Municipalities are set to lower their billing costs by 65 per cent while the government will save €5 million with the introduction of e-Invoicing by the end of the year, Interior Minister Constantinos Petrides said on Tuesday.
He presented the start of the ‘Cy e-Invoicing for local authorities’ project, which began at the beginning January and will be completed in the next 12 months and will make the process of paying municipal bills “safer and faster”.
Petrides said the project aims to digitalise local authorities to make it easier for them to handle payments from residents.
According to the relevant EU directive, the central government must be “technologically ready” to start e-invoicing by April 2019, and the wider public sector must be ready a year later.
The project will digitalise and automate all aspects of paper transactions, making the exchange of services between local authorities and residents more direct, quick and efficient. The cost of the project will be just over €1 million.
According to Andreas Chrysafis, a representative of AC Goldman Solution and Services taking part in the e-invoicing project, the public sector will be able to save approximately €5 million with the introduction of e-invoices. He said that according to a study in the public sector, approximately 500,000 invoices are printed a year, which cost 16.4 cents each, an expense that through e-invoicing would be brought down to six cents.
Petrides said his ministry has done a lot to digitalise governance and minimise bureaucracy, introducing 16 programmes since 2014 with a further 28 in the planning stages, worth a total of €250 million.
He added that there are many benefits to the new project as invoicing will be done “electronically, faster, safer, and economically, and funds will be saved on the part of the local authorities and the people.”
Already, “the digital platform Ariadne is in use, delivering 68 digital services to citizens,” he added, outlining that a degree of digitalisation has also been achieved in other public-sector departments, such as the DLS portal, the ability for online payments of Social Insurance, the overall ability to find data and information, and also the introduction of new services such as e-delivery and e-justice.
The project is co-funded by the European Union through the Connecting Europe Facility.