Promoting changes in the relationship between businesses and government that facilitate economic activity has been a priority for the Government of Catalonia. This new relationship model is based on confidence in entrepreneurs and is focused on reducing administrative burdens and bureaucracy. It is a change of direction in which the company should be placed in the spotlight of public policy and not vice versa. This new approach has necessarily involved a transformation of the legal framework and a wide technological change, because the instruments for the production of the services are not what were already in place. However, above all it is an internal organisational change that causes a real cultural change of the administration compared to how it is traditionally understood. The government has achieved this change of direction through two plans for the implementation of the One-Stop Shop, with the following methodology:
- The first step is the rationalisation and simplification of government procedures to eliminate unnecessary administrative burdens. The project team has eliminated 80 procedures and simplified the 68% of those remaining.
- The second step is the implementation of the one-stop shop (OSS) as a reference point for entrepreneurs and corporations when dealing with government bodies, with the following characteristics:
- There is an integration of services and unified processing of all procedures required by companies throughout their life cycle, regardless of the government authority responsible: state, regional or local.
- It is multichannel: the online channel is prioritised, but entrepreneurs can choose other channels.
· Management is subject to standardisation and homogenisation throughout the region: the same processing for the same activity in all 947 municipal councils in Catalonia.
- Speed and efficiency will lower administrative costs for businesses as it is not necessary to wait for an answer, and they can begin their business as soon as the communication is made.
- Networking is introduced, through the collaborative service provision model.
Catalonia has now a fully operational OSS with 524 procedures included in its catalogue, which provides entrepreneurs and companies with comprehensive multichannel services for all levels of government. This means that processing takes place at a single point, and ensures that procedures are swift and proficient. To implement the OSS, it has been necessary to create several technological resources. In particular, the OSS website (www.gencat.cat/canalempresa) is designed to help entrepreneurs with their administrative procedures, regardless of the government body responsible. The website includes an innovative online tool based on a series of questions that help to define and inform about the necessary procedures. It includes the order in which they have to be carried out, requirements, documents needed, forms and fees. The scope of the project is huge. It affects all responsible authorities on the legalisation of activities as well as authorities with transversal responsibilities on IT issues or technical regulations of the different levels of government. This has been made possible thanks to the approval by the Parliament of Catalonia of Law 16/2015 on Administrative Simplification. The law covers three issues:
- minimal administrative involvement in business start-ups;
- the OSS model to be implemented in Catalonia;
- the information system to remove obstacles to access to business.
These procedures apply to a set of activities with no or low risk that account for 75% of all economic activity and benefit 435 000 companies or corporations, and almost 1.5 million workers.