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Time-wasting tasks to be simplified

Moves to speed up bureaucracy with dozens of measures affecting drivers, parents, job-seekers and many others

DOZENS of everyday bureaucratic complications are to be eradicated in the government’s "choc de simplification" programme that is aimed to use the internet to ease people’s lives.

In all, 40 measures ranging from paying fines by smartphone, extending the life of sports medical certificates, and renewing a Carte Vitale or applying for a driver’s licence online, have been announced – with some to come into force next week.

They are the result of a vast public consultation in which people were asked to say which time-wasting tasks they would like to see simplified or abolished.

Minister in charge Thierry Mandon said the moves would be introduced over the next few months and would simplify the lives of every person in France.

He highlighted one “little revolution” to speed up bureaucracy by saying from next week around 1,200 procedures would be covered by the new two-month limit whereby any request to the administration that had not been addressed within that time would be considered to have been approved.

Mr Mandon added: “These measure were not decided by the government, but by the people who wanted things simplified.”

Included are:

• While it is already possible to pay speeding fines, etc, online, this will be extended from the end of the year so they can by paid by smartphone
• Anyone who needs to send a registered letter (lettre recommandé) to a government office will be able to do so by email instead, using a lettre recommandée électronique and bureaucratic procedures will be accelerated by the use of video-conferencing and emails
• Parents can sign children up for school online, without going to the school
• Sports medical certificates that at present last for one year will be extended to three years
• The CEAM European health insurance card – the French equivalent of the EHIC – will be valid for two years instead of one and, from December 2015, will be usable by smartphone
• People in the French health system will be able to apply for or renew a Carte Vitale online. This will start next year
• Applying for a driving licence or a passport will be done online
• The Caisse d'Allocations Familiales, which does not at present allow people to set appointments, will be changed so that times can be fixed online, to get rid of queues
• Welfare benefits claimants or those looking at their rights can check their welfare benefits online
• Job-seekers will be able to use video-conferencing for consultations in line with their search for work and for keeping in touch with advisors
• Parents in around 30 test areas will be able to pay for school meals online from next March
• Prospective tenants will have fewer documents to produce to the rental agency from December
• Foreign students will be able to apply to several French universities at once through one single document on the Admission post-Bac website.

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