Doing Business 2017: Equal Opportunity for All
Streamlining the process of obtaining a building permit. The construction industry is a vital sector of an economy. It stimulates growth by attracting sizeable investments and supporting supply chains, thereby generating employment and contributing to the process of capital formation.13 Research suggests that the construction industry is responsible for 6% of global GDP—or a 5% share of GDP in developed economies and an 8% share in developing economies.14 Over the past three years economies have mostly focused their construction-permitting reforms on streamlining procedures and improving coordination among the various agencies involved in the process. Other common areas of improvement included reducing the time and cost incurred by builders, followed by improving electronic platforms and building quality control processes.
In the area of construction, five of 18 econ- omies reduced the time it takes to obtain a building permit in 2015/16. Algeria and Cameroon, for example, enforced the processing time limits prescribed by law. Similarly, the Democratic Republic of Congo improved building quality controls and compliance with legal time limits to obtain a building permit. Zimbabwe streamlined the approval process for construction permits by improving inter- agency coordination between the Harare City Council and architectural agencies.
Five economies—Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Madagascar, the Philippines and the United Arab Emirates—improved their performance on the building quality control index by increasing the transparency of building regulations. In the Philippines, for example, the Department of Building O cial Services of Quezon City updated its website to list the required preapprovals needed to obtain a construction permit. With respect to cost reduction, both France and San Marino reduced the fees for obtaining a building permit.
Botswana’s Gaborone City Council abol- ished a requirement to present a rates clearance certificate when applying for a building permit, thereby easing bureaucratic requirements. Poland eliminated a requirement to obtain technical conditions for utilities and clearance from the public roads administrator. Kazakhstan introduced a single window portal to streamline the approvals process to obtain a building permit. The Russian Federation abolished the requirement to obtain an approval to fence construction sites in St. Petersburg. Capitalizing on advancements in modern technology, Serbia made it mandatory to request a building permit online through the e-permit system. Likewise, Singapore enhanced its electronic one-stop shop, making the process of obtaining approvals from di erent authorities easier. Finally, Albania’s Constitutional Court lifted a moratorium on issuing construction per- mits. As a result, the issuance of building permits has been resumed.