and accessible and has ensured savings for businesses, amounting to 33 million euros annually.
Citizens and businesses often face complex, expensive and non-transparent procedures in order to acquire a license, permit or certificate, or to fulfil their obligation(s). Lack of information and submitting requests in person, through the process of visiting numerous authorities, in order to gather complete documentation necessary for submitting request, are some of the challenges we met at the beginning of our reform. RAP and its Portal were created under the scope of the Program for Optimization of Administrative Procedures and Regulation – ePAPIR 2019-2021. Main goals of ePAPIR were:
- To create a comprehensive catalogue (register) of all administrative procedures and make them visible through a public portal, where all data would be presented in a unified, easily accessible and user-friendly manner (all information about public administration services in one place)
- To decrease the level of administrative burden as a share of GDP from 3.26 in 2016 to 3% in 2021 by optimization of procedures.
- To create a Platform for digitization of administrative procedures (ePermit Platform) and digitalize the procedures/services for business entities
These goals were achieved. RAP and its Portal have been established by the Law on the Registry of administrative procedures. The Public Policy Secretariat (PPS) is coordinator of RAP and ePAPIR, and is in charge of ensuring quality of available information about public services. This has meant the integration of many resources: institutions, public and private sector, laws etc. This partnership ensured mutual commitment.
RAP’s Portal enables standardization of accessibility, availability and delivery of public services. RAP is a single window for relevant, accurate and up-to-date information (by using 4 different search filters - keyword, activity, institution and business episode) about services (documentation, application form, service fee, timeframe and process workflow, legal remedy etc.), and enables users to initiate digital services (if available). RAP has considerably enhanced transparency of public administration and services and their accessibility. RAP standardizes the manner in which public administration conducts its services by creating preconditions for uniformity of its work.
RAP is linked to the platform ePermit, through which digital services are (and should be) conducted. At the moment, it provides 64 digitalized services for business, implemented through ePAPIR and RAP. At RAP’s Portal, end users – citizens and businesses, have access to more than 2300 administrative procedures, 5 business episodes and links to websites of authorities in charge of the procedure(s), for further information regarding the relevant procedure. RAP provides information in a user-centric way, in line with the needs of citizens and businesses. For all users, all the information for each public administration service that they might need are given clearly and concisely. This information comprises: who the service is intended for, the request form that they can download or fill in if it is a digitized service, the amount of the service fee with all the information needed for payment, as well as, information about the deadline in which to expect a response from public administration. In this way, end-users save time, money and human resources. It raises the level of legal certainty and predictability, as it leaves no space for different interpretations of the process.
In the background of RAP, there is an ongoing process of optimization of administrative procedures – making them easier, simple, modern and digital. PPS consulted end-users in order to detect their initiatives for reducing costly procedures, inefficient regulation and for creating a better business environment. Without the established partnership, RAP would not be a successful story. More than 300 procedures have been optimized, bringing savings of more than 30 million euros to businesses and public authorities.
RAP’s model, as an example of good practice, has raised interest in the countries of the region, especially in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Montenegro. Croatia is currently working on establishment of a similar register, based on the RAP's model. In 2023, RAP will further expand, as it will include all administrative procedures for citizens, administrative procedures delivered by local authorities and administrative requests, in order to provide a comprehensive catalogue of requirements for conducting business in a legal manner.
What Makes Your Project Innovative?
RAP is a unique place with centralised information about public services. Service users no longer have to call service providers or go to institutions to find out what they need for a permit, license, etc. Now, they can simply and easily find all up-to-date information in one place. RAP offers user-friendly, relevant information about the procedures, their workflow and cost. RAP makes procedures predictable and transparent. Through optimization processes, we make procedures clear and easy, avoiding legal uncertainty. Such symbiosis allowed to make the services more accessible and time- and money-saving for end users. Also, RAP enables public administration to harmonize service delivery by following established standards and increase efficiency and transparency of its work. The ePermit BPM Platform enables fast and efficient digitization of services, as well as the processing of submitted requests in a unique way for public administration.
What is the current status of your innovation?
RAP has public information about 2300 procedures of 93 authorities, from central and regional level (rap.euprava.gov.rs). At the same time, PPS has gathered information about 448 procedures for citizens from 44 authorities which will be public from 1 January 2023. Ongoing activities include:
- Preparation of a new Program, ePAPIR, for period 2023-2025 with recommendations for simplification and digitalization for more than 400 procedures
- Preparation of registers of 5,000 administrative requests for doing business in Serbia
- Preparation of registers of administrative procedures that are kept at the local level
- Preparation of a Decree on the standardization of manner in which administrative procedures are regulated
- Creation of digital business episodes – we expect to provide information about more than 10 digital business episodes
- Creation of simple forms for measuring user satisfaction and a mechanism for quick response to user requests
Collaborations & Partnerships
RAP and ePAPIR include Citizens, Government officials (93 public authorities), Civil society organizations and Companies. PPS conducted education for 900 public employees on the use of the Register, administration of the registry, preparation of user-friendly information about procedures and creation of simple and user-oriented services. Cooperation with end-users and Civil society is the main support of this innovation. They are involved in all aspects of service creation.
Users, Stakeholders & Beneficiaries
We transform public services in order to make them more accessible, less expensive and in line with real needs of citizens and businesses. In so doing, we are changing the mindset of public servants regarding their approach to public service creation and delivery. All reforms implemented are discussed with the end users and civil society in order to identify their real needs and provide them with service fulfilling those needs.
Results, Outcomes & Impacts
So far (in the last 8 months), RAP's Portal recorded 26 000 visits, and 4 700 new users. Together with implemented recommendations for optimization of administrative procedures (as part of Program ePAPIR), we provided annual savings for businesses amounting to € 30 million. In the process of optimizing procedures, 21 procedures were abolished, 345 procedures were simplified and 64 procedures were digitized. These joint efforts led to reduction of administrative burden as a share of GDP, from 3,26 in 2016 to 3,01% in 2021 (presentation in Serbian, available at:
The Standard Cost Model was used to calculate the savings. RAP portal enables public administration to standardize the manner in which it offers and conducts services, by creating preconditions for uniformity of its work. Finally, effective coordination of public administration in providing information on public services has been established.
Challenges and Failures
The most challenging task was the process of change management in public administration and to overcome resistance to optimize public services. Authorities had to recognize the importance and effects of improved and modernized public services. The big challenge was to harmonize the provision of information on public services and the process of transition to the provision of digital services. It was a challenge to establish a single Register and Portal for all public services and establish a coordination mechanism. We aim to make processes easier for citizens and businesses based on recommendation to the authorities to use the "once only" principle and collect information ex officio. We changed the legal framework and introduced an obligation for all public service providers to provide information through RAP. We created a mechanism for transformation of services, and we constantly have trainings in change management to overcome the mentioned challenges.
Conditions for Success
Strong political leadership, unambiguous regulations, commitment of main stakeholders, synergy of providers and users of public services, human and financial resources are key for implementation of this comprehensive reform. RAP is under continuous enhancement through public-private dialogue and citizens and business are included into our reform – providing the feedback on their user experience. The law on RAP gives basis for all activities we are implementing and it gives mandate to PPS to coordinate, to conduct optimization and to administer RAP and its Portal. To implement a true reform, a key element has been having the consent and cooperation of other public institutions to implement recommendations for optimization of administrative procedures. Sometimes it has demanded changes in regulations or certain modernization of either equipment or existing software for digital procedures. Among the conditions for success we still have to work is the promotion of RAP among the public and keeping RAP up-to-date.
Countries in the region have not yet developed such model of Register, hence they showed interest for replication of our model. PPS has done presentation of previous work and current and future steps to representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Montenegro. PPS has been invited by Korea to present its Register, as an example of a good practice at a regional conference. Presentation has also been held for Portuguese Agency for Administrative Modernization (AMA). Each of these countries is searching for an adequate model for a single-window-register, which will gather all procedures at one place and make doing business easier. Public administration bodies based on RAP and eGovernment infrastructure can digitize their services on the ePermit Platform, according to the methodology created by the BPM platform.
To conduct such a comprehensive reform, it’s important to have good coordination between main stakeholders and end users. Set goals, make a good plan based on detailed analysis and needs. Involve end-users and keep in touch with their needs. Change management and readiness to transform is absolutely necessary, as this reform changes the view on public administration and view of public administration towards the services they provide. User experience can be valuable to create modern, less expensive and accessible services. Only with all these skills combined, is it possible to achieve success and ensure sustainable benefit of both public administration and end-users.
- Implementation - making the innovation happen
23 November 2023