Promoting citizen-centric administration with e-Municipality

Arpan Bansal | September 13, 2017


#municipality   #e-Governance  

Technology is continuously evolving and citizens are embracing it at a much faster pace. These tech-savvy citizens demand anytime-anywhere services and service excellence across various touch points. Social services such as licence and permit applications, tax filing and vehicle registration are some of the critical government-citizen touch points.

Government agencies struggling with legacy systems need to address the elephant in the room and transform their municipal service delivery model or else it may result in unsatisfied citizenry.

Enhancing urban governance
To meet the increasing demands of digital citizens, various e-governance initiatives are put in place to facilitate citizen-centric and transparent governance. However, to ensure citizen satisfaction, delivering faster and efficient citizen services is the key. Hence, it is critical that these e-governance initiatives also cater to municipal departments and enhance public administration.

Municipal departments, which are often categorised by document and manual process intensive functions need to transition to an electronic environment. Technology can enable this transition and offer smart services to citizens. An e-Municipal office stands to offer a host of benefits such as:

* Certificate Issuance: Take services to citizens' doorsteps by allowing them to register for various certificates such as birth/death certificates, marriage certificate or domicile certificate anytime-anywhere through a single window portal.

* Property tax management: Make tax payments less taxing for citizens through online collection of tax payments, real-time status updates of dues, online generation of demand notes and online tracking of applications.

* Grievance management: The key to happier citizenry is timely and effective resolution of their grievances. Make citizens' opinion count by empowering them to actively participate in governance and submit their grievances/suggestions through multiple channels such as internet, phone and forms.

* Licence issuance: Drive citizen-centric processes by allowing citizens to apply online for Trade licence, commercial unit licence, market licence, food licence etc. Verify and approve licence applications online. And, post-verification generate licence and share with the applicant through email.

Social welfare schemes: Foster transparency with a digital work environment and ensure social scheme benefits reach the intended beneficiaries, overcoming challenges such as leakages, pilferage and others. 

* Correspondence/files management: Digitise files and correspondences and realize a paperless office.

e-Municipality- approach to smart service administration
The transition to e-Municipality requires extensive collaboration across various departments and external organisations, seamless information flow and anytime-anywhere information/services access to citizens. Taking an end-to-end digital approach by streamlining processes and digitising records can support government agencies in their earnest efforts.

An e-Municipality solution built on a Business Process Management (BPM) platform can address the existing departmental needs and fulfil future requirements by streamlining processes and modernising operations. Here's how a BPM based solution can help:

* Leverage existing systems: To modernise current processes doesn't imply discarding the existing systems. With BPM's extensive integration capabilities, it allows departments to leverage the existing systems without overhauling them.

* Render faster services: By streamlining operations across departments, BPM facilitates a collaborative work environment. This results in reduced errors, faster and effective service delivery to citizens.

* Deliver citizen satisfaction: With monitoring capabilities and intuitive dashboards, ensure citizens receive timely alerts and notifications. Foster citizen-centric administration by allowing citizens to actively participate and gain visibility across applications and processes.

With a BPM-based solution one can take an integrated approach by breaking the information/process silos and automating operations across departments such as revenue, accounting, engineering and others. While departments automate their processes, managing information and records is equally critical. A solution leveraging BPM and Enterprise Content Management (ECM) capabilities serves as a holistic approach for municipal departments to enhance operations and digitise documents. Municipal departments through digital and modern operations can usher a new era of smart public administration.

Bansal is AVP and Head – Government COE, Newgen Software Technologies Limited
 

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