At the Conference “From Counter to Digital Transformation” held on October 8, 2019, the Public Policy Secretariat presented the Simplification of Administrative Procedures and Regulations Program called e-Paper. The program is dedicated to improving business conditions through the optimization, modernization and digitization of administrative procedures.

In the presence of the Prime Minister, representatives of embassies, national and international institutions and businessmen, the e-Paper program of the Government of the Republic of Serbia was presented together with the results so far and the next steps on simplifying the doing business in Serbia and establishing a one-stop-shop with all the necessary information for the economy.

In her opening speech, Bojana Tosic, Director of the Public Policy Secretariat, stated that one of the main goals of ePaper is to eliminate unnecessary procedures through the analysis and to change regulations in order to simplify procedures and thereby reduce the burden on economy. This process involves existing procedures at the national and regional levels, which are related to business entities, and the end result is to enable them to complete their administrative obligations online from their offices. By eliminating only two procedures in the Pension and Disability Insurance Fund, by establishing communication between the three systems, namely the Tax Administration, the Central Registry of Compulsory Social Insurance and the Pension and Disability Insurance Fund, almost EUR 30 million worth annual saving was achieved. Addressing the attendees, she proudly emphasized that ePaper was a joint project of the Government and the economy and added that consultations with the businesses had to become rule.

Prime Minister Ana Brnabic referred to the survey of 1,000 companies conducted by the USAID Economic Development Cooperation Project in which it was noted that the percentage of entrepreneurs who considered that the predictability of doing business in Serbia had increased over the last 12 months. It is also of great importance that 74% of companies agree that the operation of public administration is more efficient in 2019 than in the previous year, and 72% of small and medium-sized businesses believe that transparency of doing business in Serbia has increased.

Since 2017, when the system for automatic data exchange was put into operation, over 5.3 million of data have been electronically exchanged within the public administration, which means that the same number of papers was not printed, and that alone reflects savings achieved by both the economy and public administration. In this way, citizens and businesses will no longer be couriers to the state, but the state will do this job for them, and that the well-known phrases “you need one more paper” and “where’s the stamp” will be completely forgotten.

The head of the EU Delegation to Serbia, Sam Fabrizi, welcomed the efforts of Serbian Government to establish a more efficient public administration and emphasized the satisfaction with the introduction of modern and efficient regulatory frameworks that are most important to SMEs, as they account for two-thirds of jobs in Serbia. “Serbia is definitely going in the right direction,” Fabrizi said and told the audience that this was the beginning of a big job that we all needed to work together on it.

“The quality of public services is a very good indicator of good governance. Satisfaction with public administrations, such as E-government, turns directly into trust in the work of the Government”, said Thomas Schieb, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany.

The Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veterans’ and Social Affairs, headed by Minister Zoran Djordjevic first transferred its own service and applications into a single Data Center and consolidated all documentation in one place. “In the next year, our plan is to complete full digitalization of social protection services, introduce “Document Management System-DMS” that already exists in the Pension and Disability Insurance Fund and the National Employment Service, because we want all transmitted documents to be accessible and visible to everyone, of course, in accordance with respective authorities”, the minister said.

The reform launched in the above ministry was also an occasion to present an award to Minister Zoran Djordjevic for Leader in Modernization and Transformation of Public Services, in recognition of the results so far.