A relic from the past: why the construction market can not do without paper


Source: LIGA.Biznes

To obtain a construction permit, it is necessary to prepare pounds of paper. Why do not electronic services work?

Sometimes it seems to me that new construction rules providing for an increase of green areas are just compensation for trees. Green plantings have become raw materials for the amount of papers that real estate developers need to prepare and submit to licensing bodies. And this is a reality of the 21st century in the center of Europe. It looks like surrealism.

(Not) transparent changes

Last year, a “Transparent DABI” system was launched. Officials demonstrated how to register a declaration for getting a construction permit online. In fact, everything didn’t turn out to be so optimistic.

Last December, an investor from Chernivtsi decided to build a commercial real estate property. According to the existing procedure, he collected all the documents (a total of several kilograms of paper) and submitted to the State Architectural and Construction Inspection in Kyiv. The documents were accepted, and he needed to get an answer through the “Transparent DABI” system. But the miracle did not happen.

First, the transparency began and ended with a “receipt stamp”, since it’s impossible to monitor the document processing procedure online. Secondly, the investor didn’t receive any public answer through the “Transparent DABI” system on time. Thirdly, the investor received a refusal signed by a person not authorized to deal with this type of permits. It was justified by comments like “the address should be indicated both in the construction title and location”.

Why do I pay so much attention to the comments? The fact is that they were made to the project that had previously received a positive conclusion as a result of the expertise that can be carried out by a state certified specialist. That is, a representative of the state reviewed the conclusion of an expert authorized by the same state and found out mistakes in it.

The investor as a representative of the market generating up to 3% of GDP was tripped, wasn’t he? And the most interesting thing is that the state is responsible neither for delays, nor for mistakes in the state expertise. These are the problems of the investor.

Is it possible to change the situation?

Is it possible to change the very system of obtaining permits in construction to help real investors, without losing the ability to ensure control over safety and prevent violations of urban planning laws? It is possible.

To do this, we need to create a unified information system that would deal with the organization of urban planning activities. The need for this system is long overdue. What would be the point of this approach? First of all, it will help to collect scattered data and registries, allow to exchange documents remotely and monitor any operations with documents. And most importantly, the system will not be focused on officials and “making bribes”, but on investors.

A framework for the implementation of such a system has been already developed. The only we need is to make it approved. Plus, to create registries of urban planning and technical conditions, construction projects (with permits and energy certificates indicated) with their further integration into this unified

system. In addition, it should be equipped with interfaces for interaction between central/local government bodies and developers/contractors. It is necessary to provide constant public access to open sections containing documents and analytics.

After their approval, the investor from Chernivtsi will not need to deliver kilograms of paper in Kyiv. And any investor will be able to monitor the processing of construction permits at any stage. And the bodies that issue licenses will be able to manage them remotely.