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Rules of thumb 

10 habits to adopt to simplify your administration 

In order to guide all employees of regional administrations and institutions effectively on the path to administrative simplification, Easybrussels has drawn up a list of 10 useful habits.  They ensure that a regional philosophy of administrative simplification is implemented within the Brussels-Capital Region.

1
Keep it simple
Use plain language.

Simplification means to make information easily accessible. Focus on the subject of the information and leave out all unnecessary steps and elements. Give preference to a clear and concise language instead of a technical jargon when the information is destined for a wider audience.

Furthermore, keep visual culture in mind: be aware that we retain 80% of what we see, 20% of what we read, and 10% of what we hear.

2
User centric
Focus on the user.

The public service is there to serve the public. Always take the user as your starting point: who is the user, what are his interests, how can we help him? Take distance from the current framework and the technical obstacles.

Thanks to the creation of infobruit.brussels, Brussels Environment was able to respond to the needs and concerns of the citizens, 70% of whom consider noise to be a nuisance, by implementing the Noise Plan.

3
Quick wins
Find out how to make rapid progress.

Establish a list of possible simplification measures. Weigh the ease with which they can be implemented against the gains for the users. Some measures only demand slight changes and yield immediate and considerable benefits for the users.

Have you received feedback from users about formalities or documents that you work with? Have you noticed improvements you could make? Go ahead!

4
Smart solutions
Change your way of thinking.

Is your procedure difficult to simplify? Then revise it entirely and avoid the well-trodden paths. You will obtain a larger spectrum of results by doing so. Act as a catalyst for good governance by rationalizing processes and encouraging common sense. Do not hesitate to revise the regulations in order to better the quality of public service.

Let the work of other public actors inspire you. For example, the municipalities of Brussels are ever more reachable through a virtual counter.

5
Tech minded
Don't forget about technology.

Take into account the technology your users are working with: they are connected and expect the same thing from their public services. Pay attention to the digital transformation and take the existing digital supports into account when developing your projects. Make sure to consider automatizing your processes in order to work more efficiently.

Thanks to electronic invoicing, administrations and enterprises become more efficient.

6
Make it easy
Remove the obstacles

Put a limit to the authentication steps for your users. Make their lives easier, save their time and create a climate of trust. Check the information you already possess and if it’s up to date, and explore the possibilities of secure access.

Do you know about authentic sources? They allow public authorities to check information without bothering citizens and enterprises. Easy!

7
Paperless
Dematerialize the process.

Contribute to dematerialization: digitalize the processes within services and in between services. By changing over from a paper to an online working method you ensure that your services are accessible on a 24 hour basis. This facilitates the users’ life and diminishes the ecological footprint.

Transitioning 100% to electronic invoicing would result in €3.37 billion worth of savings each year.

8
Large target
Pay attention to digital inclusion.

Society and its needs evolve along with the technological evolution. But do keep in mind that not all users advance at the same speed and that public services need to guarantee an unobstructed access to information. Make sure to provide alternatives for the digital offer.

Be aware that 15% of households in Brussels do not have an Internet connection. Those users, therefore, probably won’t use the virtual counter.     

9
Time & money
Improve the users’ comfort.

An administrative task infers a cost, time and transport for the users. Reduce these to offer a public service that works in a practical and efficient way. Online services contribute to achieving this goal.

Many regional and local administrations have reduced the need for transport by offering the ability to apply for certain procedures through an IRISbox form.

10
Cooperation
Count on us.

Contact Easybrussels: another organization in Brussels has possibly already asked the same questions as you did and possesses certain solutions and tools related to administrative simplification. Participate in working groups in order to share knowledge and become as such an Easybrussels ambassador.

Easybrussels has for example assisted Actiris in the implementation of a Standard Cost Model study of its Stage First procedure.