Public services procedures in Uzbekistan are simplified
Public Services Agency (PSA) under the Ministry of Justice with its 201 Public Service Centres (PSC) was established with the initiative of the President of Republic of Uzbekistan on December 12, 2017.
The main objective of its establishment was the simplification of the process of receiving government provided services, eliminating excessive paperwork, long queues as well as corruption. The inception of the PSA was based on the People’s reception offices which have deserved public trust and displayed high efficiency of its services among citizens.[Statistical] indicators reinforce the efficiency of Public Service Centres. In 2017 centres provided 120 thousand services. Conversely, since the establishment of the agency the figure peaked 20 million, while the number of available services increased to 120 and continuing to grow.
To gain trust of general population toward the Public Services Centres, there are number of meetings are being held for remote region citizens, youth, planning to pursue business aspirations, entrepreneurs and others. Meetings are also aimed at providing guidance for local citizens on the procedure of receiving public service.
A lot has been done in order to improve the area of public services. For instance, a number of documents required to receive public services decreased from 112 to 52; the duration of providing public services decreased from 280 days to 126; 53 branches of Public Service Centres have started their work in remote areas of the country in order to avoid excessive paperwork, ensure time efficiency and expenditure mindfulness.
Currently, each Public Service Centre provides administrator’s corner services where citizens can obtain necessary information and meet the director in person.
Moreover, an effective system of working with appeals and proposals has been introduced. Telegram bot, official Facebook page and 1148 hotline have been injected for receiving feedback and improve the quality of services.
With 60 PSCs already operating in the country, there are more are being constructed throughout the whole country.
Buildings are equipped with information desks where citizens can receive necessary public services online. Moreover, a number of evaluation signposts placed throughout the centre to measure service quality. Electronic queue and wait areas have also been improved.
New buildings are equipped with rooms for babies, medical point, cashier point, monitors, demonstrating process of getting service, queue order, special corners for self-services, library, cafeteria and free Wi¬Fi. Persons with disabilities can enjoy special facilities as well. Overall, there is an individual approach for each citizen.
Providing sustainable growth of national economy, attracting foreign direct investment into regions, involving population in entrepreneurial activities are among the key objectives of Republic of Uzbekistan.
The first step into the business realm starts from Public Service Centres where entities undergo the registration. Public Services Agency is the single government body eligible to register a business, because it operates under the Ministry of Justice which in turn, is responsible for increasing ranking of the country across international rankings.
Today, thanks to the availability of a special automated system, registration of business entity in Public Service Centres takes around 15-20 minutes. Opening bank account in both national and foreign currency also takes several minutes.
In addition, the procedure can be performed remotely, in the online mode. In order to encourage citizens to use electronic public services, various benefits are introduced to paying state duties and fees system.
Open online platform for all entrepreneurs, investors and other business entities provides necessary information about their future business partners. Available information is the following: name of the company, date of registration, size of the authorized capital, as well as the founders. Verification of a business partner will help ensure its integrity and professionalism, thereby allowing entrepreneurs to avoid the facts of fraud and unsuccessful cooperation.
As a result, for the first time in the history of Uzbekistan, our country ranked the 8th among 190 countries according to World Bank’s “Doing-Business 2020” report, thus, entering the top ten list.
Besides, for the convenience of citizens, starting from June 1, 2019, individuals and legal entities are entitled to receive the majority of public services at Public Service Centres on an extraterritorial basis, regardless of the place of permanent (temporary) residence of citizens and the mailing address (location) of legal entities.
The Public Services Agency is interested in 100% citizen access to efficient and high-quality public services. In this regard, the agency, in collaboration with the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the European Union and the United Nations Development Program in Uzbekistan is implementing the “Improving the provision of public services and improving the level of governance in rural areas of Uzbekistan” project.
The project is aimed at improving the quality of public services. It is an important step taken by the government of Uzbekistan to improve the quality of life of vulnerable segments of the population in rural areas – primarily women, youth and children, the elderly and people with disabilities, since it is precisely these groups that are prone to experience the consequences of the digital gap.
The project also strives to ensure transparency and openness in the system of public services. This will be achieved by introducing and studying the best practices of accessing all categories of citizens to information, monitoring the quality of public services in real time.
As a bold action against the corruption, the project is foreseeing the injection of automated processes by eliminating human factor in providing various services.
In addition, public services of high international standards will be examined in such 5 remote regions of Uzbekistan as Tashkent, Jizzakh, Syrdarya, Kashkadarya and Surkhandarya, where public service is almost inaccessible. In the near future, this experience will be applied to all Centres.
Moreover, to ensure the quick access to public services for all citizens, regardless of their place of residence, the project plans to open branches of Public Services Centres on the basis of government and private sector partnership principles.