The Digital Town Hall - modern administration and eGovernment

The city hall is the central hub of the city administration and acts as an interface between the city and its citizens. Digitization can do much at this important hub. The digital city hall can facilitate citizens' lives through modern technologies, make the work of the administration more efficient and improve the quality of the location for companies. We have put together few applications for you.

Interaction between the town hall and the citizens / companies:

As a citizen of a city or resident company, there are a number of interactions with the city hall. In the pre-digital age, you had to appear in person for most of the events, which was often associated with long waiting time in lines and multiple entries of information - first on paper, then the staff had to type in the town hall administration. Many cities have already started to relocate authorities to the Internet. The citizen or company enters its own information on the city hall website, e.g. forms for mobility and removals, applications for registration and residence certificates, certificates of good conduct, building applications and much more. Ideally, the current processing status of a request can be tracked online, e.g. for requested passports. However, if personal appearance is necessary for some reason, online appointment can help. Thus, the citizen can integrate the official visit well into his daily planning and avoids long waiting times. In addition, applicants can inquire about the necessary forms online prior to their appointment and print and complete them at home. This shortens the appointment in the town hall and allows the clerk to look after more people in their requests.

It is also good to have an online lost and found office on the Rathaus website, because it makes it easier for the residents to search for lost items. With a few clicks, they can view a list of submitted lost property with pictures. And one should not be sure, where one has lost the mobile phone, the search can be extended to lost property of neighboring communities.

The younger citizens expect the mobile availability of everything. Cities that have a good content management system (CMS), and in the wake of eActs and eGovernment law, a document management system (DMS), can easily provide content in various formats without ever having to large & AUML; to make changes. Thus, the same services that are displayed on the website can be made available on a mobile app. An app is also a good solution for a defect detector through which citizens can report potholes or garbage mountains with photos and current location.

However, the digital citizen in a digital city also has different expectations of processes and response times. A nice solution to the citizen, in the back of all processes remain as they are, makes the city administration is far from efficient, if the citizen gets no feedback on his reported shortcomings, he will quickly stop using services and can cause frustration for the citizen. 

Enhancing the City hall as a Digital Work Space:

The state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) is the forefront runner of eGovernment, eActs and digital administration. Companies are allowed to keep receipts completely electronically provided they follow the principles of proper accounting. Public sector bodies must even switch to fully electronic document storage by 2020. Minimum requirement is a DMS, Document Management System. The introduction of a DMS is a good occasion to take a closer look at the entire processes in the town hall and digitise it. What happens to the information coming in through the website or app? They used to be printed and typed somewhere else. Today they should be stored in the DMS and transferred via interfaces to the processing systems. Each process must have a status, which in turn is made available to the citizen, e.g. on call in the app: "Thanks for reporting the illegal garbage bin in the main street. The garbage will be picked up tomorrow. "What does that mean for the employees? You need to type less, make fewer calls for status queries (is my passport already there?), And spend more time editing the content of citizens' concerns. A digital workplace can mean much more. With appropriate authorisation management, employees can work harder and easier from home, or at different times, because they can always access the necessary documents. The flexibility comes to parents and family, or employees caring for relatives. Communication methods are also changing and becoming faster and more flexible. Chat is now very popular because as it is fast, short and informal, but not necessarily interrupting like a phone call. Often, younger employees expect modern communication and job opportunities. Digitised processes also mean change. The citizen has increased control options and higher expectations of the reaction speed. The evolution, the cultural change, must be accompanied very consciously and with a lot of tact. Younger and older employees must be involved equally. Only then everyone accepts and uses the new processes and systems will get benefits that can be fully felt by the city and its citizens.

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