Where to begin in order to simplify your administrative procedures? This page offers you two sources of inspiration:
- The 5 reflexes of administrative simplification, developped by Easybrussels. These tips will help you consider your administrative procedures from a new perspective, and start simplifying them.
- Examples of measures of administrative simplification put in place by the administrations of Brussels. These initiatives will inspire you to create similar tools or put similar changes in motion.
Public services must be at the service of the user, citizen or business.
Any administrative procedure brings a burden for the user : a cost in time or in money. Simplifying procedures aims to reduce those burdens.
Put yourself in the shoes of the user who carries out an administrative procedure: who do they talk to? What kind of information must they provide? How long must they wait for a response?…
This way, you will identify the obstacles encountered by the user: unclear instructions, multiple contact persons, having to send the same information repeatedly… All of these are sources of administrative burdens!
To reduce administrative burdens, technological tools are essential.
Public services must adapt to the users’ habits: they use the Internet more and more for a number of operations, and they expect to be able to do the same for their administrative procedures.
Furthermore, technology can make administrative procedures considerably more simple, fluid and secure, to the benefit of the users and, often, the public servants!
In practice, digitizing administrations takes the shape of online forms, shared databases, electronic invoicing… The applications are numerous, explore them!
While they modernize, public services must remain accessible to all.
Not all users have mastered digital tools. A total digitization of the administration, without an alternative to online tools, would in effect abandon those already vulnerable users.
When you work on modernizing a procedure, it is therefore crucial to guarantee that every user will continue to be able to access it without obstacles. Consider, for example, the possibility of continuing to allow the use of a paper form if necessary.
The accessibility of public services also mean clear and understandable language. In your communications to users, avoid using technical jargon if there is a chance they will not understand it, and choose a page layout that is easy to read and communicates the information easily.
In order to simplify an administrative procedure, knowing it well is useful, but rethinking it is sometimes necessary as well.
Administrative procedures are not fixed: they must evolve with the times, according to the habits of the users and the technological possibilities, so that public authorities remain in sync with their time.
Study each step of the procedure, and consider whether it can be improved, without prejudgement. You may find out that certain steps can be optimized, maybe even deleted, thanks to certain digital tools or to legal changes.
Such an evolution does not necessarily imply big transformations! By rethinking your procedures, you might discover small, easy-to-implement improvements, with a real impact for the users.
Starting a process of administrative simplification can seem intimidating. To assist you, you can count on Easybrussels!
The agency has developed a large collaborative network across the public authorities of Brussels: administrations, OPI, intercommunales, nonprofit organizations… All of them work on various simplification projects, and as a result, you can benefit, through Easybrussels, of a useful sharing of experience.
Easybrussels can also assist you through its expertise in matters of administrative simplification, by informing you on the existing technical or legal possibilities and on current projects, and offering advice on the best approach.
Don’t hesitate to contact the agency using the Contact page!
To start an economic activity or sell a property, users must submit study reports prepared by experts, as well as other documents (soil certificates, etc.), to the Soils Subdivision of Environment Brussels, as part of the implementation of legislation on contaminated soils.
Until 2015, these documents were introduced in paper form, which required a considerable amount of time to receive, analyze and encode them in the internal database of Environment Brussels. This sometimes resulted in significant delays in the issuance of permits and real estate transactions.
In order to shorten processing times and reduce administrative burdens for applicants, the “Brusoil” web platform was set up in 2015. Initially, it was made available to the experts, to enable them to upload the study reports (about 5,000 per year). It was then opened up to notaries and real estate agents, allowing them to request soil certificates and exemptions from obligations (about 40,000 documents per year), and then to permit issuing authorities, so that they could consult the soil condition map, the studies carried out and the restrictions imposed. Finally, the platform was extended to companies and individuals, allowing them to request exemptions, soil certificates, bonuses, etc.
The Brusoil platform offers the following advantages:
- Saving time and money for applicants: throughBrusoil, a study report is received in a few minutes, compared to nearly 10 days previously. In addition, applicants save about €300,000 per year in registered mail costs, and no longer have to travel to the post office and send a registered letter.
- Reduction in file processing times: the average processing time for soil certificates, for example, has been reduced from 30 days to 10 days, and 45% of certificates are even issued within 24 hours.
- Improved communication with experts and applicants: they immediately receive an receipt with the contact details of the processing agent.
- Comfort for users: the platform is easy to handle, and includes all the tools and information the user needs (legislation, procedures, forms, soil condition map, etc.)
Access the Brusoil platform by clicking here.
Would you like to know more about the Brusoil platform?
Saïd El Fadili, Head of the Soils Subdivision
02/499 866 932
In 2019, Brussels Fiscality launched MyTax.brussels, a free plateform allowing the taxpayers of Brussels to manage online their taxes related to the Brussels Region. Currently, MyTax only covers management of the property tax, but new functionalities will be added to it in the years to come.
Today, communication channels such as counters, postal mail, phone and emails are no longer enough for the diverse types of interactions with customers. Taxpayers also expect to be able to carry out certain operations related to their fiscal file themselves, digitally.
The MyTax platform offers the following features:
- Online, 24/7 operations: need to request a reduction, an exoneration or a payment plan? It is now possible online on MyTax. It’s even possible to follow the progression of the request. Do you need an immediate response? You no longer need to go to a physical counter and wait in line. You can now use MyTax at any time.
- One single contact point for all taxpayers: all fiscal files and administrative procedures related to the property tax are now gathered in a single place.
- On-demand copies: no more wasting time looking for the copy of a document! You can download all your fiscal documents on MyTax.
- Customer self-service for taxpayers: you have a question on the property tax? Thanks to the complete FAQ and the Fixs chatbot, taxpayers can find answers to their questions, 24/7.
Access MyTax by clicking here. MyTax is also available as a free smartphone app, through the App Store and the Google Play Store.
To connect to MyTax, the user only needs their Belgian ID card and an Internet connection. If you don’t have a card reader, the Itsme app will let you login online through a smartphone.
Would you like to know more about the MyTax platform?
To support businesses within its territory, the Brussels-Capital Region offers them a whole series of subsidies, covering different stages of a company’s life: creation, location, installation, recruitment, investments, works, exports, etc.
A company wishing to benefit from such a subsidy must submit an application to Brussels Economy and Employment, the competent administration for this topic.
To simplify this procedure, Brussels Economy and Employment launched the digital platform MyBEE in December 2018. This platform is part of the reform of Brussels’ economic expansion aid, which came into force between December 2018 and September 2019, and aims in particular to modernize and strengthen aid by refocusing it on the needs of VSEs and SMEs.
MyBEE allows businesses to:
- Submit and manage subsidy applications online, without the need for a paper form.
- Continuously monitor the evolution of requests.
- Have an overview of all applications submitted.
In 2018, 5,323 subsidy applications were submitted, at the time in paper form, by Brussels entrepreneurs. The digitizing potential of the MyBEE platform is therefore considerable.
Throughout 2019, new subsidies were gradually added to MyBEE and were made available to companies in digital format.
Access MyBEE by clicking here.
Would you like to know more about the MyBEE platform?
Ibrahim Ban Abdellah
David De Ridder
Since July 2019, Vivaqua has been offering Brussels residents who so wish the opportunity to pay their water bills monthly, instead of a single annual payment.
This monthly payment is offered via the Doccle platform, a free service designed to be simple and accessible. Doccle allows you to view, pay and archive these monthly invoices, simplifying the process for users.
By November 2019, nearly 8% of Vivaqua users had switched to monthly billing.
For more information, visit Vivaqua’s website.
Would you like to know more about Vivaqua’s monthly invoicing?