Performance Evaluation of the National Housing File (FNL) for the Development of E-Governance in the Housing Sector in Algeria

Performance Evaluation of the National Housing File (FNL) for the Development of E-Governance in the Housing Sector in Algeria

Ouahiba Belhocine (Ecole Polytechnique d'Architecture et d'Urbanisme (EPAU), Algiers, Oued Smar, Algeria), Kahina Amal Djiar (Ecole polytechnique d'Architecture et d'Urbanisme (EPAU), Algiers, Oued Smar, Algeria) and Meriem Lagati (Ecole polytechnique d'Architecture et d'Urbanisme (EPAU), Algiers, Oued Smar, Algeria)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/IJEPR.2019100104

Abstract

The housing sector in Algeria has undergone huge transformations to improve the supply process. One of the major changes that has been operated is related to the introduction of information technology in the practice of controlling the eligibility of applicants for public housing. As a result, the National Housing File has been created, marking hereby a major step towards the development of e-governance in Algeria. Yet, despite this noticeable improvement, the housing supply process remains very complex. This is mainly linked to the multi-sectoral character of the procedure, which requires the involvement of various actors and institutions. The objective of this paper is to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the National Housing File, which has been conceived as a decision support tool to housing supply. The paper examines the process through which data is gathered and evaluation of potential beneficiaries is made. It sheds light on the issues that hinder the right functioning of the National Housing File and delay the development of e-governance in an effective way.
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Introduction

Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have become an important lever of development all over the world. There is a general consensus that information and communication technologies play, today, a determining role in the way that contemporary societies engage in the improvement of all the aspects that affect people’s everyday lives including the professional world (Bulbulien, 2002; Alghamdi & Goodwin et al, 2011; Kettani & Moulin, 2014). It is increasingly observed that governments react and interact differently with citizens after the adoption of a new decision-making process (Ndiaye, 2006).

Algeria is by no means an exception. Public authorities continue to introduce gradually information and communication technologies into the management system of all public sectors. The decision of making wide use of these new technologies was taken in the wake of key reforms the country engaged in by early 2000s. Yet, the e-Algeria strategy was undertaken later, in 2013, as part of a large plan for the modernisation of public administration. The objective was to improve its performance through different operating and organisational methods that would serve citizens in more appropriate and efficient ways (Idoughi & Abdelhakim, 2013).

Still though, the housing sector in Algeria is undoubtedly the one that raises most concerns. The reason is related to the scale of the crisis that contributed to the instigation of social revolts by the end of the 1980s. Overcoming the housing problem has caught the attention of public authorities ever since. The strategy that has been adopted aimed, on the one hand, at significantly increasing housing production. On the other hand, the objective was to diversify the categories of housing supply in order to meet the needs of citizens from different social groups (Ministry of Housing, Urban Planning and the City, 2010).

As a result of this policy, nearly four million housing units have been built, transforming thereby the entire urban and social landscapes of Algerian cities (Djiar K., 2014). For public authorities, the allocation of the newly built apartments with equity, transparency and fairness required the strengthening of the control process over assessment operations of the eligibility of applicants (Ministry of Housing, Urban Planning and the City; 2015). It is precisely in this context that the National Housing File (or Le Fichier National du Logement, FNL) has been created as a computer decision support tool. It is also in the course of the National Housing File conception that the Ministry of Housing, Urban Planning and the City (or Le Ministère de l’Habitat, de l’Urbanisme et de la Ville, MHUV) moved a step forward towards the integration of information and communication technologies (ICT) in sectorial management and the development of e-governance.

Basically, the National Housing File (FNL) helps to gather all data of any person who previously benefited from public support. In other terms, anyone who already owned a property or a land, or else received public financial support was reported on the National Housing File (FNL). Hence, such beneficiaries could never be eligible as an applicant for public housing. As a matter of fact, file checks that have been carried out in the period between January and June 2015 at the Ministry of Housing, Urban Planning and the City helped to detect an important number of 114,931 fraudulent applicants from a total of 1,050,635 applications. This means that about 11% were declared ineligible (Ministry of Housing, Urban Planning and the City (MHUV), 2015).

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