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Making Life Easy for Citizens and Businesses in Portugal

Administrative Simplification and e-Government

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Reducing the time for registering a company from weeks and months to under one hour is a concrete result of a unique and ambitious initiative in Portugal to make the public sector more efficient and effective. The Simplex initiative aims at making life easier for citizens and businesses. It focuses on how e-government can be used as a lever for broader administrative simplification, making service delivery more coherent and efficient.

This is the first integrated study undertaken by the OECD to analyse administrative simplification and e-government in a national context. By bringing those two areas together in the context of public management reform, this review helps countries identify how these reform activities can best support overall government performance and economic growth.

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Assessment and Proposals for Action

In focusing on meeting the goals of the European Union’s Lisbon Agenda on economic growth and job creation, Portugal has decided to create an attractive business climate by significantly improving public sector performance. Since 2006, with high political priority, attention, and results, Portugal has been implementing a series of extensive and ambitious integrated administrative simplification and e-government programmes: the Simplex Programmes. These programmes – unique among OECD countries and having attracted significant public attention in Portugal – aim at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of public service delivery to citizens and businesses as well as improving competitiveness through better regulatory frameworks. Other farreaching reform programmes also aim at transforming the public sector. These efforts, which are well under way, benefit from high level attention, ensuring sustainability and continuity, not just at the central government level but also among regions and municipalities.

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