Electronic Notifications. What are they, and how to manage them?
Nowadays, citizens and companies are used to carrying out their procedures with the administration electronically, benefiting from the digitization of processes and services that, until a few years ago, required face-to-face to be able to carry them out. In order to achieve the transformation in how the Public Administration relates to companies and citizens, it has been necessary to evolve the regulatory framework and the technological offer.
The Spanish Regulatory Framework
To find out when Electronic Public Administration was born, we have to go back to the year 2007, when the Law 11/2007, of June 22, was approved. This law established the right of Spanish citizens and companies to communicate with public administrations electronically, and it required administrations to equip themselves with the necessary electronic systems so that this right could be exercised. As a result, the administration “had” to make available to citizens and companies a general access point through which legal persons and those individuals with access to the necessary technological means could easily access the information and services of its competition, submit requests and appeals; carry out hearing procedures; make payments or access notifications and communications sent to them by the Public Administration. These general access points are known as “Electronic Offices.”
Three years later, in 2010, the Royal Decree 1363/2010, of October 29, was approved, that certain notifications and administrative communications from the Spanish State Tax Administration Agency (AEAT) were compulsorily carried out electronically. This implies that obligated taxpayers (legal entities, entities without personality, and, in some cases, natural persons) must have an Authorized Electronic Address (DEH) and be registered in the electronic notification system of the AEAT. In the case of not having a DEH, the AEAT would assign one to them.
In 2015, with the approval of Law 39/2015, of October 1, on the Common Administrative Procedure of Public Administrations, all public administrations, including the General State Administration, regional administrations, and local administrations, were obliged to use telematic communication.
This regulation addressed a wide range of aspects related to the administrative procedure, such as the principles of the procedure, the rights, and obligations of the parties, deadlines, notifications, and administrative resources, among others.
Are we all obliged to communicate electronically with the Public Administration?
The answer is NO. Article 14 of Law 39/2015 stipulates that natural persons may choose at any time whether to communicate with the Spanish Public Administration to exercise their rights and obligations electronically, unless they are obliged to interact through electronic means with the Public Administration. The chosen means of communication may be modified at any time.
They are obliged to communicate with the Public Administrations electronically:
- Legal persons
- Entities without legal personality
- Those who carry out a professional activity require compulsory professional activity collegiate. This group includes notaries, realtors, property and commercial registrars.
- Those who represent an interested party who is obliged to interact electronically with the Administration.
- The employees of the Public Administrations for the procedures and actions that are carried out with them because of their status as public employees, in the manner that each Administration regulation determines
The Administrations may establish the obligation to interact with them through electronic means for certain procedures and for certain groups of natural persons who, due to their economic, technical, professional dedication or other reasons, are accredited that they have access and availability of the necessary electronic means.
What is the difference between an electronic Office and a Mandatory Electronic Notifications Concentration Portal (NEO)?
- An Electronic Office is a digital platform that provides an entity (such as a public body, a city council, a state agency, etc.) that offers services and allows electronic procedures. The electronic offices are the main access point to interact with that entity electronically, allowing the user to access information, submit applications, carry out procedures, and obtain certificates, among other activities.
- A Mandatory Electronic Notifications Concentration Portal (NEO) or mailbox is a centralized platform that intermediates between notification-issuing organizations and recipients. Its main function is to collect and present electronic notifications from different organizations in a single access point for users.
Issuing Organizations and Electronic Offices
In Spain, various issuing bodies and electronic offices for notifications vary according to the administration and area of competence.
Below are some of the main Public Administrations and government bodies’ electronic offices:
- Tax Agency (AEAT)
- Social Security Treasury (TSS)
- General Directorat of Traffic (DGT)
- Ministry of Justice
- National Currency and Stamp Factory (FNMT)
- Guardia Civil (Spanish Police force)
- National Police
- State Aviation Safety Agency (AESA)
Town Halls and Provincial Councils: Many town halls and provincial councils have their own electronic offices that issue electronic notifications to citizens and companies. The addresses of these electronic offices vary according to the corresponding municipality or province.
Different Types of Electronic Notifications of Public Administrations
Public administrations use different types of electronic notifications to communicate with citizens and entities.
Here’s a look at some of the more common types of electronic notices:
- Simple Electronic Notification: It is the most basic type of electronic notification. It consists of sending a message or notice by electronic means informing the recipient of the existence of a communication or administrative document that is available for consultation on the corresponding platform or system.
- Electronic Notification with complete content: In this case, the electronic notification includes the complete content of the communicated administrative act or document. The recipient can access the entire document and get all the relevant information in the same notification.
- Electronic notification with Electronic Signature: Some electronic notifications require an electronic signature to guarantee their authenticity and integrity. In these cases, the notification is sent with an electronic signature that proves its origin and ensures that the content has not been altered.
- Certified Electronic Notification: This type of electronic notification has an additional level of security. A certification system is used that guarantees that the notification has been sent correctly, has been received by the recipient and its delivery has been recorded.
- Electronic Notification by text message (SMS): Some public administrations may send text messages (SMS) as a form of electronic notification. The SMS may contain summary information or direct the recipient to access a specific platform or system for more details.
- Electronic Notification by email: Occasionally, public administrations may send notifications by email. In this case, the document or administrative communication is sent as an attachment, or a link is provided to access the relevant information.
Electronic Notifications in different sectors
Today, the use of electronic notifications is widespread, and we find its applications in multiple sectors:
- Public service notifications: companies that provide public services such as electricity, water, and gas can send electronic notifications to inform customers about service outages, maintenance, billing, among others.
- Notifications of judicial processes: electronic notifications are used in many countries to notify citizens about judicial processes in which they are involved.
- Tax notifications: tax authorities can send electronic notifications to inform taxpayers about tax obligations, audits, and information requirements, among others.
- Labor notifications: companies can send electronic notifications to their employees to inform them about labor matters, such as changes in company policies, meeting reminders, and payroll, among others.
- Bank notifications: banks can send electronic notifications to their customers to inform them about transactions made, security alerts, and changes in terms and conditions, among others.
What deadlines are available for the collection of Notifications?
The term for collecting a notification since Public Administrations have issued it is 10 days. After this period, the notification expires, and some organizations no longer allow the download from their electronic offices. In these cases, it is necessary to collect it in person.
There are exceptions, such as in the case of the courts, whose notifications may have deadlines of only 3 days.
Once the notification is issued, the issuing body considers it delivered, and the citizen or company must check the mailboxes to check if notifications are pending collection.
What are the consequences of not picking up an Electronic Notification on time?
According to the resolution of the Spanish Central Economic-Administrative Court (TEAC), the penalties for those taxpayers included in the mandatory system of electronic notifications may be up to €600,000 for failure to omit the information requirements notified by the Tax Agency through the media electronics.
The Spanish regulatory framework obliges you to consult the electronic requirements issued by the AEAT and to comply with their deadlines.
The Technology: Electronic Notification Management Systems
As we have seen, in Spain, large companies, SMEs, and the self-employed are legally required to communicate with public administrations through electronic notifications. This means managing several mailboxes, all the digital certificates to access the offices, and a large volume of notifications, which must be dealt with almost immediately to avoid penalties.
To deal with this burden, companies such as Víntegris have Electronic Notification Management Systems, which help companies to centralize in one solution all the mailboxes of the administrations and public bodies to which they are subscribed.
The Víntegris Centralized Electronic Notification Management System, nebulaSNE, provides multiple benefits to organizations.
- It connects with 10,000 organizations and Public Administrations to detect notifications issued to companies and automate their management through an automatic review system of recipient mailboxes.
- The recipient is always informed through the Notice Alert System, allowing them to download, catalog, archive, distribute and control bulk notifications from a single platform, nebulaSNE.
- Use and Access Control – A central point to interact with all notification systems and digital certificates. You can parameterize users, their roles, and access permissions, and keep track of the history of actions
- Mass Download (manual or automatic) – Possibility to download the notification unattended
- Collection of Notifications for Multi-company – nebulaSNE manages the notifications of a group of companies or several companies
- Response Time Control – Configuration of warning alerts to control NEO deadlines
- Automatic Surveillance – Automatic tracking of venues searching for new Notifications
- Intelligent Archive – Archives and catalogs notifications based on their nature (fiscal, legal, etc.)
- Audit – Record of actions performed on each notification by each user
- Control of the use of the certificate – Control of the use of the certificates necessary for the processing of some notifications through the technology of Centralization of Digital Certificates nebulaCERT
With nebulaSNE, companies of all sizes will be able to know the status of their notifications in real-time, saving time and avoiding costs in sanctions for neglecting electronic notifications.
Contact us and start enjoying the benefits that nebulaSNE brings to your organization.