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. This was followed by a thorough review of the legislative framework on territorial planning and development, under which 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. It 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) is responsible for the development of the territory and has the ownership over e-Permits and its related database and the responsibility of its functioning. TDA has been proactive in coordinating the activities on the Platform, providing trainings and serving as main contact point for the users.
TDA has now requested the support of EBRD, which shall provide technical assistance to improve functioning, and efficiency of the e-Permits Platform boosting its performance through services and better institutional coordination.
The overall objective of the project is to improve the business environment in the country by reducing time and costs burden related to construction permits, through a more efficient e-Permits Platform, improved coordination amongst responsible institutions and transparent services to the businesses and citizens. The project is supported by the Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).
EBRD shall select and contract an experienced firm to provide a team of international and local experts to support TDA through the following activities:
(i) Assessment of the service quality offered through the e-Permits Platform, aiming its improved functionality;
(ii) Establishment and unification of the procedures followed by the responsible decision taking authorities on the construction permits approval, in the context of an Operational Manual;
(iii) Speeding up the e-Permits decision making process through further digitalisation;
(iv) Service quality improvement through institutional capacities building.
The expected duration of the project is one year.
Any competitive selections for business opportunities relating to this project will be published on the EBRD's website: Consultancy Procurement Opportunities.
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