Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Improving the municipal information flow

26.02.2004


Time to renew your residence permit? Oh dear. Down to the town hall, stand in line, collect the forms, take them away, come back, stand in line, hand in the forms, go away, come back one week later, stand in line again, collect your permit. Elapsed time - two weeks maybe. Sound familiar?

One group of IST researchers is dedicated to simplifying the whole process. The E-MuniS project has developed prototype electronic information systems and processes for town halls that should cut such time delays and the administration required in half.

Partnering with cities in EU



E-MuniS aimed specifically to improve administration processes for municipalities in south-eastern Europe, to help prepare them for life in the European Union. The approach taken was to assist in forming partnerships with cities in western Europe, in order to aid the transfer of best practices in service provision. Cities such as Bonn in Germany and Valladolid in Spain for example were linked with Sofia in Bulgaria, Skopje in Macedonia and Rijeka in Croatia.

The participants focused on two key application areas - electronic document management systems and Web information portals. "One document management solution we developed for the city of Skopje was a taxi driver permit application," says project coordinator Mechthild Stöwer of the Fraunhofer Institute.

"The application forms are now available on the Internet," she says. "This is a major improvement over the old system, where it would take over 10 days to get a permit. Now the process takes two to four days, a major timesaving for municipal employees and much faster for applicants."

"The new system is also much more transparent than before," she notes, "and has significantly reduced the opportunities for corruption, which historically could sometimes be a problem."

Improve information availability

As well as reducing paper-handling, the second major focus for the project was to improve the availability of information on municipal services - currently only one per cent of municipalities in south-eastern Europe have a presence on the Web. Here project participants developed a prototype public information kiosk for presenting municipal services to citizens.

Says Stöwer, "We implemented a Web information kiosk for the city of Sofia, Bulgaria, and placed it in the library. This was a very important application, because there is not a not of Internet access available in much of the region. This application provides Internet access for the public, and should also act as a driver for Internet services."

E-MuniS also assisted the city of Rijeka in Croatia in improving its Web portal, helping to implement a detailed city information system. "This is a highly-developed system that offers a lot of information to citizens, and acts as a starting point for online services. Citizens can even use the site to complain to the administration about defective street lights," says Stöwer.

A major part of the project effort took place in the workshops, she says. "Many administrations are still used to producing a lot of plans on paper. So much of our work was to do with managing the cultural impact. We had to change their way of working, their way of doing things."

Network continues with information updates

E-MuniS culminated in a nine-city tour in Summer 2003 attended by nearly 400 people, including leading politicians, municipal administrators and computer specialists from across the EU and the south-eastern region of Europe. In December 2003 the project was chosen as the European Union eGovernment project of the month.

E-MuniS also assisted the city of Rijeka in Croatia in improving its Web portal, helping to implement a detailed city information system. "This is a highly-developed system that offers a lot of information to citizens, and acts as a starting point for online services. Citizens can even use the site to complain to the administration about defective street lights," says Stöwer.

A major part of the project effort took place in the workshops, she says. "Many administrations are still used to producing a lot of plans on paper. So much of our work was to do with managing the cultural impact. We had to change their way of working, their way of doing things."

Network continues with information updates

E-MuniS culminated in a nine-city tour in Summer 2003 attended by nearly 400 people, including leading politicians, municipal administrators and computer specialists from across the EU and the south-eastern region of Europe. In December 2003 the project was chosen as the European Union eGovernment project of the month.

While the project has concluded, the work continues, stresses Stöwer. Participants continue to maintain the E-MuniS network, using the website as the central focus for keeping everyone involved in the project in contact and up to date. "We’re still improving the applications and disseminating them," she says. Certain of the software partners involved are also working on developing the applications into marketable products that they can launch on the commercial market.

The E-MuniS site itself is also being improved. A new website is due for launch in early 2004; this new site will provide improved support for users. Further information will be added, and ’push technology’ will be employed as well as ’pull’ to inform those interested of latest information and updates.

Contact:
Mechthild Stöwer
Fraunhofer Institute
Schloss Birlinghoven
D-53754 Sankt Augustin
Germany
Tel. +49-22-41143123
Fax. +49-22-41143007
Email: stoewer@sit.fraunhofer.de
Source: Based on information from E-MuniS

Tara Morris | IST Results
Further information:
http://istresults.cordis.lu/index.cfm?section=news&tpl=article&BrowsingType=Features&ID=62606
http://www.emunis-ist.org/

More articles from Communications Media:

nachricht New Technologies for A/V Analysis and Search
13.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Digitale Medientechnologie IDMT

nachricht On patrol in social networks
25.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

All articles from Communications Media >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>