ZAGREB, September 21, 2018 — The Minister of Finance, H.E. Zdravko Marić and the World Bank Country Manager for Croatia, Ms. Elisabetta Capannelli, signed the Loan Agreement in the amount of EUR19.7 million (US$ 24.07 million equivalent) for the Integrated Land Administration System Project (ILAS). The loan provides additional funding to an ongoing, well-performing project led by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and the State Geodetic Administration (SGA). The project will help modernize Croatia’s land administration and management system to improve the efficiency, transparency and cost effectiveness of government services to the benefit of the public, businesses and government institutions.
Under the ongoing project, the average time to register mortgages and real property transactions decreased significantly from 46 days to 12 days in Land Registry Offices (LROs) and from 30 to 8 days in Cadaster Offices (COs), Croatia’s Doing Business ranking in the ease of registering property improved from a place of 111 to 59, on a scale of 190 economies, and the very first e-services for land administration were introduced. One of the greatest achievements under the project was the November 2016 roll out of the Joint Information System (JIS) to all LROs and COs. The JIS is a fully centralized web-based system, interoperable with the personal identification register, address register, business register and tax authority register, linked to the LROs’ and COs’ digital archives. It also includes e-signature and e-payment functionalities and provides several e-services for key external users. Currently 28 ministries and agencies are sharing spatial data with the SGA and MoJ and this number will further increase.
“We are glad that good results have been achieved so far on the existing project and we would like to thank the World Bank for supporting further modernization of the land administration system, which will increase the efficiency of the whole system and provide direct benefits to our citizens and entrepreneurs” said Zdravko Marić, Minister of Finance of the Republic of Croatia.
“The reform of the land administration system introduced e-services and created a more efficient system of registering property. This loan agreement is an important investment in increasing the legal security in real estate transactions and in further development of e-services, contributing to the overall objective of the judiciary reform; the faster, better and more effective judiciary system“, stated Dražen Bošnjaković, Minister of Justice of the Republic of Croatia.
“Croatia’s land administration system has undergone a profound transformation over the last decade. Yet significant investments are still necessary to move to a more efficient, paperless and less costly system, and to further expand the government’s e-services agenda under which all digital services are to be expanded, unified and be more accessible to the citizens,” said Elisabetta Capannelli, World Bank Country Manager for Croatia and Slovenia. “A modern and efficient land administration system contributes to entrepreneurship development, strengthening Croatia’s competitiveness and improving the efficiency of the public sector and we look forward to continue supporting this transformation process.”
“Continued financing of the ILAS project will provide the State Geodetic Administration with additional support to further strengthen the digital cadaster. The Croatian population, public administration bodies, regional and local government units will have easily accessible information on real estate status through e-services. The Project will also help to complete one of the e- business objectives under the National Reform Program of the Government of the Republic of Croatia”, concluded Damir Šantek, Director of the State Geodetic Administration.
This project will improve the land administration to promote legal security in real estate transactions, with a positive impact on Croatia’s investment climate. It will also help the MoJ and SGA fully prepare projects for future EU financing. It will support the continued automation of land administration services, reduce registration time, improve the quality of real property data and advance the integration of cadaster and land registration services. The JIS’s capacity will be expanded to increase electronic and online services, shift towards paperless offices, increase the speed of service delivery, and overcome the systemic delays in the major LROs standardizing services provided across the country. Improved access to geo-spatial information is also expected to benefit the business community, which will have access to faster services and increased access to information. Spatial data organization will also benefit government institutions, which will have accessible, accurate, well-maintained and sufficiently reliable data at their disposal.
Since joining the World Bank Group in 1993, Croatia has benefited from the World Bank’s financial and technical assistance, policy advice, and analytical services. To date, the World Bank has supported more than 50 investment operations amounting to around US$3.5 billion. Today the Bank in Croatia focuses on transport, health, innovation, business environment, land administration, economic development of the Slavonia region, and support for the preparation of the National Development Strategy.