On 20 April 2012, the Belgian Minister of the Budget and Administrative Simplification, Olivier Chastel presented the third Federal Action Plan for Administrative Simplification to the Federal Council of Ministers.
Administrative simplification consists of all the measures aimed at facilitating and simplifying the administrative steps that citizens and business need to take in order to satisfy the requirements of existing laws and regulations. The Federal Government has been making serious efforts for the past ten years towards this direction.
The Federal Government intends to support enterprises and promote the creation of activities by reducing their administrative burdens by 30 % by 2014. The aim is for the reduction objective of 25 % by 2012 recommended from 2007 by the European Small Business Act , to be fulfilled and surpassed by the year 2014.
The third Federal Action Plan for Administrative Simplification covers the period 2012-2015. It concerns, among other areas of action, the Action Plan of the Agency for Administrative Simplification 2011-2012, the priorities of the Crossroads Bank for Social Security, the Action Plan for SMEs, the Coperfin Programme of the Federal Public Service (FPS) for Finance as well as the development of the eHealth platform in the field of healthcare.
The main projects for companies include: the ‘only once’ principle and the ‘one stop shop’ (guichet unique in French); the extension of the eDepot application; electronic meal vouchers; the simplification of public procurement; eInvoicing. Those for citizens cover: electronic identification card (eID), the simplification of the allocation of welfare allowances, etc.
“The Kafka test, applied since 2004, will also be revised by 1 October 2012. It will allow to better analyze the impact of the new regulations on the administrative burdens of the various target groups (citizens, enterprises and associations)”, announced Minister Chastel.
This plan is evolutionary and new projects may be added during its first evaluation, which is scheduled for November 2012. The Action Plan is a result of the collaboration of all the members of the Government and the Federal Public Services.