The Member of the Nis City City Council Mihajlo Zdravković signed the contract for the implementation of the project under the grant scheme Exchange 5 – EU support to local governments in the field of property management in Belgrade today. The RoS Minister of State Administration and Local Government Branko Ružić and RoS Minister for European Integration Jadranka Joksimović, as well as the representatives of the Ministry of Finance and Secretary General of the SCTM, Djordje Stanicic, attended the signing ceremony of the contract with the representatives of local self-governments whose projects were elected.

In order to increase the efficiency and transparency of the public administration through the improvement of property management, the City of Nis will, in partnership with the Municipality of Cuprija, implement the project “Efficient and Effective Property Management in Nis and Cuprija through the Introduction of the Geographic Information System”. The goal of the project is to create conditions for improving property management through the inventory and legalization of public property in Nis and Cuprija and increasing the transparency of public administration work, introducing and developing the Geographic Information System and creating an application for GIS. In this way public administration will be closer to the citizens and the business community.

Both Nis and Cuprija have a large number of different real estates, but without precise and legally relevant data. Bearing in mind that efficient management of public property is imposed as a priority requirement in the process of development and modernization, the partners jointly developed a project proposal to solve the identical problems that are encountered in this area. Nis and Cuprija intend to provide rational use and management of property in accordance with the Law on Public Property and the Law on Planning and Construction and to put the property in the function of investing and increasing the revenues of local self-government. In these two cities, currently, there is not any integrated system that connects all services and record and process data on real estate in public ownership. The existing approach does not give positive results, so we are faced with unregistered and unclassified property, irrational use of space and objects, relatively low rates of rent, using property without appropriate fees, lack of organization and professional staff and non-transparent and non-functional work of local administration.

The implementation of the project in Nis and Cuprija will create unique databases of integrated records for the entire property, together with applications for all aspects and property management processes. The specificity in connecting Nis and Cuprija is in the introduction and development of GIS as a software package that will integrate complete data on property and provide access to them for internal departments as well as for the citizens and potential investors. The use of this property management model owned by Nis and Cuprija means strengthening administrative capacities and more efficient property management, increasing revenue, better control of costs, better risk management and adequate asset maintenance. As inefficient use of public property costs all citizens, partner cities expect that, after the implementation of planned project activities, there will be a reduction in costs and an increase in revenues from property owned by two local governments.

The beneficiaries of the project are, first of all, the administrations of the local self-governments of Nis and Cuprija, i.e., the departments and services dealing with public property management, as well as the competent republic authorities. The project should contribute to the acquisition of new knowledge and skills of employees in local self-governments, which will result in more comprehensive fulfillment of their work tasks and improvement of work, and consequently, in providing better quality services to the citizens of Nis and Cuprija. It is of paramount importance to potential investors who will be able to obtain faster information about targeted locations, as well as for citizens who, as end-users, need a reliable, accountable and open administration. Improving the management of public assets and finances creates the possibility for savings in the budget as well as conditions for sustainable local economic development.

The project is EU-funded (IPA 2014) through the Exchange5 Program – EU Support to Local Governments in Property Management. The program is implemented by the Ministry of State Administration and Local Self-Government in cooperation with the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities (SCTM) as the implementing partner of the program and the Ministry of Finance (the Sector for Contracting and Financing Programs from EU funds) as the Contracting Authority in the program.

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