The digitalisation of the construction process in Poland has begun. By the end of 2022, it should be possible to access all construction-related administrative services via a single portal called e-budownictwo (e-construction).
The digitalisation of the investment and construction process is a joint initiative by the Ministry of Development (now: Ministry of Economic Development, Labour and Technology) and the General Office of Building Control (the executive office of the General Inspector of Building Control, which is the central body responsible for architectural building administration and building control). The aim of the project is to simplify and accelerate the administrative part of the investment process. The planned changes will certainly make the lives of engineers, architects and investors easier. They will be free to decide whether they want to file an application in the traditional (paper) form or in electronic form.
The administrative process was digitalised in two steps. The first stage of the project was the launch of the e-budownictwo platform (e budownictwo.gunb.gov.pl) in 2020. The platform allows applications related to the construction process to be filed online. As of now, 13 types of application can be filed online, with another 8 to be introduced in July 2021. Altogether, 21 applications will be made available in digital form by the end of 2021.
From an investor’s perspective, the most important of them are the following:
(i) application for demolition permit;
(ii) demolition report;
(iii) application for assignment of a building permit to a third party;
(iv) information about the intended date of starting construction works;
(v) application for changing the destination/use of a building and/or part of it;
(vi) application for drafting a local zoning plan and/or amending the existing zoning plan.
Starting from 1 July 2021, the list will be extended by adding the following ones (among others):
(i) application for issuing a building permit;
(ii) application for amending an issued building permit;
(iii) notification of the completion of construction; and
(iv) application for issuing a use permit.
The "e-budownictwo" portal provides forms that can be sent electronically to an architectural and construction administration body. The procedure is as follows:
1) fill in the application online,
2) add attachments to the application via the e-PUAP platform (electronic signature),
3) sign the application via the e-PUAP platform, e.g. using a trusted profile,
4) send documents electronically to the authorities.
The new system described above was introduced into the Polish legal system after a pilot scheme was successfully tested in 17 districts (PL: starostwo). Importantly, the paper form has also been preserved and parties involved in the construction process can decide whether to contact the authorities electronically or in the traditional way.
The digitalisation of the investment and construction process is the next step in the government’s larger and higher-priority programme of digitalising the Polish economy. The introduction of digital solutions into the administrative procedure regarding the investment process was further accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences in the form of delayed contracts, thus making 2020 not only a pandemic year, but also a digital year.
By Radoslaw Biedecki, Partner, Noerr