NEWS

Online network to link citizens with public services

The transition of public administration into the electronic age, evident in the increased use of new technologies by government and municipal services, was a subject broached by Interior Minister Costas Skandalidis at a conference on Tuesday on «Exploiting the Potential of the State.» Skandalidis referred to the operational program «Information Society» – for which 2.93 billion euros (1 trillion drachmas) has been earmarked and 879 million euros (300 billion drachmas) of which is at the State’s disposal. The program aims to make an online connection between every citizen, school, and business with the State. The implementation of new technology will allow the replanning of state procedures for greater efficiency and the adoption of modern methods of financial management for state services – both of which will be initially based on the cost-benefit principle. The transition to the digital age will also see the introduction of electronically conducted opinion polls and the registering of citizens’ complaints regarding state services, as well as online «face-to-face» meetings between citizens and government representatives. Current projects include: – Syzefxis, which is backed by a budget of 73.3 million euros (25 billion drachmas) and due to be announced for tender later this month, following the approval of a cross-party committee. The project aims at creating an all-encompassing online network providing the citizen with online access to 1,800 state services. – The Police Online project, with a budget of 29.3 million euros (10 billion drachmas), is also due to go up for tender this month. It aims to link all regional police departments with central management. – A project called Best Practice, scheduled to go out to tender in February 2003, aims to improve the service at military drafting offices. – The project Adriani, backed by 88 million euros (30 billion drachmas), aims at establishing Citizen Support Centers in 1,000 municipalities across the country.