Municipality Intranet in Shumen (OSH)

Published on: 03/06/2007
Document

Intranet, covering the main activities in the Shumen City Hall, allowing the administration to perform it's duties effectively. Management information is available on the spot to all involved parties, depending on privilege levels. Integration with the Municipality web site allows to citizens and businesses to access relevant information, like status of their cases, dues, inquiries, etc.

Policy Context

eGovernment

Description of target users and groups

Administration of the organization. Citizens and businesses as well.

Description of the way to implement the initiative

We are in close collaboration with the development team. Onsite meetings take place on regular weekly basis to discuss bottlenecks, options for improvement, and other topics. The URL of our partner (that did the development) is http://vera5.com Multi-channel issues: Everything is online. The employees access the system via LAN. The citizens and business (or employees if they are outside the buildings) access it via Internet or mobile phone.

Technology solution

LAMP

Technology choice: Mainly (or only) open standards

Main results, benefits and impacts

Before the implementation, there were scattered programs to serve activities of the City Hall with no connection between them. For example, when a business pays for a service, to pertinent department was not aware of the event. The information came couple of days later. It was hard to figure out what dues has particular company, or what is turnover for a given period. The Intranet build through the year solved all this issues and let the departments know what is the actual status in real-time. The benefits are: 1. Real-time information for the employees (opportunity for timely decision and actions, hence, time saving) 2. Up-to-date information (allowing better control of income/expenses) 3. Less paperwork (the system manages document flow in electronic format, hence, saving time for printing, copying, and delivering documents) 4. Easier access for citizens and businesses (due to the integration of the system with Municipality web site) 5. Reduce corruption (the system reduce the contacts between the businesses and the decision making employees, thus lowering the opportunities for corruption practices) 6. Dues collection improvement (due to up-to-date information, the managers are in position to take steps for collecting outstanding dues payable by businesses, which were not possible before) 7. Reduced training costs (because the access is via Web Browser and great part of the people are familiar with this type of interaction, the time required new employees to be trained is very low). For example, before developing the system, the financial year was concluded in May, while the financial year 2004 was ready on 12/02/2005, the financial 2005 on 20/01/2006, and the financial 2006 on 05/01/2007. Another example, a business might track the status of his case via Internet or mobile phone, that saves time and expenses. Innovation: The web-based approach of developing an information system is new for Bulgaria. According to our research, only one similar system (servicing taxes so far) has been developed and is in implementation phase in the Municipality of Veliko Turnovo. We don't have information if such approach is in any Municipality in the European Union. The solution is state-of-the-art, because: 1. It is simple and native (the access is via standard Web Browser) 2. It is scalable (changes in the backend may serve from small organizations to very large ones) 3. It is open source (it is based on open source developments and is not dependant on the operating system, add-ins, or other restrictions; the code is extendable) 4. It is open for other systems (either by direct HTTP calls to a gateway, or by data exchange standards like XML) 5. It is accessible via mobile phone (WAP protocol is supported for the older phone sets) 6. The information is real-time.

Return on investment

Return on investment: Not applicable / Not available

Track record of sharing

We don't have cross-border experience with other EU administrations so far. Below is how we could share our experience. The success of the system is based on: 1. Good (contemporary) idea 2. Quality development 3. Excellent support To be implemented this system in other similar organizations in the EU is necessary: 1. Language translation 2. Adaptation to the laws and business rules in particular county The support is: 1. Onsite (because the development team is physically in the same city) on regular basis or in emergency. 2. Online (via phone, email, and there are tools for online checks and upgrades). We believe the support is essential, and in case this system appears good solution for an EU organization, we will either train the IT administrators, or establish support teams. The exchange mechanism in sense of good practice will be IT consulting, and in sense of data exchange will be XML.

Lessons learnt

The general experience gained is: 1. It should be open source (no restrictions in choosing platform must be imposed the administrations) 2. It should be simple for access and be able to exchange data with other similar organizations 3. Good support Along with other (both general and practical) experience gained, we assess it would be relatively easy to implement such (or similar) system in other EU administrations. Problems may arise due to different business rules or practices. From the experience we gain can learn 1. Administrations (in decision making) 2. Development teams (in choosing development tools and implementation)

Scope: International, Local (city or municipality), National, Regional (sub-national)