Ease and transparency


What do the program “9 Steps From Project to Object” offer developers?

Creating favorable investment climate is the main condition for attracting business to the city in a setting of economic crisis. It’s not only the reduction in financial costs, but primarily the reduction of administrative barriers in passing through of approval procedures.

Ease and transparency are beneficial to all participants of the construction process. After all, the reduction of administrative procedures means saving money for the city budget and for developers.

Today nearly a million people are involved in the construction industry of Moscow. It is clear for all that creation of a simple, clear and transparent algorithm for obtaining urban planning documentation seriously lowering the risks of corruption, reducing project implementation risks, allows you to plan investments and actively developing the sector as a whole. One job in construction sector creates eight or nine jobs in related industries. The total number of projects under construction in Moscow exceeds 2.5 thousand, construction is under way on more than 20 million square meters.

Only 9 steps to reach the goal

The Moscow Department of Urban Planning Policy has developed a new set of measures named “9 Steps From Project to Object”. Constructing low-rick objects, involving simplified procedure provided in the Construction Code, will take minimum effort: 9 steps, 99 days and 0,9% of construction cost.

The construction of such kind of facilities (low-rise buildings, warehouses, etc.) should be performed with minimum of approval procedures. After optimization of administrative procedures only nine steps is now required, so the average term of approvals has reduced to 99 days (excluding the timing for completion amendments in documents by the applicant). The strategic importance of the concept is that these mechanisms, tools and solutions can be extended to all kinds of objects in the long term.

99 days is an aggregated term for the passage of all procedures. It does not include the time for collecting documents, designing and construction works. It is calculated in accordance with methodology of the World Bank experts.

Most of applications are submitted online via the portal of state services. The process can be tracked in the Developer’s Personal Account.

The Construction Complex took a pioneering decision to complete GPZU (development plan of land plot) with information about underground utilities and structures and preliminary technical conditions for connection to water supply and sewage networks. There are long-term plans of adding to GPZU the information on other types of networks. This initiative has already received approval of the Ministry of Construction of Russia, the Ministry of Economic development of Russia and the Agency for Strategic Initiatives. If earlier a developer needed a lot of time to collect necessary information, now it can be obtained as part of GPZU, while the term of it will not be extended.

Moreover, since April 11, 2016 the application for GPZU in Moscow can be submitted exclusively in electronic format, recently said the press office of the Moscow Architecture and City Planning Committee. “We strive to create a full cycle of services in electronic format – from provision of a land plot to getting a building permit. First of all we convert the most popular services in exclusive electronic format,” cites the TASS news agency the words of Elena Shynkaruk, Chairman of the Moscow City Committee of state services. According to her 54 % of applications for obtaining GPZU in 2015 were submitted online.

Earlier it was reported that the Ministry of Construction of Russia requested the federal regions to provide the following key urban development services in electronic format before the end of 2016: issuance of construction and occupancy permits, issuance of GPZU and conclusion of state expert examination of urban-planning documentation.

Since September 1, 2016, the Main State Expert Examination Committee will accept federal budget-funding projects only in electronic format. And from January 1, 2017, all regional offices of the state expert examination will process applications submitted solely online.

Major focus of reforms

City planning authorities of the capital understand that a clear and simple algorithm of passing through administrative procedures allow developers to plan their work using an exhaustive list of documents to minimize their costs of preparatory work.

In this context a newly developed set of measures 9 Steps From Project to Object” serves several purposes. One of the main is to reduce the number of procedures and their terms to the requisite minimum in order to save time and ensure compliance with law and order during construction works, as well as the safety and comfort of the end user – the citizens of Moscow.

An equally crucial goal is to upgrade the rest key procedures and to convert them to electronic format. Besides the obvious benefits this allows a developer to use services from anywhere in the world, as well as to get online information on the status of his documents.

The project of conversion approvals and permits to electronic format was launched in 2013 with the first seven services. By the end of 2014, 12 out of 14 services were provided in electronic format. Since 2015 nine services are provided exclusively in e-format.

As the Head of the Moscow Department of urban policy Sergei Levkin told in his speech at the roundtable discussion in the format of Urban Talks, Moscow is the leader among the subjects of the Russian Federation in the field of translation into electronic public services in the construction industry. For business is currently available in electronic form 12 such public services. This urban plans of land, the state examination of project documentation and engineering survey results, building permits, opinions on the conformity of the constructed objects with the technical regulations and design documentation, a permit for commissioning of facilities, approval of architectural and urban planning solutions, passports coloristic solutions facades of buildings and more. In 2015, 73% of all applications for state services in construction sector of Moscow were submitted electronically.

On the annual board of the Construction Complex in February, 2016, the Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin noted that nowadays a developer can obtain all necessary documentation at all stages of construction project without visiting government agencies, it concerns all kinds of documents from a land lease agreement and to an occupancy permit.

The best strategy

The foundation for innovations in urban development sector of Moscow was laid in 2012, when the Mayor of Moscow Sergey Sobyanin called the reduction of administrative barriers one of the main goals of the city in order to create a comfortable investment climate.

Since 2012 the Construction Complex of Moscow and other government bodies have done a great and systematic work to reduce administrative barriers in the construction sector. The work was conducted in three main areas: elimination of excessive administrative procedures, shortening the passing through the necessary procedures and conversion of services in electronic format.

First and foremost, the terms of procedures were significantly reduced. For example, carrying out a state expert examination of standard project documentation was reduced from 50 to 30 days, for non-standard it was reduced from 50 to 45 days. Now a certificate of approval of architectural and urban object decision (AGR) can be issued in 14 days instead of 30, and in seven days instead of 14 you can obtain an excavation permit.

Some treatments were simply eliminated – for example, approvals of district councils and prefectures. A key reform of 2015 was the adoption of a new procedure for executing orders, developed by the Executive Office of the Moscow Mayor in cooperation with the Committee of State Services and UATI. The system of document registration, necessary for earthworks production has fundamentally changed. A number of additional procedures related to registration of orders were repealed.

Performance targets of Doing Business WB ranking are used as one of the important indicators of successful implementation of the program to reduce administrative barriers. Rating is based on an anonymous survey of builders and developers in 189 countries, reflecting the ease of doing business, including in the construction industry.

According to the World Bank estimates (including all methodological conventions), in 2010 in Moscow a builder spent 589 days, 4.2% of the total project cost on administrative procedures, in 2016 he needs 244 days and 1.7% of the project cost, that is almost 2.5 times less. The total number of procedures was reduced from 48 to 19.

“We have inherited a fairly high level of control over the quality and safety in construction from the regulation system developed in the Soviet era. This is confirmed by international experts,” noted Sergey Levkin, the Head of the Moscow Department of urban policy, at the roundtable discussion in the format of Urban Talks.

Sticking to traditions and updating them with modern technologies – is the best strategy in this case, it proves its value not only in Moscow, but throughout Russia. Thus, according to the World Bank estimates, the index of “quality of construction” in the Russian Federation amounts to 14 points out of a 15. By the way, the same amount of points (14) has Singapore, the leading country in terms of “Dealing with construction permits”.