Facilitations of administrative procedures

As from 1 June 2017 amended Code of Administrative Procedure shall apply.  The purpose of amendment is both improving the position of entrepreneurs and citizens in official matters, and faster settlement.  First of all, the new rules facilitate and reduce the administrative procedure.      
 
The main objective of the amendments is to speed up the administrative procedure, to reduce time to issue administrative decisions, reduce the number of cases sent to the review and the introduction of more partner relations between the office and the citizen (entrepreneur).  
 
In the majority of cases, however, the new rules apply to matters, from 1 June 2017.  Matters which started before that date are carried out in accordance with the existing provisions.    
 

Reminders

One of the main changes relating to the duration of the procedure.  To reduce its length, the so-called reminder was introduced. So if your case is not resolved within the time limit (failure to act) or the proceedings takes longer than necessary to deal with your case (excessive length) then you can submit your reminder.  A reminder shall be submitted to a higher authority.  The administrationauthority is also obliged to inform you in advance about the possibility for submitting such a reminder in case of lengthy procedure.

 

Information on lack of conditions for issuing a positive decision 

There is an obligation to inform the parties of the non-compliance of terms, which allow for issuing a positive decision, taking into account your requests.  This means that, first of all, you will receive information that the authority has no grounds to issue the decision, for which you are waiting, and then a negative decision.  The aim is to motivate the parties to provide missing information or documents on the basis of which the authority may conclude their case in accordance with your wishes.  


The simplified procedure and tacit agreement 

Faster handling of simple cases the so-called simplified procedure has been introduced.  The maximum time limit for handling such cases is 30 days.  The short period of proceedings is possible owing to a limited evidence procedure. In general these are matters for which the official forms are used.  In addition tacit institution dealing with the case has been introduced. The lack of any letter from the authority after the statutory deadline means that your matter has been dealt in accordance with your will.
 

Mediation in administrative proceedings 

So far, mediation could be used only in proceedings before the administrative court.  There has been a change and now it may also be carried out at the stage of the administrative procedure.   It consists in amicable settlement of the dispute also when the party to the dispute is the office.  The aim of mediation is to clarify the factual and legal circumstances of the case and adoption of the findings, for example by issuing a decision or reaching a settlement.  Mediation is voluntary.

 

Legally valid decisions 

Administrative decisions, against which there can be no longer  appeal to the court shall be legally valid.  Up to now, such decisions were final.  This change is of great practical significance, as it aligns the terminology on the legislation against which there is no appeal.

Resignation from appeal 

A party may waive the lodging of an appeal against a decision, within the time limits for an appeal.  On the day of lodging an application for renouncing the right to appeal, the decision shall become final and legally valid.   
 
The decision issued by the minister or a local-government appeals board shall, instead of applying for review of your matter, you have the right to immediately appeal against the decision.  

 
Fast track - objections against decision

f the decision repealing the previous decision, at the same time forwarding its re-examination by the authority of first instance and you feel that this is , this can be the decision immediately file an objection to the administrative court.  You have 14 days from receipt of the decision.  The objection shall be submitted via the body that issued the decision (this authority may take into account your objection) are met. The court will examine whether the formal conditions for issuing that decision are met and not dealt with the case as a whole.  This solution is intended to counter the excessive duration of cases as there is no need to wait for the end of the proceedings in first instance.  


Clarifying the rules on counting time limits 

The amended Code of Administrative Procedure explicitly lays down the method of calculating time-limits in years  and a situation where the last day of time limit is a Saturday:  
 

  • If the end of the period falls on a public holiday or a Saturday, the deadline shall expire on the next day that is not a Saturday or a non-working day.  
  • In the case of period expressed in years it expires at the date of the expiry of day in the last year, which corresponds to the initial day of time-limit; if there wasn't such a day in the last year — on a day which would immediately.precede that day.

 

Doubts that cannot be removed settled in favour of the party 

What is new is that doubts must be resolved in favour of the individual concerned.  Provided that it was not possible to remove them after a thorough and comprehensive investigation, i.e. after taking any steps necessary for full clarification of the facts of the case.  

Notice 

If in the proceedings more than 20 parties are involved, the form of the notification of issuing the administrative decision may be a notice.  However, the parties must be first informed in writing.about this possibility.

Administrative penalties

New solutions connected with the fines have been introduced. They are important for small and medium-sized enterprises.  There have also been introduced rules on penalties and the possibility of granting relief in their implementation e.g. postponement of sentences, remission of penalty, etc. The aim is that penalties imposed take into account the circumstances of the particular case and they are not imposed automatically irrespective of reason.  

 

The most important changes in a nutshell 

  • inaction of the authorities or the excessive duration of the proceedings can be challenged in a transparent procedure by means of reminders, 
  • application for re-examination of the case will be optional -  without the use of it you will be able to lodge a complaint with the administrative court, 
  • the party will be able to demand the issuing by the authority of the second instance a decision on the matter, i.e. the decision to transfer the case to be reopened, 
  • cassation decisions can be challenged before an administrative court in a special expedited procedure, 
  • the decision will become legally valid earlier due to  introduced by tacit procedure of dealing with the case (as requested by the parties) and simplified procedures, it will thus be possible to limit formalism in simple cases, 
  • the introduction of mediation in administrative proceedings, 
  • new general principles — guarantees of the rights of the parties, in particular, the settlement of persistent doubts in favour of the parties, legal certainty, proportionality, impartiality, equal treatment of parties,
  • the obligation to provide information on the unmet conditions allowing to issuance of a positive decision, before a negative decision will be given,  
  • defining the situations in which the authority may or must waive the penalty and confine itself to a caution, 
  • introduction of the principle that a party may not be penalised when the infringement occurred as a result of force majeure,  regulating the limitation periods for the imposition and enforcement of penalties, 
  • laying down the rules for granting penalties reliefs  
     

Detailed information on changes in administrative proceedings can be found in the brochure of the Ministry of Development

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