| 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
The Action Programme to Reduce Administrative Burdens is comprised of several phases. Currently, Phase 4, i.e. the procedure of normative amendments to regulations on the basis of measures adopted is being performed. In the final phase, Phase 5, the evaluation of establishing the efficiency of amendments will be conducted in order to realise the goals of the Action Plan.
• Phase I (a list of regulations measured on the basis of the Common Methodology for Measuring Administrative Costs)
• Phase 2 (the measurements were conducted in cooperation with external contractors)
• Phase 3 (on the basis of the Decision of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia, individual ministries prepared a selection of measures for the reduction of administrative burdens
Within the scope of the Minus 25% project, co-financed by structural funds, the Ministry of the Interior obtained the means to enhance a more effective and successful public administration, in order to assess the effects of regulations and to train public servants to perform participatory management.
On the basis of analyses from previous phases and due to a greater number of initiatives from the expert and interested public, the original Action Programme to Eliminate Administrative Burdens by 25% by 2012 has been upgraded and prolonged until September 2014. Thus, in July 2012, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia adopted the renewed Action Programme to Eliminate Administrative Barriers and Reduce Legislative Burdens for 2012 and 2013.
By implementing the Programme to Eliminate Administrative Barriers and Reduce Administrative Burdens, we want to affect the organisational culture and mindset of experts at ministries who draft acts and other regulations, i.e. so that they consider the principles of preparing improved regulations in the process of drafting regulations.
In order to achieve greater synergy effects and to avoid reporting to various authorities on the same measures, to follow uniform coordination and consequently to have a greater impact on the realisation, individual documents were replaced with a uniform document with concrete determinations of measures, commitments, proposals for solutions, results or indicators, carriers and deadlines for realisation. The document has been prepared in accordance with the 2013 Stability Programme and the National Reform Programme 2013–2014; it will be supplemented with new/additional proposals for measures in the field of eliminating administrative barriers and reducing legislative burdens. A uniform document helps avoid reporting on the same measures to various authorities and to achieve common coordination and consequently a greater impact on the realisation, since it integrates the content of the coalition agreement in concrete measures and tasks with a defined method and deadline for implementation. It is the basis of, and a tool for, drafting policies and strategies. The common document combines various documents:
Action Plan for the implementation of the Small Business Act (Ministry of Economic Development and Technology),
Foreign direct investments (Ministry of Economic Development and Technology),
Action Programme to Eliminate Administrative Barriers and Reducing Legislative
Burdens by 25% (Ministry of the Interior),
Agenda 46+ (Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia),
Small Business Agenda (Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia),
Requirements of the Slovenian craft trade (Chamber of Craft and Small Business of Slovenia),
Initiatives of the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce,
Programme of measures to boost the economy – 2012 (Ministry of Economic Development and Technology) and
managing the grey economy in the Republic of Slovenia.
Due to quality implementation and the enhancement of the realisation of the programme and continuous monitoring of the programme’s implementation, the STOPbirokraciji.si online portal was established and upgraded in October 2011.
The content of all incentives mostly comprises concrete problems of users (business entities and citizens) which are encountered in conducting business with the state. Businesses mostly want to de-bureaucratise the business environment, (meaning that bureaucratic barriers should be eliminated as well as unnecessary costs) and they want to achieve more active and quicker responsiveness of administrative bodies. In a very short time, the portal exceeded our expectations, since we received 50 replies from various authorities in a three-month period, representing a 62.5% share. 13 days is the average response time of administrative bodies, showing the consideration of appropriate provisions and the awareness of administrative bodies that they should reply to users in the shortest time possible. After the press conference, the Ministry of the Interior integrated 17 of the initiatives into the Action Programme to Eliminate Administrative Barriers as additional measures, which have supplemented the programme.
All initiatives/proposals are available at the STOPbirokraciji.si portal. Since the portal opened in October 2011 and until today, the portal has been visited by 116,897 users; in September 2013 8,860 users visited the portal. The portal also uses measurements that are enabled by Google Analytics.
We must emphasise that during the period from the establishment of the portal (October 2011) until today, the competent authorities have realised some measures that are also examples of best practice.
| 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The "Measurement of Administrative Costs and Burdens in the Regulations of the Republic of Slovenia" Project, which also comprises the STOP the Bureaucracy portal, in accordance with the Decision of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia as of 7 May 2009 is managed and coordinated by the Ministry of the Interior.
The project group of the Quality of Public Administration Directorate at the Ministry of the Interior was responsible for establishing the STOP the Bureaucracy portal. The group is also responsible for managing the portal.
The activities of the Ministry of the Interior in the field of STOP the Bureaucracy are focused on improving the business and legislative environment for the development of the economy. They are implemented in cooperation with other line ministries, since the project is implemented horizontally, and mostly focus on reducing administrative and legislative burdens and improving public administration services (quickly, kindly, quality).
A contract was concluded with an external contractor to implement promotion activities, i.e. the preparation of a media plan, the lease of media space, the management of media space, marketing consulting, website optimisation, global distribution and the design of promotional material for the STOP the Bureaucracy online portal.
The project is partly financed by the European Union, i.e. by the European Social Fund. It is implemented within the Operational Programme for Human Resources Development 2007–2013, development priority ‘Institutional and administrative capacity’, priority orientation: "Efficient and effective public administration".
| 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
The Ministry of the Interior obtained European funds to cover 85% of the Measurement of Administrative Costs and Burdens of the Regulations of the Republic of Slovenia Project, which is partly financed by the European Union, i.e. the European Social Fund.
One person is employed full-time on the operation for the needs of the "Stop the Bureaucracy" project. The tasks of this employee include the editing of the Stop the Bureaucracy portal, including the FB profile, promotion and PR, mutual cooperation, the independent preparation of demanding analyses, information, reports, the implementation of tasks in the field of public procurement, financial and administrative support in project and portal management. The interministerial working group is responsible for determining the objectives and implementing the tasks of the project.
The following activities will be implemented within the scope of the Measurement of Administrative Costs and Burdens in the Regulations of the Republic of Slovenia operation in connection with the Action Programme of the Republic of Slovenia to Eliminate Administrative Barriers and Reduce Administrative Burdens by 25% by 2012, prolonged until September 2014:
1. informing and notifying;
2. education and training (including counselling);
3. research, studies, development, analyses, expert documents, evaluations;
4. IT services.
Within the scope of the "informing and notifying" activity, a conference on the elimination of administrative barriers and reduction of administrative burdens by 25% by 2012, entitled "Slovenia Disburdens", was organised in October 2009. The Action Programme of the Republic of Slovenia to Eliminate Administrative Barriers and Reduce Administrative Burdens by 25% in the period until 2012, adopted by the Government of the Republic of Slovenia in May 2009, was presented at the conference. The conference was attended by representatives of the public administration, the economy, interest associations, non-governmental organisations and the public.
Another major event was the international SCM Group Network Meeting in Ljubljana (September 2012). The programme comprised the presentation of activities related to drafting of improved regulations and EAB in Slovenia, the presentation of results of the implemented phases II and III of the programme for EAB and the presentation of best practices.
Both events were quite well represented in the media, in the main printed media and on the internet, as well as via a press conference held at the ministry.
Many different promotional activities were conducted via the online portal (media campaign, lease of media space, media lease management, marketing consulting, optimisation of the website, global distribution, graphic imaging for printing promotion materials (folders, pencils, billboards, leaflets) from October 2012 up to and including February 2014.
Among the education and training activities in 2009, training of public servants for measuring administrative costs within the scope of the Programme of the Republic of Slovenia to Eliminate Administrative Barriers and Reduce Administrative Burdens by 25% by 2012 was organised. The programme comprised the presentation of strategic aspects and goals of the EAB programme, the Action Plan of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia to Reduce Administrative Burdens by 25%, the presentation of a uniform methodology to assess administrative costs and the presentation of practical cases.
60 public servants from all ministries and the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia participated in the training.
Simultaneously, training of public servants within the scope of the RIA project was implemented. One of the main goals was to train employees to recognise administrative barriers and eliminate these barriers as well as burdens.
Research, studies, development, analyses, expert documents and evaluations comprise the major share of the financial part of the project. A public tender of greater value was realised for this purpose. The content comprised the service of measuring administrative costs and burdens in the regulations of the Republic of Slovenia, which included 5 external contractors; many stakeholders from various publics and profiles were also included, and the process lasted 10 months. The results of the measurements are accessible at the STOP the Bureaucracy portal.
A Facebook profile was set up for ITC needs at the STOP the Bureaucracy portal. The main goal was to interact with the interested public, with the possibility of submitting proposals and comments and to review responsiveness. The portal also contains a floating banner.
A mobile application for phones and tables is being developed, which will enable the submission of initiatives, their review and filtering, as well as the review of individual initiatives. It also enables the review of news on the STOP the Bureaucracy website and their filtering, as well as the review of the entire content of an individual item of news and data on the project, as well as statistical data.
| 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
On the basis of proposals received from citizens or business entities, measures to eliminate administrative barriers are being designed in cooperation with the competent state bodies and other public administration bodies which include changes and amendments to legislation and the simplification of procedures, which leads to the creation of better, more efficient legislation, and a user-friendly and accessible public administration. One of the most important results of such cooperation is the inclusion of a large number of incentives submitted via the STOPbirokraciji.si portal in a Single Document. This includes a range of measures combined from several strategic documents of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Slovenia, the Chamber of Trade, Craft and Industry of the Republic of Slovenia and other interest associations in Slovenia. The Single Document comprises uniform measures that are reasonably distributed to sixteen areas which are intended to establish a better business environment and increase the competitiveness of the Slovenian economy.
The portal also publishes cases of best practice that result from cooperation between citizens and business entities and public administration bodies via the Stopbirokraciji.si portal.
As one of the most popular global social networks, Facebook enables direct access to information about the drafting of improved regulations and elimination of administrative barriers. Facebook enables an application via which comments are submitted and the responsiveness of line ministries to comments is verified. The website also features a smart floating banner that enables the submission of comments and the possibility of reviewing the responsiveness of line ministries to comments. We must emphasise that the Facebook profile of Stopbirokraciji.si is available to users 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, meaning that we are striving to ensure users the best responsiveness possible.
We are striving to connect the STOP the Bureaucracy portal with other national portals (Poslovni SOS, Predlagam Vladi.si, etc.). The proposals from the governmental portal predlagam.vladi.si are also forwarded to the STOP the bureaucracy portal if their content relates to the drafting of improved legislation and elimination of administrative barriers. We cooperate with the Poslovni SOS (Business SOS) portal in such a way that the STOP the Bureaucracy portal submits concrete initiatives from business entities to the Poslovni SOS portal, since the latter is dedicated exclusively to business entities and their problems.
| 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
The Action Programme to Eliminate Administrative Barriers (EAB) and Reduce Legislative Burdens was adopted in 2009 and renewed in 2012 with new measures intended to improve the business environment and reduce legislative burdens. The progress and evaluation of activities was monitored via the systematic introduction of the EAB measures project by verifying actual effects and assessing savings (from 2009). The project has five phases. The first phase comprised the analysis of regulations and preparation of a list of regulations for the action programme; the measurement of administrative burdens was implemented in the second phase (EUR 1.5 billion per year); in the third phase, line ministries prepared a range of measures. In the current, fourth phase, the measures are being realised. The fifth phase is anticipated for 2014, when the evaluation will be implemented (the effects of implemented measures will be verified and savings by line ministries will be assessed on the basis of a uniform methodology).
A special interministerial working group managed by the Ministry of the Interior was established to implement the measures. The group reports to the Government of the Republic of Slovenia on the realisation of goals and measures. 232 measures out of 414, or 56%, of all measures were realised in the period from 2009 to May 2013.
More than 200 measures which reduce legislative burdens were transferred from the Action Programme to Eliminate Administrative Barriers in the Single Document. The Single Document comprises more than 240 concrete measures in 16 different areas and the line ministries responsible for implementing measures.
The project to coordinate uniform reporting is implemented by the Cabinet. In February 2013, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia appointed the permanent interministerial working group, comprised of a strategic council, operational working group and coordinators, with their deputies from line ministries. Individual coordinators of the interministerial working group who are engaged in individual areas will report three times per year to the business secretary of the operational working group on the activities implemented in accordance with the determined tasks and realisation of measures from the Single Document.
To simplify and unify procedures for assessing administrative costs incurred by enterprises and citizens due to state regulations, the Ministry of the Interior has developed the EMMS-SCM methodology. The EMMS is of key importance in seeking the most efficient ways to reduce administrative burdens and enables the study of the effects of changes. On the basis of obligations arising from regulations that incur great administrative costs, we can wisely devise a programme of measures to eliminate administrative barriers (burdens). Additional evaluations provide for the monitoring the efficiency and success of the implementation of the measures.
The purpose of the model is not to determine whether the activities are mandatory to achieve the goals of specific legislation, but rather to identify all the administrative activities necessary for companies and other entities to fulfil their legal requirements, to extrapolate them for the whole population and to calculate the share of GDP
| 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
With the setting up the electronic address firstname.lastname@example.org, the number of initiatives, proposals and questions regarding the elimination of administrative barriers has increased significantly. The number of proposals received, the number of proposals submitted for further resolution to the competent authorities, the response times of line ministries and answers to proposals were managed manually. Due to the quantity of data, the preparation of statistical reports and the review of realisation were quite time consuming, and several employees were engaged in these processes. It became quite common for the interested public to request information about other proposals or if other persons had encountered the same barriers. Within the scope of the 'Measurement of Administrative Costs and Burdens in the Regulations of the Republic of Slovenia' project, the Ministry decided to set up the STOP the Bureaucracy online portal, which is also available in English. All current information on the elimination of administrative barriers and preparation of improved regulations in Slovenia are available in one place. The portal also enables the presentation of reports on administrative burdens in an individual regulation that is assessed by the programme (act, decree, rules etc.) and the submission of additional proposals for simplifications sent by users. The introductory page of the online portal enables four entry fields for the submission of proposals, initiatives and questions. A large number of entry fields aim to encourage users to submit initiatives. 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. Users can also review all comments by category (e.g. finance, the economy) or by competent authority. The website intended for comments 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.