“Sofia has achieved a high level of digitalization of the public administrative services. From January 1, the application for e-administrative services to Sofia Municipality is carried out only through the Unified model of application, payment, and provision of electronic services developed by the State e-Government Agency. Sofia gradually accessed the Unified portal for electronic services for citizens and businesses of the Ministry of eGovernment. Currently, there are over 170 municipal electronic services for citizens and businesses,” Mayor Yordanka Fandakova said while presenting new opportunities and upcoming projects in the Municipality to members of the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry /BCCI/ during a work meeting with the Chamber.
She reminded me that the remote e-payment of local taxes, the electronic admission in kindergartens and schools, and the Architecture and Urban Spatial Development Department e-services, have been in operation for years. The mobile app NAG.Mobile features tools for data visualization, cadastral maps, building permit areas, and many other services.
The stable economy of the city is a result of the Municipality’s efforts to further develop Sofia as a nice place to live and work, Tsvetan Simeonov, Chairman of the BCCC said during the meeting.
On behalf of his colleagues, he praised the Municipal effort to turn Sofia into a smart and digital city. The Chairman of the Sofia Municipal Council – Georgi Georgiev, the Chief Architect – Zdravko Zdravkov, the Executive Director of “Toplofikatsia” Alexander Alexandrov, the Chairman of the Commission for Engineering Infrastructure at Sofia Municipal Council – Nikolay Stoynev, and the Executive Director of Invest Sofia – Maria Hristova also attended the meeting.
“Sofia is rapidly developing, thanks to the companies operating in the city. The data from the last census show that the Bulgarian capital continues to attract young people,” Mayor Fandakova said. “During Covid-19, we made a digital revolution in public transport. More than 5 million trips were paid directly with bank cards”, Georgi Georgiev said. He presented the project for the large-scale renovation of sidewalks across the city, for which more than 120 million BGN are planned. He also announced more details about the public-private partnership program for the construction of new parking lots and sports facilities.
BCCI representatives asked specific questions and gave proposals regarding the work of “Sofiiska Voda”, “Toplofikatsia”, the development of the bicycle lanes network in Sofia, waste recycling, and many more. “The truth is that we are highly dependent on policies at the national level and one of our important topics is the adoption of the budget. In the current political situation, this is a serious challenge for everyone”, Fandakova pointed out. She stressed on the fact that the city mainly relies on local taxes and fees in the absence of financial decentralization of the municipalities.