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BG-RO E-Governet Cross-border Platform for Administrative Services



1. What is an e-government?
E-government (or digital governance, online governance) is a term that summarizes the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in delivering public services to citizens.

Among the main goals of e-government is raising citizens' satisfaction and encouraging their participation in the government. Improving the efficiency of the work and the quality of the services provided by the executive, judiciary and legislative authorities, enabling the exchange of information between the different administrative information systems and generally, offering better services to citizens and businesses are also among the main objectives of e-government.

The terms "e-government" and "internet government" are not unambiguous. E-government includes both the use of Internet-based technologies and other information technologies to achieve its goals (e.g. Bluetooth, GIS, mobile communication technologies, etc.).

In Bulgaria, there are several online public services in some administrations as part of an e-government - the National Revenue Agency (NRA), the Commercial Register (TR), the National Social Security Institute (NSSI) and some municipal administrations.

2. What is a regional governor?
The regional governor is a territorial sole body of the executive power in Bulgaria with a general competence.

He is a representative of the government and the state in one of the district regions. He pursues the policy of the Cabinet in his entrusted territory. He is appointed by the Council of Ministers (not by the Prime Minister) and is not a mandate body – i.e., can be changed at any time. The regional governor is assisted by a regional administration, which he also heads, and deputy district governors appointed by the Prime Minister.

It is a constitutionally appointed body and its statute is governed mainly by the Law on Administration (LA). The regional governor exercises administrative control by ensuring the lawfulness of the acts of the local self-government (the Municipal Council) and the local administration (the mayors). He has the right to challenge before the administrative courts the unlawful decisions of the Municipal Councils, thus stopping their implementation, when it comes to individual and general administrative acts and their effect, when it comes to the statutory administrative acts (Municipal Council Orders). In addition, the regional governor has the right to return unlawful acts to the Municipal Councils for re-discussion, which can overcome his veto with an absolute majority (50% + 1 of all municipal councilors). The regional governor also exercises control on the mayors of municipalities, having the right to revoke their unlawful acts. In fulfillment of their duties, the regional governors issue orders (as most sole bodies do). An important power of the regional governor is the control it exercises over the territorial units of the central executive authorities (e.g. regional inspections).

3. What is a municipality?
The municipality is an administrative-territorial community. It consists of one or more adjacent settlements, in which people live and act together, people make common efforts to solve their everyday problems. The name of the municipality is in most cases the name of the settlement - its administrative center.

The territory of the municipality is determined by the territory of the municipalities or settlements included therein. Town halls are constituent administrative and territorial units in the municipality and cover one or more adjacent settlements.

The municipality is a legal entity. It has an autonomous budget, whose permanent financial sources are determined by law. The municipality has the right to own property, which it uses in the interest of the territorial community.

4. For which activities is responsible the municipality?
It is primarily up to the municipality to resolve most issues related to: cleanliness /collection and treatment of household waste/; the construction and maintenance of streets, squares, parks, gardens, street lighting, cemeteries; general and detailed urban development plans; prices of municipal services; nurseries and kinder gardens; the appointments and dismissals of municipal civil servants - those who work directly in the administration at the center of the municipality or in the area and the city hall; municipal property, companies and enterprises /incl. those who manage them/; local sports, tourist and other leisure facilities;

The municipality is responsible for the construction and maintenance of the buildings and the current maintenance (salaries, etc.) of its schools /primary and secondary/; polyclinics and hospitals; theaters, libraries, museums /has financial commitments also for the chitalishta/; social care centers; cultural, historical and architectural monuments. People working in all these establishments are appointed and dismissed by the head of the establishment. Their directors are, in turn, appointed by the respective ministry or its territorial structures.

5. What is meant by local authorities?
Local authorities are the municipal authorities which, by virtue of a law, have the right to take certain management decisions. For Bulgaria these are the Municipal Council and the Mayor. Both organs are elected by the people from the local community.

6. On what and how people can influence directly in municipal government?
People’s direct participation in the governance of municipal affairs and in the formation of municipal policy is legally guaranteed.
One can exercise this right mainly through three forms: a local referendum, a general assembly and a petition. These forms of direct democracy can be used by all Bulgarian citizens with electoral rights.

Through local referendums, important local issues, which are within the competence of local authorities or are explicitly mentioned in a law, can be solved. The local referendum can be held in the whole municipality or individually in the area, the town hall, the settlement - according to the nature of the solved issue. A local referendum cannot resolve issues related to the municipal budget, taxation, and issues for which a special order is provided by law. The decision to hold a local referendum is taken by the Municipal council by a qualified majority, the expenses being borne by the municipal budget.

The General Assembly is another form of people’s direct involvement in solving local issues in the municipality, the area, the city hall or the settlement /a neighborhood/. At such meetings, people can solve problems related to: public building and sanitation; the rules for using the municipal properties; the organization of conservation of agricultural estates and municipal forests; keeping of public order and other matters provided by law.

By a petition, one can make a proposal to the Municipal council to resolve important issues. People have the right to initiate a petition if they support at least 100 voters with their signatures and if one lives in a town hall with a population of up to 200 people - at least one-fifth of the voters. It can be said that the petition is a form of a collective proposal to the Municipal council for the purpose of solving a given issue.

1. What is an e-government?
Generally, e-government designates all of the transactions (i.e. the delivery of public services and information) that involve the government on the one hand and citizens, businesses and other agencies of the government on the other hand and that are carried out, even if partially, using electronic means.

2. What is a regional governor?
Regional governor in Romania is represented by the president of the county council. He is a public servant elected to manage economically, socially and administratively, the county.

3. What is a municipality?
The municipality is an administrative-territorial unit of a country.

Today, the word municipality, depending on the country, designates various types of administrative-territorial units, usually large cities with a higher economic, social, political and cultural role.

In Romania, the city is headed by a collective of administrative bodies, called the municipality, composed of the mayor and the municipal council.

4. For which activities is responsible the municipality?
The mayor is a politician who acts as the official executive authority of the municipality.

Mayors are executive authorities through which local autonomy is achieved in communes and towns, as it results from art. 23 par. (1) of the Organic Law of Local Public Administration no. 215/2001.

Both the Constitution and Law no. 215/2001 stipulate that the mayors, as executive authorities through which the local autonomy is achieved and the public affairs of the communes and towns are solved, according to the law, the mayor's office implies numerous responsibilities.

1. The mayor's assignments are provided in art. 63 of Law no. 215/2001 and can be classified as follows:
a) attributions exercised as a representative of the state, according to the law;
b) attributions regarding the relationship with the local council;
c) attributions related to the local budget;
d) attributions regarding the public services provided to the citizens;
e) other attributions established by law.
(2) Pursuant to par. (1) lit. a), the mayor fulfills the function of civil status officer and guardian authority and ensures the functioning of the local public services in the field, attributions regarding the organization and conduct of the elections, the referendum and the census. The mayor also fulfills other attributions established by law.
(3) In the exercise of the attributions stipulated in paragraph (1) lit. b) the mayor:
a) presents to the local council in the first quarter an annual report on the economic, social and environmental state of the administrative-territorial unit;
b) submit, at the request of the local council, other reports and information;
c) elaborates the drafts of strategies regarding the economic, social and environmental state of the administrative-territorial unit and submits them to the approval of the local council.

5. What is meant by local authorities?
Local public authority is any state body or administrative-territorial units acting in a public power regime for the satisfaction of a public interest; in this respect are assimilated with public authorities, within the meaning of Law no. 554/2004 administrative litigation, private legal entities which, according to the law, have acquired public utility status or are authorized to provide a public service under a public power regime.

6. On what and how people can influence directly in municipal government?
Public administration - citizens relationship has always been quite controversial, both sides having a lot of things to reproach each other. Lack of professionalism of the officials, excessive bureaucracy, corruption that reigns everywhere but officially does not exist, the slow pace of administrative procedures, lack of professionalism in public relations, agglomeration, confusion or employee errors, lack of information among the public, all of these are problems that interfere with this administration-citizen relationship.

Transparency has to become an essential component of public institutions, rather it is a provision of the law, the distance between the current transparency of institutions and the objectives set by law is quite significant.

One of the responsibilities of the local public administration authorities is to allow community members to participate in the decision-making process. But this requires openness from the authority by constantly informing those whom it governs so that they are able to expose their pro or against ideas.

Citizens can participate to the debates or decisions-making meetings without distinction as to race, nationality, ethnic origin, language, religion, gender, opinion, political affiliation, wealth or social origin. The degree of participation influences the planning and decision-making process.

In a public institution, the performance of the activity within the limits of the standards provided for by Law 52/2003 requires public access to the decision-making process simultaneously with the maintenance of the operability of the public consultation process. This can be done in two directions: each institution must take the necessary measures to inform the public about the new regulations that have entered into force, and it is also required to assist citizens in exercising their rights - in the present case - free access to public interest information.