BiscayTIK Project- Municipal Administrative Manager
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Online government services
Region : Europe
National GDP Per Capita (USD) : 30,697 (IMF, 2018)
City Population: 1,148,302
Year Implemented : 2008
National Gini Index : 36.2 (World Bank, 2015)
Tags : GOVERNANCE CITIZEN PARTICIPATION
Technologies Utilized : Online platforms, Cloud-based computing
Funding Source : Government, European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
Project Cost : €17,500,000
Project Savings :
Planned Project Duration : Ongoing
KPIs : Number of government services offered, Number of online transactions, Rate of adoption
Project Context and Overview
Biscay province is located in north-central Spain in the historical territory of the Basque Country. The province is made up of seven regions with their own capital city, subdivisions, and municipalities. The regions found it hard to exchange knowledge with one another and to provide for streamlined services for citizens which is why the County Council of Biscay developed a digital solution to modernize local administration and provide for a more unified city management practice: The BiscayTIK Project.
The BiscayTIK Project is a cloud-based ICT solution that offers streamlined and centralized e-Government services. The project was launched with the intent to reduce the workload of daily operations, facilitate interactions between administrations, and open new communication channels for citizens and administrators. Part of the BiscayTIK Project was the development of the Municipal Administrative Manager (MAM), an online platform for administrators to manage internal operations including: document registry, demographic data, accounting, budget, land registry, tax collection and management, payroll, etc. For citizens, the project created a website with 24/7 access to all municipal services.
Project Planning and Implementation
The project was developed by the BiscayTIK Foundation, a non-profit government body founded by the County Council of Biscay to lead this operation. The foundation worked in conjunction with public servants from six municipalities to be able to address the different needs and technological capabilities of all the areas in the region. The project considered the input of the officials to make sure the system was intuitive and user-friendly. The technological solutions can be adopted in whole or in part according to the municipalities’ interests and needs.
The project is supported by cloud-based solutions. It also united isolated datasets and updated the information to get rid of any inconsistencies. Electronic document filing makes accessing information easier and more secure, as well as helps reduce paper waste. Departments can access other departments’ data or operations in case they need to collaborate or transfer any information. Government workers may register with a digital passport created by the BiscayTIK Foundation or with a physical ID card.
The County Council of Biscay invested €12,500,000 in the project, and an additional €5,000,000 was provided by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Biscay managed costs by developing one solution that could be transferred easily to all their municipalities rather than developing custom solutions for each one.
When the project was initiated in 2008, there were few precedence. More than 90% of local entities (122 establishments) in the region have adopted one or multiple solutions provided by the BiscayTIK Foundation, with over 100 government services offered online. Since 2008, over 1.7 million procedures have been handled and 2.8 million registries have been made through the Municipal Administrative Manager with over 2,500 municipal workers are currently using MAM. These statistics prove the success of Biscay and led to them becoming internationally acclaimed.
The system’s citizen engagement tool allows citizens to make suggestions or complaints through the website, email, or call center. Municipalities redirect these submissions to the appropriate department and make sure this valuable input is used to improve their services.
Recommendations for Transfer
Wide internet access and a receptive population are major requirements for this project. In the case of Biscay, the government had already noticed their population’s inclination to using online services offered by private companies. This meant that most of the population would also be comfortable using online public services. The region already had wide internet access, which allowed them to develop a cloud-based solution that could be accessed anywhere.
Biscay was also determined to make this project succeed and founded a new government body to be fully dedicated to e-Government solutions. However, establishing a new government body is not necessary for the implementation of this system. Interested cities could assign this task to an already existing department or hire an external company. Including government workers in the design can ensure that the program is easy to navigate and can actually make daily operations smoother. Cities can also cut costs by developing one solution that is transferable to multiple administrations rather than developing custom solutions for each entity.
Collecting feedback from citizens through website submissions, emails, and phone calls can help improve the system over time. A call center can also be useful to assist citizens who cannot access or are uncomfortable with online services
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