In recent years, technology and digitalization have become a priority for public institutions that want to streamline their operational flows, especially in the context of the pressure exerted by the pandemic. Digitization is an important process, designed to facilitate both the interaction between citizens and public institutions, as well as the interaction between business representatives and public administration.
The main objectives of digitization, with more explanations here, are to improve citizens’ access to public administration information and services through fast and prompt service. Another goal of digitization is to increase accountability and transparency in the delivery of public services.
And the creation of digital tools, which public institutions make available to citizens, helps to make communication between these two categories much more efficient and transparent.
For example, in Romania, there are counties, such as Maramureș County, where public administrators have implemented a data center called “Maramureș Cloud”, which includes all public services. This streamlines all document management. From here, civil servants can take taxpayers’ requests and then enter them into the specific workflow until the request is resolved. Basically, the transition from classic online paper work to state institutions is a big challenge, but also a great progress. In addition to the fact that technology is modernizing collaborative work, business processes and electronic archives, it also manages to bring civil servants closer to the people, and the level of competence is much higher. In this way, officials no longer feel overwhelmed by the large volume of paperwork and can manage all the documents in the digital space, and citizens no longer have to waste time at the counters and wait in line.
Technology has also penetrated public transportation systems, with smart buses and well-implemented e-ticketing systems in some cities. In this way, people’s lives are much easier.
Sector 6 in Bucharest is also making great strides in the direction of digitalization. The aim of the local mayor’s office is to optimize administrative processes as much as possible and to adopt measures to simplify the provision of services to citizens. Thus, Sector 6 aimed to reduce as much as possible the time spent at the Single Office by citizens to submit documents, through online access or uploading documents by taxpayers themselves on the platform of the Single Office. People feel an increasing need to stop spending time inside public institutions and to show up physically to solve certain problems they face. It is increasingly required to access various public services online.
But what about digital education, which should benefit both public administrators and citizens? In Alba County there is this initiative to develop basic digital skills, such as digital literacy, communication, media education, digital content creation, security and digital entrepreneurship education, for citizens from disadvantaged communities of this county. It is not enough for public institutions to install online platforms with services or applications for online payment of taxes. It is also necessary to educate the population on this digital field in order to benefit from online public services.
The Romanian Digitization Authority (ADR) has managed to launch the National Interoperability System, which is, in fact, the basis of Romania’s digital infrastructure. This means that in the future the aim is to unify and interconnect all public sector IT systems into one in order to make it easier for citizens to access all public services.
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