Permits for Construction and Occupancy can be obtained via a Single Window System: Initial Results
On 18 April 2019, the Center for Analysis of Economic Reforms and Communication of the Republic of Azerbaijan (CAERC) held a press conference participated by representatives of the State Committee on Urban Planning and Architecture. The press conference was dedicated to the importance of the Single-window E-Application System allowing customers to obtain a permit for the construction and occupancy of construction projects not requiring expert assessment. Thus, a customer can apply to the foregoing electronic system and upload the required electronic documents to receive the construction permit within a period of 15 business days as well as the occupancy permit within a period of 10 business days.
In December of 2018, the working group “On provision of construction permits” of the Commission on Business Environment and International Rankings has carried out a series of activities to ensure the application of the single window principle in the area of providing construction permits as well as digitalization and promotion of transparency as part of the business reforms conducted by Mr. President, CAERC analyst Narmin Kazimli said.
Rufat Mahmud, Director of the International Relations and Information Technologies Department of the State Committee on Urban Planning and Architecture, informed media representatives on the online application system for issuing construction and occupancy permits. It was mentioned that the Head of the State Mr. Ilham Aliyev signed the Decree to simplify construction and operation of buildings not requiring expert assessment. The decree relates to the buildings and warehouse facilities of various technical specifications that do not require expert assessment stipulated under Clause 89 of the Urban Planning and Construction Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan. To that end, the State Agency for Public Service and Social Innovations developed a single E-System that reduces the time required for obtaining the permit for construction and occupancy of some construction projects as well as ensuring the procedure’s transparency and promptness. Thus, by entering his/her account with the foregoing system, the customer can upload the required electronic documents to obtain the construction permit within a period of 15 business days and/or receive the occupancy permit within a period of 10 business days. For some construction projects, the period for obtaining construction and occupancy permits can play a crucial role in creating a favorable environment and minimizing contacts between officials and entrepreneurs as well as ensuring citizens’ satisfaction. Reportedly, the electronic permit is sent to the applicant’s account after their application is duly received and processed. To receive the permit’s hard copy, the applicants need to tick the respective button while applying.
Rufat Mahmud, the Director of the Committee’s Department of International Relations and Information Technologies, provided statistical information on the e-system operation since 21 February 2019. He emphasized that, since the foregoing date, the single-window e-system has registered 22 applications for the issuance of a construction permit for construction projects not requiring expert assessment. Having approved 17 of the 22 applications, the Committee sent the e-permit certificates to the applicants’ permanent accounts. The e-system has also registered 4 occupancy permit applications for the construction projects not requiring expert assessment. All 4 applications were approved. The foregoing statistical figures are daily updated.
Comprehensive measures are implemented in the country to ensure further strengthening of the institutional foundations of the business environment and develop a mechanism to ensure free competition as well as to minimize human factor in the area of public-business relations to promote effectiveness, accountability, and transparency. To ensure the development of construction activities based on the multiplier effect, improvement of construction procedures, and attraction of private investments to this area, amendments were made to the Urban Planning and Construction Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan envisaging simplification of the single-window mechanism of issuing construction permits and reduction of the average time required for obtaining a permit.
It is no coincidence that the promotion of a favorable environment in the area of construction has positively influenced the process of economic revival. International organizations, too, positively appraise the implementation of reforms in this sector. Thus, Azerbaijan implemented a significant improvement by climbing 100 spots in the area of providing Construction permits, according to the World Bank’s Doing Business 2019 Report.
During the conference, media representatives received answers to their questions regarding the e-system operation.