In light of the COVID-19 restrictions implemented in the last two years, many municipalities across Europe have struggled to provide an easy access to their public services. In late 2021, the Belgian city of Farciennes turned to an open source portal to access digital public services, in collaboration with iMio (short for Intercommunale de Mutualisation Informatique et Organisationnelle in French). iMio is an inter-municipal organisation that coordinates the sharing of OSS solutions and services for local authorities of the Walloon Region (more information on OSOR).
Based on the open source solution iA.Téléservices, the new eGovernment portal called ‘Téléservices’ (eServices in English) allows Farciennes residents to access several digital public services such as renting municipal equipment or facilities, notifying the municipality of a specific event, and taking appointments with specialised services.
‘We must move with the times,’ says Hugues Bayet, mayor of Farciennes. ‘Everything is going digital and for people who master digital tools, it allows them to facilitate their relations with the services of the municipal administration.’
The provision of public digital services aims to decrease the number of appointments and the length of the queues at the commune which will in turn limit the risk of COVID-19 contamination. The digital public services offered to Farciennes residents are compliant with data protection regulations and accessible through securised eID tools.