“STOP the Bureaucracy” portal in conjunction with Single Collection of Measures
This case was submitted as part of the Call for Innovations, an annual partnership initiative between OPSI and the UAE Mohammed Bin Rashid Center for Government Innovation (MBRCGI)
The reason for the development and launch of our e-solutions was to facilitate the collection of initiatives and proposals to eliminate administrative burdens and review their implementation in one place.
Our innovation provides users with an on-line one-stop-shop solution, where they receive all information about activities in eliminating administrative burdens and preparing better legislation, and enables systematic collection, resolution and monitoring of implementation of proposals.
The preparation of improved regulations and the elimination of administrative barriers has been handled by the Ministry of Public Administration (Ministry), which often noticed that more and more citizens, business entities, interest associations and public servants are greatly burdened by administrative barriers which arise from legislation, as well as by barriers that emerge from the implementation of legislation. At that time, our Ministry did not have a special channel/electronic address (except a general one) to which the interested public could send their questions, proposal, initiatives and complaints.
Therefore, many proposals or initiatives did not reach the appropriate recipient, so the appropriate or competent person was not informed, and the proposal was not considered, leading to the fact that the competent authorities, which could have replied with appropriate content to the message, were not notified about the problem, and so the initiators did not receive any feedback. Since our Ministry had noticed that the elimination of administrative barriers was a very current topic and is necessary in Slovenia, we set up a special e-mail address in the first phase, i.e. [email protected]
The ministry set up the above electronic address as a channel to be used by the interested public to contact us in cases when they encounter administrative barriers which aggravated the implementation of procedures during their activities and everyday lives. The electronic address has become quite well recognised and visited, and is thus used by an increasing number of the interested public. In this way, we ensured that initiatives, proposals and questions are collected at one place and sent to competent line ministries for further resolution in the shortest time possible. The way that the system worked was that new initiatives, proposals and questions (messages) were received through the electronic address. The receiving ministry studied the initiative and forwarded it to the competent authority. Firstly, the ministry had to adapt the mentioned initiative to the operations of the state administration, appropriately transforming it and then sending it to the competent authority. When the ministry received a response from the competent authority, it sent the answer back to the proposer. The ministry did not have an opportunity to publish the proposal with the answer on the website or to notify the interested public. This fact is also one of the key reasons for establishing the online portal STOP the Bureaucracy.
The STOP the Bureaucracy portal plays a key role, since it represents a link between the administration that prepares regulations and controls their implementation and the public, who can find information about the administrative measures for reducing administrative and legislative burdens in one place.
The public can use this portal to monitor proposals, initiatives, their implementation and effects in one place. Users can also review all proposals by category (e.g. finance, the economy) or by competent authority. The website intended for proposals provides access to statistics on initiatives at any time, i.e.: the number of initiatives published, the number of replies from authorities and the number of incentives which have not yet received replies from the competent authorities. The support application enables the ministry to rapidly prepare statistics according to a larger number of parameters. It is important that users notify and inform the portal about the administrative barriers they encounter. The STOP the Bureaucracy portal enables users to do this, since it is ensured that information about barriers is forwarded to the competent authority. In this way, users contribute to the common goal set at the beginning of the project, i.e. to improve the legislative framework and make the economy more efficient.
At this moment, the current portal is being renovated from the content and visual standpoint.
In the Single Collection of Measures application, we publish proposals that are in the process of realization. We also publish best practice cases that result from cooperation between citizens, business entities and public administration bodies via the Stop Bureaucracy portal. Competent ministries report about the progress on proposals that they are dealing with every four months. This application is available online and it is a great tool to control government work.
Every year, minimally 10 measures from the STOP the Bureaucracy portal are evaluated on their concrete effects on the business environment or citizens/general government.
In the future, we plan to unify management and classification of proposals in the area of better legislation for the entire state administration.
What Makes Your Project Innovative?
We implemented a channel that offers two-way communication between the state and users, enables the involvement of the public in the drafting of regulations, enhances cooperation between ministries and stakeholders, all with the goal to continually introduce simplifications and offer useful solutions to users.
The introduction of the one-stop-shop concept also provides many functionalities in addition to useful content that provide users with information on the activities of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia in the field of better legislation.
- A possibility to initiate your own initiatives,
- Review of all initiatives,
- Review of the state of implementation of initiatives,
- Review of the responsiveness of ministries,
- Overview of good practices,
- Links to Single set of measures for a better regulatory and business environment,
- Price comparison of any two services using the web calculator "My Calculator"
- Video content related to better legislation
What is the current status of your innovation?
The portal is published and in everyday use, the public can also access the Single Collection of Measures web site/application. Currently, activities aimed at helping users and promoting the use of the application are being carried out.
Same statistical details about the portal for the period 2014 - 2018:
- more than 500 proposals, of which already 400 realized and completed,
- 50.000 users,
- 110.000 page views monthly,
- 12.000 Facebook users
- 90 % returning visitors,
- 10 % new visitors,
- 33,5 % users are between 25 and 34 years old
- mobile app, responsive design
Collaborations & Partnerships
To ensure maximum usability, we regularly organize content workshops, which, using different methods of work and techniques with target groups, determine their needs for additional improvements on the portal.
We place great emphasis on promotion, where we are collecting suggestions for portal improvements. In terms of optimizing work and constant improvement in the field of cooperation with target groups, we implement the best suggestions. We regularly inform users about portal upgrades.
Users, Stakeholders & Beneficiaries
Our user group is comprised of citizens, companies and civil society officials. Government officials cooperate with these groups and the better regulation team members.
Representatives of interest groups – mainly economic associations and the non-governmental sector - are regularly involved in preparing the basis for improvements. With their experience and suggestions, economic associations represent significant partners in co-shaping solutions.
Results, Outcomes & Impacts
Users emphasize transparency and ease of submitting proposals and monitoring of implementation in parts of the Government. Users have a full overview of the implemented initiatives in the measures and good practices throughout the Stop Bureaucracy portal.
In the future, we must exert further focus on reducing the deadlines for the implementation of initiatives and measures.
Our biggest achievements:
- between 2009 and 2015, 365 million EUR of savings were realized, based on changes in regulations and simplification of procedures on an annual level, counting for more than 30% of the perceived and measured administrative burdens by SCM Methodology.
- a uniform set of measures has been put in place, which allows for an overview of all the measures taken by responsible authorities by its priority, overseeing their realization and an advanced search engine that enables customized user data outputs.
- IT support for impact assessment on the economy during regulation drafting phase.
Challenges and Failures
To summarize, we mainly had to deal with organizational problems. When the system was first set up, we had to solve problems that concerned dealing with the matter with individual ministries and how to integrate them successfully, i.e. “get them on board”, so that we could actually begin with changing the then-existing concept step by step:
- how to obtain relevant persons at respective ministries, who would be involved in the removal of administrative obstacles,
- problems with frequent changing of contact persons without prior notice,
- mistrust in the existing system,
- preparing of responses, that were too general and non-specific,
- the preparation of partial and non-inclusive solutions,
Conditions for Success
For society it is important that the state enables cooperation and establishes channels that allow two-way communication.
We achieved excellent cooperation between ministries by forming a so-called group of coordinators. The group consists of members and their deputies, all coming from high positions within each ministry. In this way, we ensured that the information does not exist only within one specific organizational unit, but is spread throughout the entire ministry. The coordinator at the ministry acts as a single point for all activities related to the STOP bureaucracy portal. The system has proven to be a good practice example of interdepartmental cooperation. The group has meetings monthly, where we exchange experiences, views and suggestions for further work. At the same time, regular work with individual coordinators is very important, because that is where goals are defined and progress is monitored.
We also acquired EU financial funds for the development the portal.
The Chamber of Commerce of Slovenia is active in the field of collecting initiatives and proposals. Our cooperation also influences the growth of concrete proposals, since we are encouraging micro and small companies to engage in the process of eliminating administrative barriers by selecting our channels for this end. The initiative, which is supported by several companies or even associations, also deserves more attention, since it can affect many business entities, which, considering simplifications, also means more savings in time and money.
The municipality of the City of Ljubljana has also moved from solving of the initiatives on a partial level to a single capture system. The treatment is better and faster, it provides quality statistics, analysis of work done and helps in the planning of the future activities of the City of Ljubljana.
When introducing new solutions aimed at the general public, it is essential to include public involvement already in the reflection phase. The use of new techniques and methods, conducting surveys and workshops with stakeholders represent the basis for the preparation of the draft proposal. The solution implemented in this way is useful, understandable, and thus brings added value.
Our experience shows that, to fully coordinate the operation of the system of capturing and solving initiatives through the STOP Bureaucracy web portal, the bureaucracy plays an important role as coordinators and facilitators within ministries, transferring knowledge and experience to their colleagues. Solutions and simplifications should be continually presented and explained to the public. Administrators need to monitor analytics on a regular basis and respond to the problems encountered, while preserving and promoting dual-way communication.
The field of better regulation represents activities that are carried out at a horizontal level in the broader sense. Cooperation and communication between the state, people, businesses and the interested public is crucial for the development of society and values. We also do the same ourselves, dealing with examples from practice that call for changes and simplifications of the existing system, which we encounter daily.