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President
10 June 2022, 14:20

Call for digitizing more administrative procedures in Belarus

MINSK, 10 June (BelTA) – It is necessary to convert as many administrative procedures as possible into the digital format. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the statement during the national seminar-conference held on 10 June to discuss new methods and forms of public communication at the grassroots level, BelTA has learned.

Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed out that the conversation about the simplification of administrative procedures and the debureaucratization of the state administration has been going on in Belarus for a long time. “Why was the one-stop shop principle introduced? Not only for the sake of convenience and speed. Although those are important. It is no secret that some procedures involve corruption risks. We've decided to minimize contacts between civil servants and citizens where clients sometimes want to grease palms in order to get their issues resolved faster,” he remarked.

In his words, there are about 2,000 administrative procedures in Belarus at present but not all of them are carried out according to the one-stop shop principle. For instance, only one tenth of the total number follows this principle in district administrations and oblast administrations. A number of government agencies have embraced the one-stop shop principle (vehicle registration, passport issuance, and the rest).

“They are trying to convince me that it is complicated and sometimes inadvisable to switch all the procedures into the one-stop shop format due to the multiple steps such procedures involve. Then let's revise the procedures themselves. Are all of them necessary? Maybe some of them are outdated? And convert them into the digital format,” the president demanded.

He noted that similar revision work was done in the past in order to inventory various population privileges, which were outdated and had to be updated: “They were taking it slowly but then I said: let's cancel all of it and introduce the preferences that should work with a new regulatory act or a presidential decree. Let's stipulate that these will be in effect while the rest will not be. Let's do it this way [to revise administrative procedures].”

In his words, similar complex work has been done to regulate the construction of single-family houses and the relevant draft presidential decree has been submitted for the president to sign. “Listen, why do we have to interfere with the owner and tell him what roof to build, what foundation and so on? The man builds for his own family and will bear responsibility for it before himself and his kids. Let's give him permission, allocate the plot and let him build his home there,” Aleksandr Lukashenko explained. Later on revision work will continue with regard to regulations concerning the construction of multistory buildings, industrial installations, and other facilities: “It is necessary to give people the ability to decide their own fate. Don't think that we understand what people want better than they do. Simple life philosophy.”

Speaking about converting administrative procedures to the digital format, Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that the adoption of amendments to the law on petitions of citizens and legal persons is in the final stage and they regulate these things, too. “They contain a provision on broader Internet usage in the process of consideration of petitions. Citizens will be able to see who specifically is taking care of their petitions and for how long. These changes are important. It is necessary to do things faster,” the Belarusian leader stressed.

Yet the president pointed out that they should not overdo it with the revision process and should leave people the ability to get things done the old way because not all of them know how to use various mobile devices and have Internet access. “In other words, it is necessary to give people the right to choose how they should interact with authorities,” he said.

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