A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
Until 2006, the municipal services of Agueda did not meet the needs of citizens. The delays in the responses to the requests, the delay in payments, lack of expenditure control and lack of control of services were the main brand of Águeda. Discredit , the bad reputation of local government officials as well as the fact that the political class is completely outside the parameters of accuracy and efficiency was lower self - esteem of employees who were labeled incompetent and removed them the feeling of belonging to a organization that exists to serve the citizens and not to serve them. All services were not controlled and directed towards the same goal and the same goals, which resulted in conflict, overlapping tasks and unaccountability of those who ran. The lack of control of expenditure was reflected in excessive spending in increasing public debt increased from day to day but that did not contribute in some way, to increase the degree of citizen satisfaction. It is evident that the increase in debt hindered the management of day to day and increased costs since the providers practiced higher prices because they knew beforehand that it would take to receive. In parallel, despite the city having many employees, the responsiveness was minimal, the deadlines were not met and, very often, entrepreneurs withdrawing the investment given the lack of timely response. Lost to creation of new jobs, the investment was reduced and created a climate of uncertainty that away potential investors. Policymakers not assumed a proactive positioning and directed to respond better to customers. It was obvious the climate of mistrust between the municipality and citizens by creating a climate of distrust and cataloging permanent employees as well as incompetent administration policy that quickly and continuously, justified the defaulters who achieved fame. The whole political, technical and administrative "machine" work without supervision and responsibility. When the current political executive took office quickly found the need to conduct a thorough remodeling services, changing mindsets, opening services to its direct client - CITIZEN - and intervening safely and responsibly in seeking a public service orientated respond to requests to be presented in a short time, controlling deadlines, quality of responses, controlling expenses, reducing excesses; reallocating people a link of skills needs; implementing a Management System (Quality and Information Security) that covers all services, all sections and all employees, obviously, politicians too. This system allows control services, enforce rules ensuring quality control response times, and also how it responds to requests from interested parties. Agueda was the first municipality in Portugal to obtain certification of all its services

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
The Lord Mayor - Dr. Gil Nadais, deep knowledge of the organization, quickly (as soon as it took place) began the process of reorganization of its services, always with the goal: to improve the ability to set the needs of business and citizens, reduce excessive spending and pay off the debt that the time was 18M€, control circuit processes; analyze services and people to adjust the capabilities of each of the needs of the services...controlling all services whose ultimate goal was to respond better with less waste. Analyzed all services, current expenditure, the circuits of each process and response times, was given to the process that went through several phases simultaneously: - Creation of the Office of Service citizen (GAM) which is the only point of care, concentrating all services and preventing citizens had difficulty finding the right place to submit their questions as they can do it, now place all posts Service. GAM has received the 1st prize of good practice cases at 2007. It was, and is the unique yet, the 1st service of this kind in Portugal Local Administration. - Implementation of work-flow processes at all with the goal of creating logic circuits with responsible and deadlines assigned. It was also the 1st municipality to adopt this type of solution across the country. - Dematerialization of procedures, ensuring that their movement could be provided digitally, without the use of paper and allowing the definition of response deadlines and assigning responsible for such requests; -Implementation of Cost Centers with the definition of cost reduction by type and service; - Implementation of a Quality Management System (ISO 9001) - Creation of document templates that facilitate the performance of the services and, cumulatively, access to services by citizens and businesses; - Establishment of services with External Entities where the Municipality is committed to issue a response at very short notice, for example, 48 hours to answer requests protocols presented in companies. As a result of this process and in recognition of the ongoing investment in improving services, the Secretary of State for Administrative Modernization invited the Municipality of Águeda to be one of the 9 municipalities nationwide, the Municipal Simplex, which is a program administrative simplification whose main objective is to improve the response to citizens and businesses. In the same way, the Municipality of Agueda initiated INNOVATIVE processes that even today, are, in some cases, only examples of repositioning the administration to citizens. Thus demonstrating innovative ability and courage to take the risk and also the concern of providing increasingly better, began issuing REPLY IN TIME, ie the citizen submits a requirement to the municipality and, at the same time, may pay rates and start immediately. Thus, it is now possible to ask for authorization for construction, presenting the process and, in the same, post care of GAM, pay the respective fee and initiate the work. Same procedure may have to extend the term of the license for the authorization to use, to raise the license in the case of licensing, endorse new owners, etc. It is certainly innovative and they have received over the past two years, more than 100 visitors from other cities that want to see how they work. These initiatives have already been awarded for various entities (see, on point nº 8)

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
Consider the citizen and businesses as the main focus of their activity is the basis of this new way of looking at public service. Management must be prepared to respond effectively, timely and should establish an open relationship between the various "players" of its business confidence. Have an active interventionist role in seeking quality solutions that leverage the capabilities of the business of the Municipality, boosting economic fabric through greater security response which ensures a correct planning of investments. With a trust administration there are better conditions for investment planning and coordinating the actions that drive the local, regional and national economy. The positioning of the Municipality of Agueda is creative and innovative because of an assumption of mutual trust for establishing the outset, a framework of interaction where everyone knows what role to take in sure that if the technical and legal rules are met, all the conditions for the success of the projects will be gathered. Reply IN TIME on trust is totally innovative in Portugal and even today, after 6 years, it is considered a case of good and innovative practices.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
The whole process was developed inside the Municipality because they are sure that the municipal employees are who best knows the strengths and needs of the services. To support the development of this process, they have support of the software house – MEDIDATA, as well as the reaction of potential clients of their services: citizens and businesses. When they initiated this process, they knew (with statistics) the financial level of the Municipality, the existence of a great dissatisfaction of external stakeholders, the large number of cases that did not meet the legally defined deadlines, the high number of complaints related to the lack of compliance with deadlines, lack of control of operating costs, the blurring of responsible tasks, the lack of pre-setting time limits for execution of tasks, etc.. All service wasn’t working for the stakeholders, this not being the basic philosophy of effective services. If this fact was known, an empirical way or founded on evidence, there was the need for a concrete analysis of the situation resulting in an action plan, a concrete and objectified manner, direct the municipality to better performance and give confidence to the stakeholders. Thus, the period of one month for each service to list up all the work progressed, and the employees who were the role of each of the "product chain" was defined. After this stage they started to have a better knowledge of the organization, verifying also all "collisions" between services, lack of meaning the duty to serve effectively and quickly, redundant tasks, the absence of rules in operating expenses, etc.. Also concluded that the physical movement of processes very often involves loss of documents, the inclusion of papers from a process within another folder ...a big mess! Thus, they decided that within eight months, counted from the beginning of the process, the design should have the first 3 circuits to implement: the licensing of private works (processes of large physical volume), the invoices to define the responsibility conference, authorization and payment authorization and Expedient covering all services. This term includes not only the design of circuits, but also to the alteration and adjustment of software to be able to match this new request. All stakeholders in a process started receiving alert "reached term" and "outdated term" enabling better management of its performance. All documents are signed electronically with the Citizen Card. Also in this period the necessary training was included to gather all the necessary skills to work in this new type of solution and this new form of control. In parallel they developed the Centers for costs associated circuits and assigning responsible for each center. With the implementation of this solution and the definition of objectives to reduce spending, they now have tools that help track purchases and check the development of the reduction of current expenditure process. They achieved significant results through fleet management, centralization of copies, reducing costs secretarial material, the use of telephones and mobile phones, etc. Immediate outcomes for the citizen developed with the framework described in the above document issue IN TIME which reduces the number of movements of citizens and businesses to municipal services ; reduce the time and hence CO2 emissions. The data collected are: The licensing undoubtedly IN TIME is the great innovation of municipal services. Until 31/12/2012 they record 10,595 requests were answered IN TIME representing the non - performance of 190.782Kms trips, priced at €0.04/km results in savings of €76,312.80 and a reduction in the amount of CO2 1,486 TON. In addition, obviously, to result in saved 127188 days taking into account an average of 12 days for each response.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The development of this process has the main stakeholder in house developed software solutions tailored to their needs in a collaborative manner. It is important to note that this whole process has been replicated in hundreds of municipalities in this country since there was always a great receptivity to disseminate the results. However we also developed an internal action that is to reorganize the services based on the principles of “Management by objectives process-oriented." This process allows the reorganization of services based on shared goals whose objective is to define process-oriented organizational architecture, a strategic perspective, with clear identification of responsibilities for each organizational skill of the Municipality and define improvement actions. The impact of this process is very high, since a clear definition of organizational skills and attributes allows each department/employee understands, simply and quickly, which its responsibility to provide services to citizens. Similarly, the aim of this Executive have motivated and involved in their respective tasks people, so clarifying the strategy and understanding of the same by all internal stakeholders of the organization allows for greater involvement of people in the tasks, accountability in performing the tasks, as well as the ability to generate capital gains capitalization of intellectual people. The implementation of this project also demonstrates a significant impact in improving the performance of the organization, by changing behavior, orientation to citizen satisfaction and efficiency of the Authority, ensuring the implementation of the strategy defined by the Executive, as well as setting objectives and indicators performance (allows to obtain data on the performance of services), including the setting of goals for SIADAP evaluation. It allows a cross between the structural goals and objectives of each service, to ensure compliance of the first, each service which understands its contribution to achieving the objectives of the Executive.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
The whole reorganization implemented in this process was based on existing software but, for various reasons, was not being monetized to its full potential. Staff training was funded by the Human Potential Operational Programme in accordance with the model of Training - Action since all participated in the changes made to their experience and their contribution to improve the responsiveness of services. The technical features resulting from extensive experience of the employees, the responsiveness of the software house which is also a supplier of more than one hundred municipalities in the country and the development of amendments was by realizing the needs detected during meetings. As a pilot municipality, the development has been implemented step by step, readjusting to the extent that was being tested to an agreed solution is found. It is clear that this process never ends and goes progressively being refined and improved the logic that the needs will be greater and they intend to always have solutions that ensure greater security and control in handling cases. Anyway, the whole software development, which included the work-flow, cost centers, the Sheets Activities, the deadline system alert, the integration of Digital Minutes of the Municipal Executive meetings and minor changes that were being necessary, at a cost of €49,000, funded by a National program designated by SAMA. All services chiefs and all employees who perform work that aims to respond to citizens and businesses also participated in training activities and in meetings justifying all decisions.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
The reaction of the primary recipients of the project is clearly positive. The results of opinion surveys are very positive to allow us to conclude that all the work is recognized by the general population. According to the results of the latest opinion poll conducted in 2013, the rate of satisfied stakeholders was 91%. Premiums received are also recognizing the work accomplished. The invitation of the Secretary of State for Administrative Modernization to be one of the founders of the municipalities Municipal Simplex is the official recognition of their work. In the field of financial control, achieved the following reductions: - 81% of the cost of office supplies - 48% on telecom expenses, yet that this has increased the number will access the Internet and mobile phones - 48% in liters of fuel Immediate outcomes for the citizen developed with the framework described in the above document issue IN TIME which reduces the number of movements of citizens and businesses to municipal services reduce the time and hence CO2 emissions. The data collected are: - The licensing undoubtedly IN TIME is the great innovation of municipal services. - Until 31/12/2012 they record 10,595 requests were answered IN TIME - representing the non - performance of 190.782Kms trips, priced at €0.04/km results in savings of €76,312.80 and a reduction in the amount of CO2 1,486 TON. In addition, obviously, to result in saved 127188 days taking into account an average of 12 days for each response.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
Opinion surveys are conducted annually within the Management System (Quality and Information Safety). Internal audits are carried out periodically by sampling and are also monitored compliance with deadlines. Where is detected the existence of backlog, or improperly treated cases, a record is made and developed an action for improvement that can result in timely action with the employee concerned. Fortnightly or lower if deemed necessary, a meeting is held for all services that interact with the Support Office citizen (GAM) whose aim is to detect problems, failures or lapses to be the object of a common solution covering all services and, if appropriate, is written a Notification Service to change the procedures. With this control system, they are able to detect failures of service and ensure that an analysis of the issues that caused the lapse analysis possible, tested and implemented solutions is made. In cases where there are no errors and repeated lapses, records of non-compliances related to the employee concerned are made. With all these data Crusaders managed to get results with respect to effectiveness and satisfaction of citizens and businesses. We also know that companies consulted by the technical team that is developing the SMART SPECIALIZATION STRATEGY for the Municipality expressed their satisfaction with the actions implemented in the support given to businesses area. Premiums received from various entities, are proof of the success of current initiatives, with broad that the path followed is the one that best responds to the needs of citizens and business recognition, namely: - Honorable Mention - National Competition of Best Practices in Local Government - Award for Best Practices in the Public Sector - Deloitte and newspaper “Economic Daily", "For Financial Management Transparency" - Award for Best Practices in the Public Sector - Deloitte and newspaper "Economic Daily", "An Administration in the XXI century" - Cities Award of Excellence - "Journal of Planning and Cities." Special Award in "Land and Culture, Area - Strategic Planning" - European Enterprise Awards - IAPMEI in "Paperwork Reduction" - "Process - Efficiency = Bureaucracy" - CIO Awards - IDC, in "Modernization and Simplification of Autarchic Processes" - Honorable Mention - Award for Improvement Teams - Portuguese Association for Quality (APQ) - "Implementation of a Strategic Model of the Organization of Services" More than a hundred visits to services consolidate the experience and the progress that is being developed.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
Interestingly, and got second ascertain from external entities, one of the difficulties faced by the Municipality of Agueda is directly related to the fact that the national legislation does not always follow the innovations implemented. Transforming the paper file in a digital file, still not in Portuguese law, as well as the massive use of digitally certified signature also only now being recognized as a tool to be used, and in Agueda has been used for more than 5 years. The implementation of work-flows was also totally new and was a novelty hitherto untested naked public service. Assume that each task of a process must have a responsible and a pre-defined deadline for response object is still rare in public administration. Manage services in a logic of organizational skills is also another innovation of this Municipality. In the area of business support, licensing and other services ON TIME constitute an innovation that no council risked with such a large scope. Securing a Business Reply in 48 hours is another innovation that gives those guarantees when contemplating an investment or realizes a business for which you have requires response Authority. We therefore consider that there are reasons for companies to invest in this city wants with regard to improving their facilities, either in new facilities or newly created wishing to transfer to Agueda companies. Building a Business Park with the provision of infrastructures lots, as well as support for entrepreneurship, with a special focus on young people, is another reality that should be noted in this process. As for obstacles, in addition to the above, there is always some resistance to change will eventually be eliminated during the project when they realize the added value to the service.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
This issue has been addressed in several answers to the points above. But it will never be enough to reinforce the idea that the project developed by the municipality of Águeda resulted in benefits of various kinds, in particular with regard to the satisfaction of the recipients. It is assumed as: - A more reliable and credible administration; - An administration concerned with their citizens and businesses - An administration that cares about working with the recipients of their services in order to find better solutions, better adjusted to their needs; - An innovative, creative and able to take the risk of new solutions found administration; - An administration that focuses its activities in the search for solutions aimed at attracting investment through streamlining of responses and the quality of its services; - An administration that develops in a Living Lab environment (with the participation of the Municipality, suppliers of software house and local businesses and citizens) experimental solutions that are being refined and adjusted to the needs; A great brand that distinguishes this project from the administration position is related to the way of being and reacting to the needs of its citizens, both businesses and citizens. Anticipate their needs, analyze how the requests are answered and find solutions faster and safer has been the guiding principle of this administration. Support entrepreneurs in the dissemination of their products and seeking new markets have been one of the most relevant activities. The impact registered internally is reflected in the reduction of current expenditure, in greater control of investments. Today, with debt of € 18M and has settled with a payment term within 60 days, comply with standards and manage investment program in the area of intangible support to companies. Has developed several actions in the improvement of service quality, but answers with effective and tailored to the needs of its main customers: citizens and businesses. Even today it is a reality that the municipality and Agueda able to anticipate legislative changes, and certainly bolder and more open to everyone. One of the most striking examples relates to reducing the footprint The licensing Undoubtedly IN TIME is the great innovation of municipal services. Until 31/12/2012 we record 10,595 requests were answered IN TIME representing the non - performance of 190.782 Kms trips , priced at € 0.04 / km results in savings of € 76,312.80 and a reduction in the amount of CO2 1,486 TON . In addition, obviously, to result in saved 127188 days taking into account an average of 12 days for each response . The simplification of the procedures – one of the best practices in Portugal in this area produced a great transformation in the Local Public Administration. After a restructuration of your services, they can, today, answer some procedures at the same hour that you ask the municipality like as: - The authorization to build (the law give 30 days for that and we resolve at the moment), extension of the license is issued at the time (the law provides 30 days) ; the permit required to construct is also issued at the time. - All services are controlled by work-flow solution and they have a digital documental archive. No documents circulate on paper since all circuits are virtual and the documents are either digital or scanned. - They were able to reduce response times by about 60% of what is stipulated in the law in force. - They are considered, in Portugal, a municipality with the most advanced services at the level of responsiveness, quality control and where the bureaucracy has left room for efficiency. This whole process is based on trust in the citizen who has established a transparent and clear All services are certified ISO 9001 and they have reached the 1st step of the EFQM Committed to excellence We think Agueda is a case study of Best Practices in Public Administration and that their example can be replicated by other public bodies

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
The experience of the Municipality of Agueda has already been replicated by more than a hundred cities , knowing that run through press reports and exchange of views that on the day commented on the best practices in this area , visit the Services for spot, evaluated procedures and technologies in place to ensure the functioning of the services effectively and efficiently , in this perspective . This experience has also been disclosed in seminars, conferences and events that seek to publicize news and new ways of working to better meet the needs and expectations of customers, citizens and businesses. The investment made, as mentioned in the first paragraphs of this document was not significant compared to the collected benefits. The software existed but was not monetized or appropriate to the claims of the Municipality , which resulted the need for reengineering be taken , not only the processes but also the software and some hardware ( an A4 scanner , for example) . The training given to municipal employees was funded by a program that develops programs targeted to employees (in a training action). The largest investment was undoubtedly the effort and commitment of all employees who have had to change procedures , acquired over the years routines and ways of being accountable to citizens and more proactive firms. Other area of the municipality investment was the Geographical System. Using solutions of "Open Source" has developed the GIS work platforms that are essential tools for monitoring and development work in the city. Control of Advertising was the pilot project that allows now developing other projects internally. At this point have been made available various thematic maps where you can get information on health services, tourism, industries, environment, Civil Protection, Transportation and Mobility, etc.. This whole process has aroused the interest of many visits to municipalities that request our services to verify, "in-place" operation of all these processes. Águeda is now a national reference in this area and has expressed willingness to spend the whole "message of modernization / simplification." During these visits, representatives of the municipalities have the opportunity to contact directly with the various municipal services and spot verification procedures in place that allow services streamline processes and reduce bureaucracy. The effort and involvement of the Municipality of Águeda in the field of administrative modernization, led her to a very high level that, in many cases, is unique in the whole country.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
We believe that the principal lesson we can learn from this project is the relationship of trust that can be established between citizens and business and public administration. Concerns focus activity in response to needs is a way of conducting municipal services, the certainty that we will, with an administration with this orientation, create added value and generate jobs to cope with a financial crisis that Europe is crossing. This experiment, carried out in Águeda, is a reality that can be replicated in other public bodies being easily applied provided that it is a concern to analyze needs and find simplistic solutions that result in improvements to those who build our society .

Contact Information

Institution Name:   MUNICIPIO DE AGUEDA
Institution Type:   Other  
Contact Person:   Marlene Marques
Title:   ARQTA.  
Telephone/ Fax:   +351234610071
Institution's / Project's Website:  
E-mail:   marlene.marques@cm-agueda.pt  
Postal Code:   3754-500
City:   Agueda
State/Province:   Agueda

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