In the context of decentralisation, it is important for each community to improve the quality of administrative services and bring them closer to citizens. Particularly crucial problem is the access of people with limited mobility and the residents of remote areas to a wide range of administrative services. This challenging issue can be solved by organising a service delivery in a mobile office format.

On 9 of August, the team of Lysychansk Administrative Centre provided the first in-home administrative service. I would like to thank the Head of Administrative Service Centre and the administrator for organising this service. Thank you for good servicing!

the resident of Lysychansk

The mobile digital office helps our city to solve a lot of problems for people who have limited mobility, and we are very grateful for that. Unfortunately, every day the number of people who need this service is increasing. We are expanding the list of citizens who can also use this service.

Maryna Gurska, Director of Department
for Municipal Services and Regulatory
Policy of Kamianske City Council

A mobile digital office is a set of modern portable equipment for accepting documents for administrative service delivery from citizens at the place of their stay. With the help of a mobile digital case containing a laptop, a scanner, a modem and other technical equipment, an administrator can perform all the necessary actions to provide services regardless of location – at home, in a hospital or in other places where people with disabilities are staying.

The technical specifications of a mobile digital office allow the administrators of Administrative Service Centre to efficiently perform professional duties envisaged by the Law of Ukraine “On Administrative Services” and to provide almost the entire list of ASC services, except for the services related to biometric passports of Ukrainian citizens.

With the support of Administrative Reform in Eastern Ukraine II Project implemented by GIZ on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the residents of six cities of Luhansk, Dnipropetrovsk and Poltava Oblasts have better access to administrative services. After receiving mobile digital offices the employees of Lysychansk, Severodonetsk, Pyriatyn, Kamianske, Apostolove and Ternivka Administrative Service Centres have provided almost 5 000 services via mobile digital cases.

A set of mobile office portable equipment is fit into a convenient carrying case and includes:

  • laptop, heavy-duty accumulator
  • portable scanner, printer
  • modem for Internet access
  • webcam
  • portable ID card reader

It is necessary to implement the following steps for launching this service in your Administrative Service Centre (ASC):

Step 1. Taking a decision on the organisation of a remote workplace by the body, which established ASC.

Step 2. Issuing amended Regulations on ASC that contain the information on the organisation of a remote workplace.

Step 3. Issuing amended ASC Procedures that include the requirements to administrator’s remote workplace (conformity of its technical equipment to the functions necessary for full performance of administrator’s professional duties to accept documents from citizens).

Step 4. Developing and approving by internal regulatory order the operating procedures of using the mobile digital case and the template of a logbook for recording the applications and the services rendered (if necessary).

Step 5. Assigning responsible persons for the functioning of a remote workplace of ASC administrator by internal regulatory order. In particular, to control the following:

  • accepting and registration of applications for administrative services;
  • planning and approval of a schedule for field visits of ASC administrators;
  • delivery of service results;
  • customer service quality and customer feedback;
  • proper technical condition of a mobile digital case and preparing it for field visits.

Step 6. Determining other necessary requirements by internal regulatory order (e.g. the need to conclude a contract with a security provider to accompany ASC administrator or to regulate the way of a travel method for a mobile digital office).

Step 7. Assigning the administrators for working with a mobile digital office by internal regulatory order and making them familiar with the document (to comply with the requirements of the Labour Code of Ukraine).

Step 8. Making provisions in the budget estimates for the maintenance of a mobile digital case and the costs for transport and security (if necessary).

Step 9. Conducting a wide awareness-raising campaign on the launching a new service in the community and ensuring regular dissemination of information about its work via various communication channels.

One of the most successful case studies of using a mobile digital office is the experience of Lysychansk Administrative Service Centre.

Problem
Enabling the following groups of citizens to receive administrative services at the place of their location:

  • aged 80 years or older
  • persons with or without disability, unable to move independently and / or undergoing inpatient treatment at a health care facility;
  • living in remote areas of the city.

Solution
Ensuring service delivery via mobile digital office at the place of location of service applicants.

The mobile digital office was provided with the support of Administrative Reform in Eastern Ukraine II Project being implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Outcome

To launch of the mobile digital office, the relevant technical steps were taken to use the mobile digital office for the first time through a visual presentation of the technical features and components, as well as testing the equipment.

Alongside this, in order to ensure the accessibility of administrative services for the residents of Lysychansk, Novodruzhesk, Pryvillia, there was approved the Regulation on provision of administrative services using the portable complex “Mobile Digital Office”.

The training via video conference system was conducted for the staff of the Administrative Service Centre. The training covered the mobile digital case technical features and functionality as well as the organisational and legal aspects. Additionally, the road maps of service launching were developed.

Top 5 services provided via mobile digital office:

  • registration of the place of residence (the most popular service);
  • state registration of a land plot;
  • gluing-in photos in the passport of the citizen of Ukraine in connection with the achievement of 25 and 45 years of age;
  • state registration of ownership rights for real property;
  • issuing a residence certificate.

Challenges
Technical challenges include the limited Internet coverage, which complicates the online work of state registers; limited printer capabilities (it is designed for printing a small number of copies, in addition – high maintenance costs, no scanning option in pdf format) and no possibility to provide some kinds of services (e.g. accepting documents for biometric passports).


Judging from the experience of partner ASCs, there are some risks, which may arise in the course of this service provision to citizens, but there are also the ways for their prevention.


1. Fraudulent call

Occasionally, there may be requests from persons, who do not fall into the category of citizens, who may use the mobile digital office service, or applicants may provide deliberately false information about themselves or other circumstances.

Solutions

In order to avoid such cases, it is first of all necessary to pay particular attention to thoroughly and detailed discussing all the issues during the application request, in particular as regards:

  • an applicant’s status (disability, hospital stay, health records, etc.);
  • details of a citizen's place of residence (address, contact telephone number, home intercom system, route and access details, etc.);
  • a list of required documents and their availability at the scheduled time of an administrator's visit;
  • payment method (when the service is fee-based);
  • date and time of a visit.

Also, when accepting a service request, citizens should be warned of the responsibility for providing false information.


2. Identification of sufficient mental and legal capacities of an applicant during decision-making

There are situations where, during a visit to an applicant, an administrator has doubts about his /her ability to make conscious decisions due to certain behaviour of a customer.

Solutions

In such cases, it is appropriate to have a security officer, other administrator or a municipality specialist, etc., who may be a witness.
In case of suspicion on the capacity of a citizen, it is advisable to draw up an act in free format about the circumstances of the case.
If an administrator has any doubts about the customer's mental health, cancelling the service should be considered.


3. Aggression or misconduct by a customer or his/ her relatives against an administrator

It is the responsibility of ASC Director to ensure the safety of the employees and material assets, i.e. the mobile digital case.

Solutions

It is advisable to provide security service through the involvement of third-party or community-based public order organisations.


4. Corruption risks

The following corruption risks may occur during remote service delivery:

  • dishonesty of an administrator;
  • conflict of interest;
  • lack of control of superiors;
  • discretionary powers.

Solutions

To ensure transparency and accountability of customer servicing, it is recommended to record a video of the customer service process using a camera in a mobile digital case. After the service is rendered, it is advisable to conduct a telephone survey of the customer as to how the service provision took place.