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Uruguay to simplify procedures for accessing public services with IDB support 

Program will benefit citizens, businesses and government employees by simplifying 513 administrative procedures and through greater use of digital technology 

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a $25 million loan that will finance a program in Uruguay to cut transaction costs for citizens and businesses accessing public services, by simplifying administrative procedures at the sectorial level and through greater use of digital technology. 

The plan is designed to give everyday people and businesses access to high-quality, easy-to-use procedures when they deal with government agencies. It will finance, among other things, the simplification and improvement of 513 chosen procedures, moving ahead in the elimination of red tape so as to achieve greater interoperability and incorporating pro-active steps for government agencies dealing with citizens.  

The program also features measures to improve online services, re-engineering, digitalization of registries of property and people, development and implementation of a new identification and customer service system, simplification and improvement of procedures with an emphasis on gender by enhancing access to and quality of care in 10 social service, police and health-care areas for specific ills including those of violence against women. 

In order to boost people’s use of the internet, the program will finance the consolidation of the unified portal strategy (https://www.gub.uy/); design and implementation of a strategy to raise people’s internet awareness and skills, and the fashioning and rollout of participation tools to be used by government agencies, among other activities. 

Furthermore, the program calls for strengthening the government to make viable the implementation and sustainability of the actions called for in the program by providing it with shared assets and digital governance skills and the strengthening of the oversight role of the Agency for Electronic Government and the Information and Knowledge Society, which will carry out the program backed by the IDB.  

Its beneficiaries will be everyday people in general through a reduction in the time and money spent in carrying out administrative procedures online. Also standing to benefit are businesses, which will have lower operational costs thanks to simpler administrative procedures, fewer red tape steps, and letting people do things online rather than having to go to government offices. Government employees also stand to gain through use of more advanced technological tools with which to do their jobs. 

The IDB loan for $25 million has a 25 year reimbursement period, a grace period of five and a half years, and an interest rate pegged to the LIBOR. It is backed by a local contribution of $5 million.

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The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.

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Roberto Fernández
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