Various Regulations Were Amended In Order To Reduce Bureaucratic Red Tape And Simplify Certain Procedures

August 2009

Amendments to 170 Regulations pertaining to the Turkish Prime Ministry, Ministries, and the Affiliated and Relevant Governmental Institutions, for Reducing Bureaucratic Red tape and Simplification of Procedures, entered into force by being published in the Official Gazette Dated July 31st, 2009.

Pursuant to these amendments, 421 documents in public services are removed and the approval of the Public Notaries for 215 public services is no more needed.

These amendments constitute a crucial step for the Turkish E-Government Project which intends to establish a declaration-based, up-to-date, online application system enabling citizens to gain access easily to public services without spending time and money on the application procedures.

There is no need to produce documents such as certified copies of IDs, criminal records, bills of health, certificates of residence and military service records in proceedings before the Turkish Prime Ministry, the
Undersecretariat for Maritime Affairs, the Undersecretariat for Foreign Trade, the Undersecretariat of Customs, the Undersecretariat of Treasury, the Presidency of Religious Affairs, the Social Services and Child Protection Agency, the General Directorate of Foundations, Turkish Statistical Institute, the Administration for Disabled People, the Turkish Academy of Science, the State Planning Organization, the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation, the Turkish Housing Development Administration, the Turkish Ministries, and the affiliated and relevant other governmental institutions.

According to the provisions of the new Regulations, in 38 million public services and proceedings before government institutions, the obligation to submit certified copies of IDs is replaced by declaration of an ID number. In 15 million governmental proceedings, the obligation to submit criminal records and bills of health is replaced by written declaration of the citizens. Moreover, if one of the government institutions wishes to gain access to the relevant official records, it will itself request these records from the other relevant institutions.

Showing original documents and submitting copies will be sufficient instead of requiring the submission of notarized documents.

Before the new regulations, both the Social Security Institution and the General Directorate of Labor kept the business and employee records, and these multiple recording systems used to cause several problems. Pursuant to the new regulations, only the Social Security Institution will keep the relevant records.

These amendments aim to eliminate the bureaucratic procedure of collecting application documents and reporting information which citizens face in order to gain access to public services; to enable the government institutions to better intercommunicate and to access a shared info pool via the internet; and to expedite the rendering of public services to citizens by relying on their declarations.

Another regulation, The Regulation Pertaining to the Procedures and Principles to be Followed When Offering Public Services, in parallel with the aforementioned amendments, entered into force by being published in the
Official Gazette dated July 31st, 2009.

The aim of the Regulation is stated in Article 1 as: “to create an effective, efficient, accountable, transparent public administration that trusts the declarations of the citizens; to regulate the procedures and principles to be followed by the public administrations in order to perform public services with high quality and low costs in a fast and simplified way.”

In Article 8 of the Regulation, “The Principles of Requesting Information and Documents from the Applicant” are stated as:

1) The administration, while performing its services, shall issue regulations relating to the information and the documents requested from the applicant, based on the criteria stated below:
a) Regulations shall be prepared based on declaration.
b) Documents cannot be requested until the consummation of the procedure, unless it is necessary.
c) At the state of applying for employment exams, only the documents necessary for the exam shall be requested; the documents necessary for taking office shall be requested only from those who pass the exam.
ç) The information and documents that the administration keeps in the line of duty and the documents previously taken from the applicant and transferred to the institution records which the applicant states not to have changed cannot be requested again.
d) In case the original copy of the requested document is presented, the copy of the document shall be approved by the relevant officer by writing his name and his title, after checking its conformity with the original copy.
e) The information and the documents that are shared by other administrations on an electronic platform cannot be requested from the applicant. However, the necessary information to easily gain access to this information and documents can be requested.
f) Criminal records shall not be requested from the applicant; instead a written declaration shall be requested. In case the application is made by filing a form, a section for the declaration of criminal records must be present on that form. The administration shall check the validity of this declaration from the relevant authorities which can provide criminal record information. The relevant authorities shall provide the necessary information to the institutions immediately via electronic means if the necessary technical infrastructure is available, and in other cases within three working days.
g) The documents requested on the application shall be listed exhaustively by the administration. Ambiguous expressions such as “other or similar documents requested by the administration” cannot be used.
ğ) The forms requested for application shall also be published on the web page of the administration.”
The main thrust of the Regulation is to enable citizens to easily gain access to public services, to offer the public services in an electronic medium, to inform the citizens, and to avoid requesting unnecessary documents from citizens while performing services. It is a major step for the removal of bureaucratic red tape hindering citizens’ access to public services.