SDS Program: 10 + 100 Solutions for Justice, Job Creation and Development

(For December 2011 Elections)


Today Slovenia is in crisis. Failing in the economic, political and social sectors, Slovenia is lagging behind the rest of Europe and is suffering as a result. Since the 2008 Financial Crisis, Europe and the rest of the world have all been subject to failing public and private sectors and yet in Slovenia we seem to be most affected. The SDS (Slovenian Democratic Party) is part of the European moderate conservative party from the bigger family EPP (European People’s party) and as such is well suited to addressing this issue.

The Slovenian Democratic Party can provide the answers to overcoming the tough times that lie ahead. Slovenia needs to take advantage of the recent crisis and the opportunities it offers to improve our country in order to excel in the future. Indeed, it is important that in bad times we all carry the weight of the crisis. The first part of our agenda directly addresses this, dealing with Slovenia’s Justice System and ensuring there are equal opportunities for all. Secondly, the Slovenian Democratic Party aims to ensure that everyone has access to work opportunities and a stable and well-paid job. In dealing with unemployment issues, the Slovenian Democratic Party aims to provide families with social security and enrich the lives of all citizens. The third area the party aims to address is economic development. Today the Slovenian economic system fails to produce enough products to sustain a healthy economy and we believe Slovenia has the potential to do more. In addressing these key issues, The Slovenian Democratic Party aims to tackle the current crisis and work together with the citizens of Slovenia to implement our program.

Outline of the Program:

The SDS’s program is aptly named the 10+ 100 Solutions for Justice, Job Creation and Development and aims to address these very issues. Separated into two different categories, the way the program will be implemented is as follows:
10 = Emergency Austerity Anti-Crisis Measures which will be implemented within 100 days after the elections.
100 = Policies and Party Measures which will be implemented throughout the 4 - year stay in government.


  • Reduce the number of ministers from 15 to 10.
  • Limit consumption to 45% of the GDP.
  • Promote social and intergenerational dialogue.
  • Provide financial support to artists.
  • Provide support to Entrepreneurs
  • Reduce bureaucratic measures in the Real Estate Sector.
  • Provide measures to help resolve the credit crunch and hold those to blame accountable.
  • Put bank owned dwellings on the market.
  • Convict those responsible for the crisis.
  • Recruit people on a skill based program.



    • Freeze the government budget expenditures in the year 2012.
    • Reduce business costs.
    • Introduce social security measures.
    • Encourage foreign investments.
    • Develop a National Energy program.
    • Change the income tax scale (at present the transition to upper class starts at €1,100)
    • Introduce tax cuts for innovations.
    • Increase the tax reliefs for Science research development from 40% to 100% thus     increasing investment and competition.
    • Abolish taxes for new businesses in their first year.
    • Abolish tax-secrecy of non-payers (even the employers, who don’t pay health and pension contributions).
    • Introduce new police departments, prosecutors and courts to improve conviction rates.
    • Reform the Supreme Court case law following the German Federal Supreme Court model.
    • Introduce a comprehensive reform of criminal and judicial proceedings, including the abolition of judicial immunity.
    • Reform bankruptcy legislation following the USA, Germany and Austrian legislation thus reducing the duration of judicial proceedings in general.
    • Use the Scandinavian economic and social model will be our role model with the aim to create more entrepreneurial freedom and lower levels of corruption.
    • Restore confidence in and for investors and credit ratings agencies in the Slovenian economy
    • Revive the wood industry for domestic production.
    • Increase broadband access.
    • Improve management of state owned companies
    • Develop the tourism industry.
    • Support creative industries to promote a creative economy
    • Improve labor market flexibility.
    • Ensure the immediate rehabilitation of the banking system, including the creation of a stable ownership structure and effective management of banks (both systematic and anti-crisis action).

    • Ensure labour market security and opportunities.
    • Eliminate age discrimination in the workplace.
    • Provide special tax relief for employers who do not discriminate against age,
    • Invest in employee development
    • Implement a more effective control of the labour market and greater labour inspection powers.
    • Reform job centers to eliminate inefficiency.

    • Improve the employability of graduate students by improving the quality of study programs.
    • Modernise technical and vocational education.
    • Increase the availability of textbooks.
    • Fund programs in disadvantaged schools/areas.
    • Introduce compulsory secondary education (14 - 18 years).
    • Reform the National Agency for Quality University Institutions and Education.
    • Reform the financial universities education system to develop high ranking European and Global educational institutions.
    • Create conditions for the effective use of the latest technology solutions and scientific knowledge for the sustainable development of faster, better and more transparent functioning of the public services and for ensuring equal opportunities.
    • Provide a better public education to provide basic skills for sustainable national development and entrepreneurship.
    • Internationalize university education; simplify the process of obtaining a visa for students, professors and researchers.
    • Encourage academic mobility amongst students and academic employees.
    • Establish a Slovenian technical university founded by the Republic of Slovenia.
    • Provide extra financial support for the research centers. The financial system will grant funds according to the quality of the center itself.
    • Introduce measures to strengthen the transition of knowledge into practical work - this would bind the research and academics centers with economy and entrepreneurship.

    • Introduce a probationary mandate for judges.
    • Abolish the permanent mandate of judges.
    • Change of the election of judges and the composition of the Judicial Council .
    • Abolish judicial immunity.
    • Accelerate judicial procedures in commercial disputes for a more efficient judiciary system.
    • Effectivley reform the Sloevenian criminal procedure.
    • Eliminate the backlog of cases in all judicial proceedings by setting
      deadlines of 6 months within which the process must be completed.
    • Establish effective and impartial courts; enabling courts of second instance to take final decisions in appeal proceedings.
    • Reduce notary tariffs and increase responsibilities of administrative units.
    • Verify and create transparency and publicity of court registers.
    • Withdraw illegally earned money and eliminate corruption in the Judicial System.
    • Reorganize administrative justice, so that the entire administrative court will be organized into a two-tier justice court where past judges of the administrative department will be transferred to a new 2nd degree of administrative tribunals.
    • Ensure uniform jurisprudence that will ensure fair trials, legal security and a fair country.
    • Create a precedential judicial system in the frame of the one allowed by the continental system, which is also used by other EU countries.
    • Release and announce all judicial decisions, indicating the judge or judicial panel who participated in the trial, which is also the case in the Constitutional Court.
    • Public release and announcement of any outdated legal proceedings and the judges who made ​​the prosecution.
    • Prohibit direct intervention of judges and prosecutors in the Bar (law practice).

    • Penalize traffic offenses, but at the level of 50% penalty under the 2008 law; the aim is to make the roads safer and not to turn a profit.
    • Introduce an ID card as a universal document.
    • Establish common call centers to make the system more efficient. This would involve the employment of 400 people for 24 hour work.
    • Reorganize the inspection system because the current is inefficient and disorganized.
    • Construct an efficient state bureaucracy.
    • Change the ratio between salaries and rewards for good performance at work.
    • Speed up the process of eliminating administrative barriers for citizens and businesses.

    • Reorganize the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and of the diplomatic-consular network.
    • Open embassies in countries which offer us opportunities to promote our economic interests, with an emphasis on sectors where the country's foreign policy is open to Slovenian engagement.
    • Include Slovenian diplomats in the ‘foreign department’ of the EU, because Slovenia is the only EU member that still doesn’t have representatives in it.

    • Reform Pension legislation.
    • Introduce a transparent and fair system of social distribution.
    • Reorganize institutions for social protection with the aim of making them more efficient.
    • Reduce of the burden on the health system by raising awareness and promoting a healthy lifestyle.
    • Improve access to health services in peripheral areas.
    • Strengthen of the network of public social care facilities with a focus on developing non-institutional forms of protection. We will strengthen those programs that support the development of social services allow people to continue living in their environment.
    • Reorganize and maximize the performance of institutions of social security.
    • Facilitate exercise of rights of disabled persons.
    • Increase autonomy and accountability of public management in hospitals;
    • Strengthen the policy of prevention which will promote a healthy lifestyle for all
    • Competition between institutions and payment processing work (we will create a competition between institutions and providers, their funding will be subordinated to the actually provided services.
    • Improve access to health services in peripheral areas.
    • All expenses to pay for public spending will account for up to 45% of Slovenia’s gross domestic product.

    • Create provinces and regions with the aim of strengthening the regionalization
      and decentralization of power.
    • Simplify and accelerate the use of European funds.
    • Redefine the relationship between the state and municipalities.
    • Increase self-sufficiency and the production of organic food.
    • Promote and market locally grown and processed food, organic
      food and food from other quality schemes.
    • Speed up spatial planning procedures (the Ministry will be a supporting force for the municipalities and not a barrier).
    • Improve water management (clean water is crucial for the development of Slovenia.)
    • Create a housing policy that will ensure decent housing for everybody.



  • The Slovenian Democratic Party supports the creation, the existence 
    and development of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.
  • The Slovenian Democratic Party strives for a socially just society, providing a cornerstone of a competitive economy and encouraging solidarity
    between people, generations, regions and countries.
  • The Slovenian Democratic Party subscribes to all European aims, and in particular to the improvement of education, sustainable development, quality employment, a clean environment and social cohesion
  • Slovenian Democrats are considering and upgrading all ideas for positive social development

Constitutional Amendment

The Slovenian Democratic Party wants to make changes in the constitution in the field of Public Finances, Economy and Sustainable development:
  • Limit public consumption to 45% of the GDP
  • Promote ownership as a responsibility
  • Promote sustainable development and entrepreneurship as an important part of education in schools
  • Create conditions for rapid practical application of new solutions and achievements
  • Immediate rehabilitation of the banking system-to ensure a stable ownership structure and effective management of banks(both systemic and anti-crisis action)
  • Prepare for large national projects for investment, infrastructures in particular
  • The National Energy Program (The focus will be on the efficient use of renewable energy sources, especially biomass and other water sources.)
  • Increase access to broadband

Introduction of tax abolition for new companies

New companies (defined as less than 3 years old) will not pay taxes on business income, and are therefore able to create and sustain a maximum growth and development during this period.

Reduction of tax- administrative burdens of the economy

The SDS aims to simplify the procedures for proving exemptions and reliefs, by streamlining procedures for the suspension and installment of paying taxes. This will provide a significantly lower number of transaction accounts for paying taxes and contributions, and make for significantly faster resolution of complaints.

The SDS aims to reduce the time needed to obtain all permits relating to the company business (registration, building permits, etc.) and encourage transition to full electronic commerce.

Reduction of excise duties

The SDS will reduce tax on oil products, with the aim that all products will  cost 5 to 10% lower than products in neighboring countries.

Exemption from tax on income from innovations

Innovation is a key tool within the economic sector facilitating the creation of added value on products. Therefore, the SDS propose products or activities relating to economic innovation are expempt from tax.

Reduce administrative burdens on the economy

The SDS belives that we must shorten the time limits for obtaining permits in connection with business companies (registration, building permits, etc.). Furthermore, we must encourage transitions to e-business, freeze the creation of new public agencies and withdraw any unnecessary ones.

Efficient support for the internationalization of the economy

We suggest the coordination of all media-driven support for the conservation of nearby markets and entry to distant markets, paying particular attention to the inclusion of small and medium-sized enterprises, working to promote them into the export business. The network of economic diplomacy should work proactively in order to be maintained under the Ministry of Economy. It is also necessary to coordinate an effective system of granting visas for the needs of the economy. We support the continuation and implementation of the "GO International" initiative prepared by the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce.


Objectives and measures in the labor market and social security.

Faster economic growth is the biggest facilitator of employment, social protection and social inclusion of the population. With the redistribution of national income, the state will ensure that all citizens will be provided with basic social security and equal opportunity to satisfy basic personal and collective existential needs.

The proposal of constitutional changes

"Every elderly person has the right to dignity and independent life as well as to participate in social and cultural life."

The strategic objectives of the labor market and social protection

Key labor market aims of the SDS include: Increase employment (75% in the age group of 20-64 years old until 2020); Reduce unemployment (from 2008 levels by year 2015); Reduce the risk of poverty (a reduction of the number of recipients of the state social assistance (DSP) to 20% by 2015).

The objectives of the employment and labor market

  • Reduce segmentation of the labor market.
  • Ensure the financial safety of employees in case of job loss.
  • Reduce labor costs.
  • Enhance the capacity and competence of employees.

Objectives on the field of social protection

  • Establish a long-term stable pension system for a secure old age.
  • Provide comprehensive care for those who need constant assistance.
  • Provide a transparent and fair system of social benefits;
  • Reorganize and maximize the performance of institutions for social protection.
  • Strengthen the public network with a focus on the development of non-institutional. forms of care.


Proposals for Constitutional Change

  • Compulsory education, which, in addition to elementary school, includes education in one of the high school program.
  • The state shall guarantee conditions for the development of public and private schooling.

Main Goals and Measures Quality and Autonomy

In kindergartens and schools we will provide quality  carefully selecting and enabling the autonomy of educators and teachers. World-class principals will also be selected and appointed based on professional criteria. Educators and teachers will, through education and training, be able to further improve their professional competencies, enabling them to increase their competitiveness and employability.

Therefore, we anticipate:
  • A competitive entrance examination to universities and a supplementary exam, equivalent to admission in the case of retraining.
  • Modified method of study for professionals.
  • Enabling conditions for the excellent work of educators and teachers in schools (equipment specialist libraries, ICT support), including wireless internet access in all schools.
  • A modified system for appointing principals, including promotion within the salary grades.
  • The establishment of external quality measurement with the National Institute for Education.
  • Simplification of the rules for assessment including such aspects as the transfer of responsibility to teachers and students and the collection of information after the time for checks on students' 'portfolio'.
  • Encouraging the transition of teachers/professors between primary and secondary schools, and between higher education lecturers and assistants (college and university) so that individuals are supported by scholarships for further education, with a specialization on doctoral studies.

Equal opportunities, values, education for sustainable development, health, personal development, knowledge, creativity, innovation, personalization of the lectures

In kindergartens and schools we will provide the conditions for sustainable development, healthy lifestyle, and the education of values in a modern way. Learning plans will be revised to include only the key objectives and expected results. These will be used alongside modern didactic and organizational approaches to promote autonomous, innovative teachers who 'train' their students using cutting edge, IT-based methods. The aim is to bring the Slovenian system into the upper third of the international rankings (TIMSS, PISA, PIRLS). Through the 'personalization' of school we will provide appropriate support to all children, in particular young people with special needs. Therefore, we anticipate:
  • Healthy eating for children and adolescents will gradually become a part of the education program.
  • The development of recreational culture by creating external 'mini' sports centers. This will be a series of public recreation facilities with the addition of a children's playground and a safe place for outdoor reading.
  • The improvement of literacy through family reading projects, school reading and reading in kindergarten.
  • The introduction of mountaineering family weekends, which would include a combination of suitable walks for families with reading in a mountain hut.
  • The introduction of projects such as voluntary reading and sports camps, reading Saturdays in order to attract children, young people and families, and the introduction of the e-book.
  • In cooperation with the Ministry of Culture, the provision of 'reading corners' (along the lines of 'internet points') in public places such as waiting rooms in health centers, bus stations and railway terminals.
  • The promotion of children with special needs (including those with exceptional talents) through a greater flexibility in the learning process.
  • The promotion of modern didactic and organizational approaches.
  • Additional funding of programs for schools in disadvantaged areas, i.e. those with a lower than average GDP.

System modernization

We propose the modernization of vocational education, the promotion of technical professions, foreign language competence and revised grading methods. We will ensure the competitiveness and efficiency of young people in our global world, and the provision of lifelong learning following secondary and professional education. We will support the development and recognition of informal learning and coordinate the Slovenian system of vocational education and qualification within the European qualifications framework.


Political platform, system objectives and actions in the field of higher education, science and technology

The base for the future development and prosperity of the Slovenian society is education and knowledge. We will offer diversity in, and accessibility to, study programs and institutions for prospective students. At the same time we will unequivocally encourage excellence through the provision of well-funded, stimulating, fair and transparent learning conditions. We will support the creation of a model university, which will have direct involvement in the international academic sphere through dynamic research and excellent teaching. It will become an example for all current Slovenian universities, and therefore encourage further development and interaction with the economy, being ranked alongside the best European universities. The ‘Slovenian University of Technology’ of the future will not only serve as the fourth Slovenian public university, but also as a demonstration of what kind of institution Slovenia needs in higher education and scientific-research work.

Amendments in Higher Education

Our key objectives in the field of higher education are:
  • Improving the quality of higher education by consistently implementing objectively verifiable standards through a comprehensive system of accreditation and evaluation, and promoting excellence through incentive financing.
  • Promoting consistency of graduate profiles with the needs of Slovenian companies, not only in terms of formal employability, but also in sense of coherence between the competencies of graduates and competencies that are really needed.
  • Strengthening the autonomy and social responsibility of higher education institutions through ensuring that those at higher levels are well aware of public expectations, and that they act accordingly.
  • Increasing the efficiency of higher education, particularly in the sense of shortening the time from enrollment to the successful completion of study and entry into the labor market.
  • Providing access to study, so that no-one is deprived of a higher education on account of their social situation, place of residence or other personal circumstances.
  • The internationalization of higher education: through the help of learning institutions, Slovenian knowledge can be constantly checked and enriched abroad, whilst knowledge from abroad can be put to good use back in Slovenia.
  • The replacement of fragmentation and partitioning in education with coordinated and synergized systems.
To achieve these educational objectives, we will employ the following measures:
  • We will change the funding system of higher education.
  • Higher education institutions will no longer need government approval or competent ministry for scheduled programmes of study.
  • We will introduce opportunities for professional training of doctoral studies staff in practical skills.
  • We will consider the possibility of eliminating the division between university and higher education professional studies in the first instance.
  • We will reform the National Agency for Quality in Higher Education (Slovenian: NAKVIS) so that it will be formed as an independent and effective regulator.
  • All higher education institutions will be treated equally and evaluated solely on the basis of their proven performance and quality.
  • We will facilitate a streamlined system of obtaining visas for students, teachers and researchers.
  • Higher education institutions will be able at all stages of self-study, to choose which programs or portions thereof will be conducted exclusively in English language.
  • The procedures of the accreditation of courses and institutions will involve increased attention from prospective employers.
  • Where higher education institutions are selective, they should be independent in devising their entrance criteria.
  • Through the allocation of financial resources, we will encourage higher education institutions to increase their volume of international exchanges.
  • Through the allocation of financial resources, we will encourage higher institutions to work together and forge symbiotic relationships.
  • Will allow the flexible organization of universities.
To achieve these scientific objectives, we plan the following actions:
  • The budget of the Republic of Slovenia will significantly increase funding for scientific research
  • We will introduce a system of “centers of research excellence.'
  • We will strengthen the system for transferring scientific knowledge into practice.
  • Part of the funds we receive from the increase in the budget for science and research work will be paid to promoting the university and scientific "spin-off" business projects;
  • We will improve the regulation of intellectual property.
  • All alerts for jobs at universities and other public research institutions will have to be open and international in character.
  • Tightening the criteria for basic, targeted and applied projects.


Foreign and European Affairs consists of political platforms, the proposed constitutional changes, system objectives and measures in all areas of foreign and European affairs.


  • Tradition, reputation (1992, 2004, 2005, 2008)
  • The relatively good economic situation before the crisis
  • Strategic location: Slovenia is both Mediterranean and Central country
  • Special interests in relations with the FRG (rail?) And Russia (southern flow?)


  • Lack of national consensus and cooperation across side- borders
  • Denyingstate-formingpast
  • Politic MZZ and Law of Foreign Affairs allows political discrimination
  • Unclear or government policy or government coalition regarding to military missions and NATO
  • From this follows skepticism (inaccurate estimates) between allies, beginning with the U.S.


  • The doubts and misunderstandings of the "marine character" of Slovenia
  • Croatian efforts to exclude Slovenia from the Adriatic (ERC, unilateral declaration by the AS, the border with Italy)
  • The EU Foreign Service: "slipping into irrelevancy"
  • Balkan politics ("Brdskiproces")
  • Actualityof "Jugodiplomacy"?
  • Libya, Guantanamo (Wikileaks)
  • ForeignAffairs

Possible changes:

  • Make constitutional amendments concerning the diplomatic service.
  • Put a greater emphasis on a special cooperation with the BRICS countries and the Western Balkans.
  • Establish new embassies in Africa, America and Asia.
  • Establish new initiatives concerning the status of Slovenian ambassadors in the EU diplomatic service.
  • Establish a human resources policy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Urgent changes:

  • The law on foreign affairs, and its accreditation of ambassadors.
  • A new definition of the function of the political director at the MFA.
  • Having just one diplomatic protocol instead of two.
  • A new system of economic diplomacy.
  • To set up a system of cultural diplomacy in cooperation with the Ministry of culture, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology. Diplomacy has to promote the interests of economy, but mostly it has to safeguard the interests of the citizens, promote Slovenia in all areas (especially in arts, science, and tourism), collect strategic information, make direct contacts with other countries and improve bilateral relations.
  • Development aid in line with EU standards.
  • Money saving.

Priorities in the field of Foreign Affairs:

1) Include Slovenian diplomacy in the EU diplomatic service.
2) Undertake more activities in the Mediterranean region.
3) Cooperate with the BRICS countries.
  • Agriculture, Forestry and Food.
  • Environment.
  • Environmental protection is a core value.
  • There should be a strategy for dealing with environmental changes.
  • Efficient use of energy (renewable energy).
  • Better use of financial resources of the EU.

Possible changes:

  • Constitutional amendments concerning the diplomatic service.
  • Emphasis on a special cooperation with the BRICS countries and the Western Balkans.
  • New embassies in Africa, America and Asia.
  • New initiatives concerning the status of Slovenian ambassadors in the EU diplomatic service.
  • Human resources policy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Urgent changes:

  • The law on foreign affairs (accreditation of ambassadors).
  • A new definition of the function of the political director at the MFA.
  • Having just one diplomatic protocol instead of two.
  • A new system of economic diplomacy.
  • To set up a system of cultural diplomacy in cooperation with the Ministry of culture, Ministry of Education and Ministry of higher education, science and technology. Diplomacy has to promote the interests of economy, but mostly it has to safeguard the interests of the citizens; promote Slovenia in all areas, especially in arts, science, and tourism; collect strategic information; make direct contacts with other countries, and improve bilateral relations.
  • Development aid in line with the EU standards.
  • Money saving.

Three Priorities in the field of Foreign Affairs:

  • To include Slovenian diplomacy into the EU diplomatic service.
  • To have more activities in the Mediterranean region.
  • To cooperate with the BRICS countries.


  • Strategic changes in this field: to sell agricultural land and forests owned by the state to family farms, to increase food self sufficiency by binding the necessary agricultural policy measures to food production.
  • Professionalization and better management of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food.
  • Goals in the Agriculture sector: preservation and enlargement of cultivated areas; amelioration of the economic status of farmers; binding the implementation of the CAP on food production; promotion of traditional food and at the same time preserving Slovenian natural and cultural heritage; removing unnecessary bureaucracy; promoting cooperation between different sectors and between producers.
  • Promotion of safe food
  • Goals in the Forestry sector: reorganization of Forestry service; setting up a system of management of state owned forests; implementation of incentives for cooperation between owners of forests; granting of concessions to farms in the state owned forests in the mountains.


  • Environment protection is a core value.
  • Adapting to environmental changes by creating a strategy.
  • Efficient use of energy (renewable energy).
  • Third industrial revolution as an opportunity for development by implementing the strategy of sustainable energy.
  • Better use of financial resources of the EU.

Short term measures that need to be taken:

  • Preparation of the Strategy and Action Plan on climate change.
  • Establishment of a regional waste management system.
  • Immediate implementation of the EU legislation on the segments where the Commission already gave a warning to Slovenia.
  • Implementation of sustainable mobility (use of buses and trains).
  • Guidelines for implementing public-private partnerships in investment.



Establishment of regions and strengthening of regional policies; increasing the role of municipalities; effective and efficient acquisition of resources for development (EU funds, public-private partnerships).


Regional policy:

  • Regionalization and decentralization of Slovenia by creating provinces.
  • Implementing system measures for reducing regional development disparities.
  • Promoting cooperation between regions.
  • Efficient inter-ministerial coordination of actions and policies.
  • Simplification of the system implementation of EU cohesion policy.


  • Decentralization of the public sector by strengthening the role and functions of municipalities.
  • Ensuring flexibility, simplicity and efficiency.
  • Providing conditions for mutual cooperation of local communities and the promotion of it.
  • Increased autonomy of municipalities.
  • Changes in the role of municipalities in spatial planning.
  • Greater emphasis on local and regional level of social and housing policies.
  • Simplification of procedures to reduce red tape at the local level.
  • The introduction of uniform procedures and methodologies for uniform procedures across the country.