itSMF Estonia Preview: Standardizing the delivery of public services

Janek Razov

Ahead of his presentation at itSMF Estonia, we caught up with Janek Rozov, Head of Information Society Services Development Department at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications in Estonia has taken the lead in standardizing the delivery of public services. Can you please explain why this initiative has been undertaken and what is the value for the Public Sector and for citizens?

One reason is that satisfaction about public e-services that are provided by different authority’s varies from 37% – 91% (e-service) and awareness about public e-services is very low (approximately 30%). We have very a complicated overview about how many services are provided by authorities and right now we don’t have a (much-needed) structure to describe the meaning of public service in the same language for all service providers. The primary benefits of standardizing the delivery of public services would be for:

  • Citizens – increasing awareness and satisfaction.
  • Public Sector – understand that kind of services is necessary to change

What kind of guidance for the Public Sector have you already created and published?

To date, we have created:

  • Green Paper – Organisation of Public Services – it was approved on 16th May this year in the Government Cabinet meeting. It was a one and a half year-long process before approving. We ran lot of workshops and discussions with public authority representatives as well as with organisations representing different clients groups.
  • Public sector business processes – Process Analysis Handbook – We published this in summer; it is a handbook based on public sector practice in the field of process analysis. 5 departments and 1 local government agency were involved in its creation.
  • Creating preconditions to improve quality of public services by ICT means – Approved in October 2013, this program consists of three primary parts: awareness in field of new e-solutions and principals in public sector (trainings and information days); analyses and conceptions (e.g. information governance vision (documents management vs information governance)); and Pilot projects.

There can be many challenges when coordinating Service Management activities between various Public Sector organisations. Any advice on how to overcome these?

The main principal that our departments try to follow is “think big do small”, anything we want to implement is first test in ‘pilot project’ mode. Pilot projects help us to achieve collaboration and trust between our team and the people from different authorities.  It also helps us work out what works and what doesn’t.

How does Public Sector Service Management differ from the Private Sector?

In my opinion there are no differences in its management. You need to understand the clients need and provide them with services to fit these needs regardless of whether it’s in the Private Sector or the Public Sector.

Can public sector organisations from other countries learn from your achievements?

Yes we continously share information about our experience in public service development at different conferences and via our ministry web page.

How do you see the future of the initiative – what does the roadmap for the next few years look like and what are the main outcomes you are hoping to deliver?

  • Publish “public sector e-service design handbook”, which will be based on “Road authority pilot project in summer – autumn 2013”
  • Cannel strategy for providing public services
  • Public services portfolio management model
  • Pilot project in field of public e-services design (teaching, analysis (AS-IS –ToBi), e-service design)

itSMF Estonia

Janek will present at itSMF Estonia on 11th December at 14.25. His presentation will be in Estonian with slides/translation in English. An overview of his session is as follows:

Estonia is a country where most of the interactions citizens need to have with the government can be done online – submitting applications and notices, registering the birth of a child, voting on local government council and parliamentary elections, filing taxes, starting a company, etc. The public sector is focused on making these experiences as smooth as possible and the results have been well received by both the citizens and the entrepreneurs, and noticed by the countries.

The Department of Information Society Services Development within the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications is leading the standardisation of the delivery of public services and ensuring the development of customer centric physical and virtual environments based on available IT solutions. They have recently published the Green Book on Management of Public Services, which covers the main challenges of delivering public services and provides a set of proven solutions. The models described in the Green Book have already been successfully applied to several projects. This presentation describes the these models and shows how the public sector and potentially the private sector can use this BoK when designing and improving their services. 

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