The core of informational technology usage conception in public administration is all about Joint Information Center and public communication supervision and an interaction logging that is held by information management system. The system includes automated online rating of particular public servants and managers and whole state agency. All citizens’ unfilled requests escalate to the superior level of public administration until dispute would be settled. This conception enables marketing of public communication on the state level.
Informational technology usage in public administration might be a key factor for developing welfare state.
Informational technology enables state agency to achieve the whole new level of interaction with citizens.
On the one hand marketing on state level can be thought as a tool for citizens’ needs and aspirations reveal, on the other hand it can be a tool for state agency to meet citizens’ needs in timely manner.
Marketing of public communication on the state level should be based on direct and constant informational link between state agency and citizen as well as on citizen’s feedback (this should prevent or allow to solve possible problem consensually); on subsequent monitoring of citizens satisfaction after problem has been solved at specific time intervals; on development and conducting series of actions to raise effectiveness of Government-to-Citizen interaction.
Creation and functioning of Joint Information Center will promote fast, well-grounded and timely problem solving, which citizens submit to state agency.
Such Joint Information Center is a call centre by nature and at the same time Internet portal that provides public services.
Thanks to the call centre citizens are able to:
– obtain needed information on the question of application form filling through public services Internet portal;
– inquire information on state agency activities;
– file complaint on dissatisfaction of private or state agency services;
– receive other consulting services.
Rating of Joint Information Center is based on existing methods of citizens’ survey after service has been delivered by Center’s professional via phone, website or email. Automatically calculated rating allows conducting permanent supervision and getting real time data at any given time.
Each citizen is able to register through the site of this Joint Centre and to submit his or her question toward local authorities in electronic form. Each such inquiry receives unique ID.
Each citizen request and personalized public servant reply is stored in joint database for further reviewal in case of any dispute would be raised. So it allows checking of any claims validity.
When public servant receives electronic request from citizen, the latter gets confirmation email. Such email contains:
1) ID and full name of public servant.
2) Time frame for providing response to the request.
3) Correspondent state agency contact details.
Joint Information Center supervises deadlines for public servants’ replies and in case of any violation it affects rating of particular public servant, department, state agency and so on and finally it influences rating of particular region (district) and its governor.
It should be noted that control is not handled by human personnel working in this Joint Information Centre, but by machine algorithm that makes this assessment well-grounded.
Citizen may accept this electronic reply from public servant or may not. Citizen has right to reject it, in case he or she does not agree with the decision. If citizen feels comfortable with the decision then the case will be sent to the Information Center Database Archive.
Otherwise, in case citizen is not satisfied, this request will be escalated to the next level – from initially assigned public servant to his superior and so on.
In case of further disagreements it will raise level of reviewal again and again. Final decision could be made at the highest level of public administration and/or through court hearing.
With this algorithm it is possible to estimate effectiveness of each public servant, each department and whole state agency.
If reviewal at superior level of public administration supports citizen’s claim, while lower level public servant has denied this claim, then this public servant, correspondent department he or she working for, whole state agency and so on gets a negative rating – software (algorithm) lowers their rating.
At the same time positive feedbacks from citizens for the services of public servant and correspondent state agency are taken into account, which is reflected in their rating.
Software can provide rating calculation for each public servant, any department he or she is working for, and estimate whole state agency. For the purpose of rating calculation one can use formula:
R – rating of public servant (or department, or state agency) during set time frame (1 month or quarter, or year).
A – total number of public servant replies (or department, or state agency) during set time frame (1 month or quarter, or year).
B – total number of public servant replies (or department, or state agency) that have been rejected by citizens during set time frame (1 month or quarter, or year).
T – total number of requests that particular public servant (or department, or state agency) received from citizens during set time frame (1 month or quarter, or year).
Value of the variable B – that stands for number of rejected replies – grows when citizen request escalates to the superior level and gets approved at higher level. This way all lower levels rejections are considered as unjustified. This figure is calculated automatically.
Rating is calculated automatically by software in set time frame.
The higher rating R for public servant is, the higher citizens’ appreciation is.
Listed above formula is an example. Beside this, it is advised to weight each of rejected citizen’s request (weight of unjustified reject by public servant) due to different content of the letters and involved complexity of solving issue, after all unjustified rejection might cause hard consequences for submitter of the request. This is essential point and must be counted in algorithm for staff assessment.
It is possible to use other approaches to calculate rating, for example, it might involve merit point system. However, it is crucial that this system should be frank about quality of public servant work and effectively motivate him or her to provide better service.
In such manner system calculates rating of public servant, and defines level of their payment, and because of process automation rating is being permanently recalculated.
Prospects and benefits of information technology usage in public administration:
1) to spot hierarchy of citizens’ problems on district level, region level and so on (citizens can choose existing problem from the list);
2) to define interaction quality rating between authorities and society (on local, district and regional level and so on);
3) quality improvement in servant-citizens interactions (timely and fairness manners of duties executions);
4) automated system fights corruption through supervision of decision making and problem solving (unjustified decision would be nullified by higher government body and depending on mistake system automatically defines persons who are responsible for such mistake);
5) rating based payment for public servant work;
6) regardless of the country size it is possible to handle operating control and provide timely decisions that are based on information and ratings from Joint Information Centre;
7) the highest ranking officials will be in possess of particular public servant’s or department’s rating and may get statistics on citizens requests, number of replies/rejects and so on, and this data will be complete and up-to-date because of constant automatic update.
Thus information technology allows implementing marketing methods at the state level and to fully consider problems of each individual.
Reliable problems rating figures are vital for performance assessment of local and regional authorities. In addition, it helps to get fact-based review of positive and negative trends that are starting up in one or another region.
Informational technology assists in independent assessment that has nothing to do with reports from local authorities and that is quite important for any state.
Informational technology provides independent assessment that is free from any influence of local authority, which is essential for highest-ranking officials.
This helps to be more effective in control process and to prevent negative trends at the very beginning. Combined ratings of public servants, which are working together in some department, form department’s rating and rating of their superior and so on.
Proposed conception promotes rational approach for defining quantity of public servants service with a detailed duties specification and time for such duties fulfillment.
Electronic document flow contributes to cutting expenses through all activities of state agency, but it is necessary to define how many public servants should be responsible for making decision on one or another activity and to form procedure of electronic signing and quantity of needed signs should be based on importance of document — unreasonable time expenditure should be avoided.
Active campaign to inform citizens about Joint Information Center services as well as to inform tourist about possibility to directly contact state call centre on any issue with services of any organisation will help to form positive image of any state.
Under such conception portal for public service provision should contain forum that reflects all negative feedbacks on unsatisfactory services, defective products or low grade services as well as to gather any thoughts on how to make quality of products and services better. Open discussion on this matter will encourage improvement in products and services.
According to this conception it is expected that state agencies react promptly through its public relations staff to any negative publications and comments in printed, electronic mass media and to any post on popular Internet resource within a specified time span. PR staff should clarify official position on any arisen issue, to defuse a conflict and to prevent potentially conflict situation. Official press releases are published on official website, on mass media and popular Internet recourses. Person who is responsible for public relations monitors image of state agency and provides monthly report.
Conception also requires foreign company informing about any opportunity that deals with new technologies or something else via press releases publication on local and international electronic PR-spaces, via direct email with appropriate content to printed and electronic mass media. In addition, domestic information portals should be promoted on local and international level in accordance with state priorities. Goal is to improve state image.
Electronic visa for foreign citizens and electronic request for visa can be considered as another option to promote state image.
Expert software usage of state agency helps in decision making and allows to make well-grounded decision. Implementation of such conception requires special measures to protect Joint Information Center from possible hacking attack.
Described above conception of informational technology usage in public administration determines disputable problems and assists in its solving with automated supervision on public communication, time saving and it also helps to develop state dynamically.