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: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>