Vladimir Pavlovic, Head of Centre for General Affairs, interview
Information technology has an important role to play in successful business today. Business entities which are striving to perform their work faster, of better quality and more competitive are deciding to use IT-based systems. Vladimir Pavlović, Head of the Centre for General Affairs, discusses the software and applications which the Port Governance Agency uses in its work, for the Bulletin.
Where did the idea for the development of the Electronic applications Portal come from?
The beginning of the application of information technologies at the Agency is connected to port fees. When the Agency began collecting port fees in 2015 in accordance with legal competencies, we created an Invoicing application, which preceded the Portal. The Invoicing application greatly accelerated the work of employees, but at the same time, we wanted to create a solution that would help taxpayers in their daily business. The portal of electronic applications, or PEP, is an application which taxpayers can use to electronically submit applications for cargo and passenger transport. During the design process, our priority was to create an application that is user-friendly and which does not require previous IT experience. I would like to point out that we organized regular training of taxpayers for using PEP before putting it into operation, and the Agency team still provides support for all parties if they have any questions regarding the portal. The simplicity, efficiency and speed of submitting and processing applications, has resulted in more than 80 percent of the total number of applications arriving via PEP, or electronically.
In addition to more efficient application submission, have there been any other benefits of PEP?
The six years of using the Electronic Application Portal have demonstrated that significant savings have also been achieved. First of all, it saves time that would be required to manually complete each application. In addition, the use of the portal is less costly in terms of office supplies – printing paper, toner as well as postage expedition costs for the applications.
Robot Process Automation (RPA) is considered to be advanced technology. The Agency has been implementing RPA since 2020. Which tasks does this technology perform?
When it comes to the performance of the RPA, it is important to point out that it operates on the principle of automation of repetitive processes, or those that are constantly repeated. The robot accelerates the completion of mechanical, established tasks. The first role of robot at the Agency was processing electronic applications, developing solutions for the collection of fees and sending them electronically by mail to taxpayers. In this way, employees have redirected their capacities and activities to more demanding tasks such as strategic planning. In the meantime, we have improved the performance of the RPA, and now it can systematize data on cargo transport and the volume of passenger transport, which the Agency team analyses regularly. Also, the robot creates weekly and dedicated reports.
Are you considering new information technologies that could be implemented in the operations of the Agency?
We will strive, in accordance with the commitment of the Government of Serbia to modernize and make the state administration more efficient by digitalization, to continue to improve existing solutions and apply new ones. Moreover, we plan to improve the electronic archive and application for business procedures of the Agency. Our goal is to make the business processes of users and employees as easy as possible and enable an even better quality of services and communications.