Description of the goods or services required
Support to Improve Functioning and Efficiency of the e-Permits Platform in Albania
The Government of Albania undertook between 2013 and 2014 a very important administrative and territorial reform aiming the reorganization of local governments units, resulting in 2015 in the reduction from 384 to 61 municipalities. As a result of a thorough review of legislation and procedures on territorial planning and development, an online system was introduced in 2016. The e-Permits Platform is the only mandatory system that channels all procedures of applying for and awarding construction permits, and was recognised as a significant improvement to the business environment, both in the Doing Business and the EU Progress reports for 2017.
However, practical operation of the Platform and users interaction have faced many challenges, related to:
- mismatches and difficulties in both understanding/interpreting and meeting the deadlines for completion of the reviewing process by municipalities;
- application of different practices by different municipalities in handling and reviewing applications;
- lack of completion of electronic databases for interfaces of relevant institutions with the e-Permits Platform; and
- overlapping of sectorial laws with the concept of the Platform under the legislation of planning and development of the territory.
The Territorial Development Agency of Albania (“TDA”), responsible for the development of the territory and charged with the ownership over e-Permits and the responsibility of its functioning, has requested the support of European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (“EBRD” or the “Bank”) through technical assistance to improve functioning and efficiency of the e-Permits Platform boosting its performance through services and better institutional coordination.
In response to TDA’s request, EBRD intends to select and contract a consulting company (the “Consultant”) to provide the necessary technical assistance for the improvement of functioning of the e-Permits, with the ultimate goal of improving the business environment in Albania and concretely easing the dealing with construction permits (as per World Bank’s Doing Business relevant indicator).
The main expected outcomes from the implementation of this Assignment are the following:
- Construction permitting handling and approval practices through the e-Permits platform are improved;
- Institution and private level capacity in the area of construction permitting is strengthened, improving usage of e-Permits and its functioning;
- e-Permits Platform is updated through further digitalisation.
The selected Consultant is expected to provide the following services:
= Undertake an assessment of the quality and effectiveness of services offered through the e-Permits Platform, aiming its improved functionality, and a situation analysis on current applicable laws and bylaws that cover the construction domain and relevant to the Platform;
- Review, complete and unify procedures followed by the responsible decision making authorities on the construction permits approval, with the final output being a technical and legal operational manual as an Instruction for all the users of the e-Permits platform;
- Assess and prepare recommendations (roadmap) for further digitalisation of documentations and procedures in the e-Permit, and implementation of online payment facilities within the Platform;
- Provide instruments and methodologies for institutional capacities building, and awareness and better information amongst private sector and individual users.