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Citizen Service Centres
Institution: Ministry of Interior
Public Administration and Decentralization
Theme: Citizens’ Service Delivery
Implementation Date: Jan 01, 2003
Summary: The Citizen Service Centres (KEP in Greek) have been created with the objective of simplifying traditionally complex, bureaucratic procedures in the relationship between government services and Greek citizens.

They belong to a wide national project, funded by national and European resources, for the introduction of ICTs into the public administration (1994-1999 KLEISTENIS Programme, 2000-2006 ARIADNI Programme).

The main objective of the Centres is to establish local e-government information supermarkets for one-stop shopping for administrative documents (i.e., tax records, business licences, pension and insurance documents, passports, birth certificates and voting cards) everywhere in Greece.

To create and successfully manage Citizen Service Centres, the Ministry of Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization works together with municipalities and prefectures.

In this context, day-to-day management is the responsibility of prefectures and municipalities while initial funding, operation design and assessment remain in Ministry hands. A formal contract is established between the partners to define reciprocal duties.
Impact: There is an enormous potential impact on the relationships between government and citizens. As the project on Citizen Service Centres gains technological strength, it can be a good demonstration of how e-government organizational and technological innovations can change the day-to-day life of citizens.

Beyond this, it can play the role of “innovation Trojan horse” for the entire Greek Administration. For Ministry officials, this was the objective from the beginning and this should be the indicator of success for the project.

In Greece, reform towards efficiency in back-end administrative processes advances very slowly and progress, where it exists, is rather invisible for the citizens.
 
The project introduces the concept of front-end innovation (“downwards”, at the level of relationships with the citizens), which introduces pressure for reforming “upwards” stages of the public administration value chain.

Key factors for sustainability include:

• Continuous public funding for improving the welcoming quality of the Centres;
• Parallel, successful effort in reforming back-end procedures;
• Increasing interest on the part of local government authorities (prefectures, municipalities) in taking over more responsibility and effective operational management of the Centres; and
• Investment in human resources.

The first signs of success are beginning to emerge as Citizen Service Centres already serve about 140,000 citizens per month .
Source: Internet
Project Home URL: http://www.kep.gov.gr (in Greek)
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