The EU-Services Directive: An eFramework to Optimize Public Administration

The EU-Services Directive: An eFramework to Optimize Public Administration

Ciprian Dobre (Computer Science Department, Faculty of Automatic Control and Computes Science, University Politehnica of Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania), Florin Pop (Computer Science Department, Faculty of Automatic Control and Computes Science, University Politehnica of Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania) and Valentin Cristea (Computer Science Department, Faculty of Automatic Control and Computes Science, University Politehnica of Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/jdst.2013070101
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Abstract

The Point of Single Contact, proposed by the EU Services Directive, is a reliable source of electronic processing of information that facilitates the interaction of citizens with the public administration. This paper presents an eFramework designed to improve the communication between the citizens or businesses and the public administration. Using this framework the governments can offer eServices to its citizens, as well as the possibility to interact with various public govern-level services, without the need to directly interact with the involved institutions. An example of such an electronic service would be the possibility to open a business using a single browser. The authors present the architecture as well as technical details for the implementation of such a framework. They also present a pilot application designed to orchestrate the workflow for opening a business. Such a solution is based on state-of-the-art technologies such as InfoPath, SharePoint, BizTalk, and Web Services.
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Introduction

Public administration is subject to major changes, affecting many countries. One such change is the compulsoriness to implement the European Union Services Directive. The EU Services Directive (Directive 2006/123/EG), which was passed in December 2006, should simplify access to the services market in all member states of the European Union and eliminate existing bureaucratic barriers for service providers, thus promoting cross-border services within Europe.

In order to achieve this, the governments and administrations of the member states have to complete a multitude of tasks associated with comprehensive modifications to business and administrative law. As part of “One Stop Government” it is necessary to set up Points of Single Contact for service providers and to accompany them in all administrative processes during the entire life cycle from the cradle to the grave: from the start up of services activities and during the course of these services activities right through to liquidation. These points of single contact should keep service providers from other EU member states informed about all relevant guidelines and responsibilities, and also help with processing of procedures and formalities in the public sector. It is assumed that points of single contact in many member states will not only be assigned to foreign service-providers, but this service will also be offered to national businesses for politico-economic reasons.

Points of single contact and electronic processing will make a considerable contribution to the simplification of structures, processes and formalities. A thorough implementation of the relevant one-stop government concepts will have a noticeable effect on the entire public sector in all member states (at the national, regional, and local level) which will, in turn, influence the entire area of application of European services and businesses. Romania, as part of EU, made its first steps towards setting up a Point of Single Contact (PSC), as requested by the European Union.

In this paper we present the design details of a framework designed to optimize the relationship between Governments and citizens using eServices. Such a framework can represent the central brain of a PSC implementation. Using this framework, the government can offer online services to its citizens, as well as the possibility to interact with various public govern-level services, without the need to directly interact with the involved institutions. An example of such an electronic service is the possibility to open a business using a simple web browser.

The framework implements the „one-stop paradigm” and the „one-stop government”. The one-stop paradigm”, coming from the business sector, refers to the fact that the costumer should not have to seek information from different contacts, but from a single central point. This point provides capabilities to be accessed by various means: telephone, email, etc. The „one-stop government” concept is the mapping of the paradigm on the public sector, the idea being that administrative services should be offered from one source.

The framework is generic, allowing the integration in the electronic environment of various scenarios, such as the opening or closing of a business. It thus facilitates the interaction between public administration and citizens. In this paper, we present the implementation details of a pilot implementation of this framework. We also evaluated the solution by integrating a workflow for opening a business as encountered in the real-world Romanian environment.

This paper extends the results published in Ciobanu (2012) with several contributions: in this paper we present extensive implementation details of the e-Government framework, and detail on the results obtained for storing data, the use of web services for data management, as well as approaches implemented for handling security requirements in the interaction between all implemented facilities.

The rest of this paper is structured as follows. We first present the analysis and general architecture of the framework. In the next Section we present implementation details of the pilot solution, presenting the technical issues and solutions. Next we present several obtained results and, in the final Section, we give the conclusions.

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