The e-government and the process of issuing building permits
The idea behind E-government
According to official definition of World Bank the E-government refers to the use by government agencies of information technologies (such as Wide Area Networks, the Internet, and mobile computing) that have the ability to transform relations with citizens, businesses, and other arms of government. These technologies can serve a variety of different ends: better delivery of government services to citizens, improved interactions with business and industry, citizen empowerment through access to information, or more efficient government management. The resulting benefits can be less corruption, increased transparency, greater convenience, revenue growth, and/or cost reductions.
The e-government is conceptual and technical platform which is the fundament part of the process of transition from traditional administration services to truly electronic based system of administrative services. This system should improve the quality of public services and establish efficient governance of administrative services delivered by hi-end systems of real-time communications.
Construction permits and e-government
In the Strategy of implementation of principals of e-government in Bulgaria (adopted in 2002) are stipulated 20 basic inter/intranet-based services which should be provide to Bulgarian citizens.
One of these 20 indicative services is "issuing construction permit". Unfortunately, at present the readiness of this service is situated in level 1 (according to the numeration of readiness - level 1 means preparation phase and level 4 means fully integrated phase, so-called transition phase). According to pre-scheduled working plan, at the end of 2005, this indicative service had to be in phase 4 - transition. That mean the people and state administration should have the possibility to exchange information in real-time trough the internet-based communication platforms, but at the present time that is only (science) fiction.
The construction industry is one of the leading sectors of Bulgarian economy. The amount of FDI in the industry for 2006 is 2, 1027 million dollars. On the other hand the total amount of final production in the construction industry represent 15, 5 basic points from GDP of the country.
At the same time, on the one hand the administrative burden upon business and citizens and on the other hand his effort to compliance with current existing regulations in the process of issuing building permits, these are the same problems that face businesses and citizens which are an obstacle to further development of the construction industry.
The main question is how e-government could help businesses and citizens struggling with the burdensome and non transparent state administration?
We can conclude that the principals of e-government could transform the current situation in two main directions:
- Increase efficiency of the state administration
- Decrease the compliance costs and bureaucracy in state administration
The question is: when and how this will be come true? The answer is: who knows better than government.