Doing Business Reforms
STREAMLINING THE PROCESS OF OBTAINING A BUILDING PERMIT
The construction sector is a critical indicator of the health of an economy. An abundance of stalled construction projects is a visible sign of economic hardship, while a booming construction industry is indicative of economic growth. Although various obstacles remain—including the fragmented nature of the construction industry and its hesitancy to adapt to technological change—governments around the world are focused on implementing reforms that reduce the time and cost to obtain permission to build.6 In 2016/17, five of the 22 economies that reformed their construction permitting processes focused their reforms on reducing the time to obtain the building permit itself.
Côte d’Ivoire, which showed the most significant improvement in this area in 2016/17, established a one-stop shop for building permits and published deadlines, costs and procedures related to obtaining the urban planning certificate. As a result, Côte d’Ivoire reduced the number of required procedures by four and the time to process applications by 210 days.
Notable progress was also made elsewhere in Sub-Saharan Africa, where 15 economies reformed multiple aspects of their construction permitting processes. Gabon streamlined procedures and reduced the time to obtain a building permit by setting up an internal pre-approval meeting of relevant technical experts who examine the application prior to a formal committee meeting. Gabon also made its building regulations, fee schedules and requirements to obtain a building permit available online. Similarly, Benin and Ghana improved transparency by making regulations concerning construction openly accessible online while Rwanda increased quality control during construction by introducing risk-based inspections. Kenya reduced construction fees by eliminating clearance fees from the National Environment Management Authority and the National Construction Authority. Malawi halved building permit fees. Tanzania streamlined its permitting process by improving the efficiency of its one-stop shop and increasing the frequency of building permit council meetings to once a month.
In Europe and Central Asia, Ukraine reduced the cost of construction by significantly lowering mandatory investor contributions to Kyiv’s social and engineering-transport infrastructure. Lithuania reduced the time needed to obtain technical conditions and the building permit. Uzbekistan streamlined the process for obtaining approvals of land plot allocations from various agencies.
DEALING WITH CONSTRUCTION PERMITS REFORMS BY ECONOMY DB2008-DB2018