Citizen Service Delivery Framework: The Future

Government agencies worldwide are working towards building a digital citizen-centric government; realizing the need for transformation in the delivery of citizen services, to cater to the expectations/needs of the community. It needs to be taken into consideration, that targeting the Indian population of over 1.3 billion and the deliverance of e-services to them, is a herculean task.

The development initiative for the e-governance portal started over a decade ago and currently, most state governments have developed their respective portals, for the dissemination of various type of services/information to the citizens. The sector has been developing, at a slower pace than other industries such as hospitality, BFSI etc., in the adoption of modern technology that can help in the improvement/enhancement of the service experience, for the intended consumers.

There still remain basic government services, whose delivery is still largely, paper-driven, labor-intensive, time-consuming and costly. Having said this, however, there is a definite change in the trend, with government CIOs looking to bring about a radical change in the way citizen services are delivered; while showcasing measurable returns from the ICT/IT investments made, at the same time.

A focus on citizen and business centricity, lies at the core of every e-governance initiative. Citizen satisfaction is largely dependent on the speed of service delivery by an agency. Since most government services highly process-centric, involving high volumes of document exchange; hence, the need for an IT strategy for the streamlining of services and ensuring speedy/effective delivery of service is quite imperative.

Current Framework: Citizen service delivery frameworks are generally process-centric in nature and involve 5 steps of, Application Submission, Acceptance/Acknowledgement, Review, Approval and Document Generation. These procedures are highly document-intensive in nature and involve the exchange of a myriad of documents like, forms, proof of identity/address, certificates etc. While in some cases, in addition to these, agencies need to look at historical data and even documents, that were submitted in the past. Hence the incorporation of an efficient ECM (Enterprise Content Management) system, can aid agencies in the delivery of responsive services while also ensuring regulatory compliance.

Leveraging IT to Transform Service Delivery: Leveraging technologies like ECM, BPM, MDM and Case management etc., can help government organizations in the consolidation of their IT departments. Since government organizations need to create master data that is reliable, accurate, timely and comprehensive across the various agencies, programs, individuals and employees. MDM (Master Data Management) projects in the public sector are effective, easy to adopt, implement and manage, along with possessing the requisite flexibility of data model, multiple architecture styles/ deployment modes and a trust framework that accurately measures data reliability.

A unified ECM platform can help in, the efficient/effective service delivery in limited resources, an increase in accountability, transparency and oversight in the process, along with the following benefits:

    • Enhancement in Productivity: Manual processing of processes that are paper-intensive is inefficient, error-prone, labor-intensive and time-consuming inherently, which also makes them difficult to track/optimize. A unified ECM platform, ensures the availability of content anytime, anywhere to the users. Thus, eliminating manual hand-offs and ensuring improved worker productivity.
 
    • Interoperability of e-Government: For the timely realization of efficient delivery of citizen services, there needs to be a seamless exchange of information electronically, while also ensuring the privacy/integrity of data.
 
    • Compliance with Regulatory/Legal Policies: Management component of an ECM can provide support for defining/enforcing the retention of record classification and disposition policies.
 
    • Cost Reduction: Since the storage and movement of physical documents incur significant operational costs. ECM can facilitate paperless transactions, thus, resulting in cost reduction.
 
    • Audit Control: An increase in transparency and work accountability, via a complete audit log of each transaction made.
 
    • Consolidation of the IT Infrastructure: Elimination of redundant legacy infrastructure and also of information silos, across departments and agencies. This, in, turn reduces operational costs/risk overall, while also shortening delivery cycles.


  A unified ECM platform, hence, might just be the answer, with the allowance of letting organizations manage the creation/capture of content, as well as its storage and disposal, while in the meantime also allowing the seamless exchange of information/interoperability. This, in turn, will ensure that the government retains its strategic control over documents, also complying with legislation/policies that deal with the authorization/protection and the archival of the said documents. Thus, the leveraging of technology, for the creation of a robust framework is where the future of the Citizen Service Delivery systems lies.

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Author: Chhavi Jain, Vice President – IL&FS Technologies Ltd

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