France's ministries will begin testing proposals for the modernisation and streamlining of government procedures, selecting from 50 ideas brought together by the government's Fair Simple ('Made Easy') online collaborative platform.
Fair Simple helps to simplify procedures and modernize government, gathering ideas and organising online discussions leading to concrete actions.
This spring, departments and companies used the collaboration platform to discuss ways to innovate the civil service and how to motivate administrations to improve procedures. The online workshops resulted in 50 recommendations, after an inter-ministerial working group determined five priorities:
- Replicate ideas and innovations
- 'Free' public administration innovators to create room for innovation
- Make management of public administration the driver for innovation
- Develop a structured approach for participatory innovation in each department
- Strengthen the interdepartmental approach to innovation
The 50 proposals are sorted into three topics. The firsts concentrates ideas that help improve the capacity to innovate; the second focusses on how to capitalise on new ideas; and third suggests ways to get management involved.
Announcing the results, on 25 August, the General Secretariat for the modernization of public administration (Le secrétariat général pour la modernisation de l'action publique, SGMAP) explained that the online collaboration is the result of processes developed by several ministries, including Defence, Justice, Social Affairs, Education and the Ministry of the Interior. "These used 'innovation awards' to promote teams for innovative practices."
"Today, departments wish to strengthen these efforts, by defining a more effective framework", SGMAP writes. "What is next for the innovative ideas and the innovators? How to get management involved?"
The Fair Simple collaborative platform was launched in October 2013 by SGMAP. It started out by gathering ideas from the public on how to improve public services and simplify administration processes, including renewing of official documents, updating citizenship records and filing tax return. In January this year, the site opened a new area, "a factory for solutions" bringing together users, experts and civil servants to start reflecting on the suggestions received and begin formulating solutions.
Fair Simple is based on the Drupal content management system, on servers running Linux and the Apache webserver.