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 cruise ship “Mein Schiff 1” features Fraunhofer 3D sound on board
05.09.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Digitale Medientechnologie IDMT

nachricht Small enclosure, big sound, clear speech
31.08.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Digitale Medientechnologie IDMT

All articles from Communications Media >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Energy-saving new LED phosphor

The human eye is particularly sensitive to green, but less sensitive to blue and red. Chemists led by Hubert Huppertz at the University of Innsbruck have now developed a new red phosphor whose light is well perceived by the eye. This increases the light yield of white LEDs by around one sixth, which can significantly improve the energy efficiency of lighting systems.

Light emitting diodes or LEDs are only able to produce light of a certain colour. However, white light can be created using different colour mixing processes.

Im Focus: Quantum gas turns supersolid

Researchers led by Francesca Ferlaino from the University of Innsbruck and the Austrian Academy of Sciences report in Physical Review X on the observation of supersolid behavior in dipolar quantum gases of erbium and dysprosium. In the dysprosium gas these properties are unprecedentedly long-lived. This sets the stage for future investigations into the nature of this exotic phase of matter.

Supersolidity is a paradoxical state where the matter is both crystallized and superfluid. Predicted 50 years ago, such a counter-intuitive phase, featuring...

Im Focus: Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter

  • Coolest and smallest star to produce a superflare found
  • Star is a tenth of the radius of our Sun
  • Researchers led by University of Warwick could only see...

Im Focus: Quantum simulation more stable than expected

A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.

Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...

Im Focus: Largest, fastest array of microscopic 'traffic cops' for optical communications

The technology could revolutionize how information travels through data centers and artificial intelligence networks

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

Fraunhofer FHR at the IEEE Radar Conference 2019 in Boston, USA

09.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Proteins stand up to nerve cell regression

24.04.2019 | Life Sciences

New sensor detects rare metals used in smartphones

24.04.2019 | Life Sciences

Controlling instabilities gives closer look at chemistry from hypersonic vehicles

24.04.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>