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Albania

Establish online portal for feedback on public service delivery (AL0067)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Albania Action Plan 2020-2022

Action Plan Cycle: 2020

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: The National Agency for Information Society (NAIS)

Support Institution(s): State actors involved Other government agencies involved: Line Ministries and their dependent institutions, local government, independent institutions Non-governmental agencies involved: Citizens/businesses/public administration employees

Policy Areas

E-Government, Public Participation, Public Service Delivery

IRM Review

IRM Report: Albania Action Plan Review 2020-2022

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Pending IRM Review

Potential Impact: Pending IRM Review

Implementation i

Completion: Pending IRM Review

Description

What is the public problem that the commitment will address? Efficient and effective models of public service delivery are essential not only to meet the needs of citizens, but also to weaken the attractiveness of and opportunities for corruption. Accessing public services can impose significant administrative burdens on citizens and businesses if it requires them to personally navigate opaque, time consuming and complex bureaucratic systems with unclear and non-standardized. When citizens and businesses have direct contact with administration officials, amid such complexities in another ambiguous system that such a model of public service delivery brings, this kind of use encourages and provides opportunities to increase the risk of corruption in the provision of public services. Moreover, the inefficiency of these complex service delivery models squander government resources that could be otherwise channeled into public services. Since 2014, on direction from the Prime Minister’s Office, Albania has been working towards transforming public service delivery towards an efficient and citizen-centric service delivery model. Promoting public accountability and civic engagement and participation requires not only increased access to information and resources but also changing the mentality about public service delivery and raising citizens’ awareness of their rights as beneficiaries of public services. Developing a service delivery model that utilizes technology and online platforms to streamline bureaucracy in a transparent and standardized way the government of Albania has worked to increase the accessibility and accountability of public service delivery and build public trust in government services, but the effectiveness of this model will depend on the comprehensiveness of the transformation.

What is the commitment? The national electronic government portal, e-Albania, acts as a front-end point for government institutions to deliver their services online. Operating as a one stop single access point to citizens 24/7 the portal, is connected to the Government Interoperability Platform that enables the interaction between 53 electronic systems of public institutions and applications for their public services. This commitment expands the number of electronic services in the e-Albania portal in order to improve the process for citizens and businesses to have effective and efficient access to public Commitments |Digital Governance: Accessibility in Public Services|Commitment 3 services. During a three-phase process, the portal will provide 95% or 1300 over 1,200 applications for public service exclusively online only on the e-Albania portal. Public service applications for public services for citizens and businesses will be made only online, while all data and their accompanying documentation when produced by public administration institutions, for citizens and business will be made electronically and will be provided by public administration self-employed. Public administration employees will provide these documents on behalf of the citizen, either by downloading their sealed electronic version with an electronic stamp or from the e-Albania platform or by requesting them from the insurance institution through a special electronic system developed for this purpose. To support citizens and businesses in switching online modalities, an awareness campaign is being implemented and will continue to be implemented. Objective: The expansion of the number of electronic services in the e-Albania portal whichaims to establish the framework and mechanisms necessary not only for increased efficiency and quality of public service delivery, but also for changing citizens’ mind-set towards electronic communication with public institutions. The transition to online applications aims to significantly reduce bureaucracy and administrative costs for citizens and businesses by relieving them from the burden of having to physically collect hard-copies of state documents as well as for the public administration through a more streamlined and efficient model public system. Expected results: • Provide 95% of all public service applications electronically; • Increased citizen literacy regarding e-government tools; • Increased citizen engagement and increased public accountability by citizens; • Increasing transparency & quality of service delivery; • Reduction in service delivery costs; • Streamlined bureaucratic procedures; • Prevention of opportunities for corruption.

How will the commitment contribute to solving the public problem? Expansion of public services on e-Albania: The e-Albania portal enables citizens to access online applications for services provided by the public administration by acting as a digital gateway to facilitate the access of service providers and beneficiaries to information, electronic procedures and assistance in obtaining services. The e-Albania portal is designed with users in mind, allowing anyone, regardless of their level of digital literacy, to access online services through an adaptable and intuitive interface. According to the opinion poll ‘Trust in government’ of the citizens who have used the electronic services of e-Albania, 94.6% have found it functional and 80.1% find it easy to use. As a standard-compliant system based on international internet, the e-Albania portal is accessible from any device, including smartphones, televisions and digital kiosks in public places. The first phase of this commitment (milestone 1) will expand to provide 472 applications for public services available only online on the e-Albania portal to go further by providing 95% of all public service applications electronically only online, up to end of 2020. The National Agency for Information Society (NAIS), in cooperation with all public institutions have initiated a three-phase action plan divided into three phases, to expand public service applications related to applications for public services only available online on the e-Albania portal: • First phase (January 2020): transitioning 472 applications of public services to online-only; • Second phase (in process/June 2020): transitioning 395 public service applications to online only; • Third phase (December 2020): transitioning 394 public service applications to online only. Having effectively centralized and standardized the applications for nearly all public services into the portal, this commitment will establish the portal as the public service hub, drastically reducing the time citizens and businesses need to spend seeking out and accessing public services and therefore, increasing citizen and business accessibility to obtain public services. Increasing the accessibility of the e-Albania portal: According the ‘Trust in Government’ opinion poll more than 71% of citizens are aware of the e-Albania portal with over 53% reporting to have received electronic services through the portal. The second stage of the commitment (milestone 2) will focus on facilitating the implementation of the expanded portal and the creation of a citizen focused improvement mechanism. An awareness campaign, with accompanying explanatory materials, will aim to not only educate citizens on the applications and use of the portal so that they can make full use of the full range of services available, but also so that they have the information and material necessary to provide informed feedback. As such, this campaign will be accompanied with a feedback mechanism so that citizens will be able to provide informed feedback on the platform and contribute towards a citizen-focused continual improvement and accessibility of the platform. Promoting public accountability: Centralizing public services into an electronic portal enables increased public accountability on three levels: • First, an online electronic platform establishes traceability for actions service delivery actions and reduces the need for face-to-face contact between citizens and public administration employees lessening opportunities for corruption to take place or go unnoticed. • Second, public services on the platform must meet an established criteria and compliance with this criteria will be monitored by NAIS. Setting and enforcing a unified criterion across public institutions eliminates variations in administrative practices across institutions’ and remove ambiguity and consequently, not only promotes increased efficiency across the whole public administration, but also reduces the opportunities for corruption and mismanagement. • Third, the e-Albania platform is not only accountable to internal institutions, but also through outward facing mechanisms that enable civic participation towards its continual improvement. Assessments of the expansion of the e-Albania platform will be conducted in coordination with civil society (milestone 1) to ensure the portal is assessed not only according to the transparent and uniform established criteria, but also according to the needs of those using it. Through awareness campaign to capacitate citizens and businesses and its feedback mechanism (milestone 2), the expansion of the e-Albania platform promotes a citizen-centered culture and approach to the transformation of public services. An online format that eliminates in-person or physical feedback and guaranteed privacy protection for citizens aims to incentivize citizens to not only use the portal, but to provide feedback and recommendations, secure that their identity will be protected. OGP challenge affected by this measures Improve public services Increase efficient management of public resources Increase public integrity Increase corporat e accountability Create a safer community for citizens & civil society ☒ ☒ ☒ ☒ ☒

Why is this commitment relevant to OGP values? Transparency & Access to Information • Does the ide a disclose more information to the public? • Does the ide a improve the quality of information disclosed to the public? • Does the ide a improve accessibility of information to the public? • Does the ide a e nable the right to information? ☒Y es ☐N o The expansion of the e-Albania portal will expand citizen s’ online electr onic access to application s to public serv ices pr ov ided by the public administration. The portal prov ides access to:: i . N ecessary information on the rights, obligations and rules for obtaining public services in the Repu blic of Albania; ii . Information regarding online and offline procedures to benefit pu blic services, to enable users to exercise their rights and fulfill the obligations and rules of obtaining services in the Repu blic of Albania. iii. Relevant information and links for assistance in obtaining services, where citizens, businesses and employees of the administration can be directed in case of qu estions or uncertainties on the obligations, rules and procedures set ou t in letter a) and b) of this point. In formation on the e-Albanial platform is monitored by NA IS and serv ice prov ider institution s so that it meets the following criteria: i . To be easily usable, to enable users to easily find and understand information, as well as to easily identify which parts of it relate to their specific situation; ii . To be accurate and complete enough to inclu de all the information that users need to know in order to exercise their rights in full compliance with the applicable rules and obligations; iii. Inclu des references, links to legal acts, technical specifications and instructions, where appropriate; iv . Inclu de the name of the insitutionresponsible for the content of the information; v . Inclu des contact details for any assistance or troubleshooting services, such as an email address, telephone number, an online application form or any other commonly used electronic means of communication that is most appropriate for the type of the service provided and for the target audience of this service; vi . Is well structured and presented, so that u sers can quickly find the information they need; vii . Is maintained with u p to date;and viii. Is written in clear and simple language that isadapted to the needs of the target users. NA IS and serv ice prov ider in stitutions ensure that the in formation published on the e-Albania portal for each indiv idual serv ice, guarantees the necessary accessibility and transparency for stakeholders. Enabling the right to information is important in prev enting corruption, a s well a s it aims to make more in formation av ailable, en sure equal access to information in all sector s of the community and guarantee adequate pr otection for the priv acy of indiv iduals. Enabling ev ery citizen to g et acquainted with the information of public serv ices through the e-Albania portal, guaranteed 24/7 at any time. Public Accountability • Does the ide a cre ate or improve rules, regulations, and mechanisms to publicly hold government officials answerable to the ir actions? • Does the ide a make the government accountable to the public and not solely to inte rnal syste ms? ☒Y es ☐N o The e-Albania portal enables cit izen s and businesses to pr ov ide feedback and comments regarding public serv ices. The e-Albania platform will be subject to assessment conducted with civ il society making it accountable to citizens and an awareness campaign will pr omote awareness regarding h ow citizens can pr ov ide feedback. The portal also establishes traceability for actions serv ice deliv ery actions a s a fter completing the online a pplication, the citizen is equipped with a unique number that enables them to track the status of their application, making the public institutions accountable for the pr ocessing of the application. Additionally , public accountability is also promoted thr ough a unified established criterion for public serv ices on the plat form that is monitored by NA IS that also r educes opportunities for corruption and mismanagement. Electr onic forms of feedback also enable traceability and promote the ability to track changes in percept ions ov er time, pr omoting greater accountability of public inst itution s to addr ess citizen s’ feedback and concerns. Public & Civic Participation • Does the ide a cre ate or improve opportunities, or capabilities for the public to inform or influe nce de cisions? • Does the ide a cre ate or improve the e nabling e nvironme nt for civil socie ty? ☒Y es ☐N o The expan sion of the e-Albania portal will enable more citizen s to pr ov ide feedback on more public serv ices. With their priv acy pr otected, citizens can feel sa fe in prov iding honest feedback and recommendation. As such feedback is expected to increa se which will then pr ov ide gov ernment with greater in sights into how e-g ov ernment serv ices can be improv ed further and will help to build a cit izen -centric culture to public serv ice deliv ery. This wide-range community pr ocess builds trust and enables opportunities for public participation towards the improv ement of serv ices. The g ov ernment will thus hav e holistic and timely information into the cit izens or bu sinesses obtaining public serv ices. This implies that there will be complete transparency as to what gov ernment serv ices or ben efits the citizens or bu sinesses obtain based on their unique identification and ensuring inter operability between all g ov ernment in stitutions. Technology & Innovation • Will te chnological innovation be used in with one of the other three OGP values to advance participation, transpare ncy or accountability? ☐Y es ☒N o Through technology and innovation, the e-Albania platform enables fundamental improv ements to public serv ice deliv ery by decreasing the number of accompany ing documents required fr om citizen s / bu sinesses; a s well as re-engineering the entire pr ocess of their deliv ery , in order to reduce the steps needed to obtain the serv ice, digitalization of internal pr ocesses while reducing bureaucracy , costs and time for citizen s. Through the e-Albania portal citizen s and businesses hav e to only access on e resource for all public serv ice deliv ery applications, a s opposed to hav ing to seek out sev eral in stitution s. Through the online portal citizen s and busin esses can access r eal-time information, as w ell a s express their opinion regardless of location or t ime, thus hav ing better opportunities for their influence in decision-making, increa sing transparency and giv ing of the public account by the relev ant in stitution s. The use of an onlin e electronic platform also remov es the need for human interaction in g ov ernment-cit izen serv ice deliv ery and as such reduces opportunities for corruption and pr ov ides pr otection of priv acy for cit izen s encouraging them to use the resources more freely and pr ov ide h onest feedback.

Milestone Activities Milestones Indicators Responsible Institution / s New or Continued Idea Timeframe Measurable & verifiable achievements to accomplish this objective Result Indicators Output Indicators Lead Responsible Institution Supporting / Coordinating Agencies / Institutions New or continued from 2018- 2020 OGP AP Start Date End Dat e Priority Measure 1: Expansion of e-Albania portal Milestone 1: Dev eloping new e-serv ices on e-Albania portal Expansion of pu blic services to e-Albania portal Assessment conducted in coordination with civil society to identify next areas of improvement. National A gency for Information Society (NAIS) Line Ministries and their dependent institutions, local government, independent institutions ☒N o ☐Y es Jan. 2020 December 2022 Milestone 2: Pr om otion of electronic serv ices of the e-Albania Awareness campaign. National A gency for Information Society (NAIS) Line Ministries and their dependent institutions, local ☒N o ☐Y es Jan. 2020 Dec. 2022 portal Explanatory materials to edu cate ci tizens on u se of e-portal . Feedback mechanism for ci tizen recommendations to improve accessibility . government, independent institutions

IRM Midterm Status Summary

Commitment #3: Provision of interactive electronic public services

●      Verifiable: Yes

●      Does it have an open government lens? Yes

●      Potential for results: Modest


Commitments

Open Government Partnership