Please briefly describe the initiative, what issue or challenge it aims to address and specify its objectives (300 words maximum)
From the past 4 years (2017-2020) an average amount of MEA’s services was about 0.75 million tasks/year or 3,500 tasks/month/district which are large numbers of services. This service data indicated that customers suffered from the inconvenient service due to multiple steps and documents undertaking. MEA realizes that such problems would affect low-income group or underprivileged such as cost for transportation to MEA’s districts and cost of services. To solve this problem, MEA focused on the digital service platform development to increase customer’s opportunity to access the utilities services resulting in cost reduction, convenient service access and customer satisfaction increase. The mentioned operations are our main objectives of systematic innovation through the Development of Service System for MEA’s Entire Customers.
Since 2020, COVID-19, the global pandemic, has been severely affected to almost all of humans including Thai. The government of Thailand has issued the disease control measures and encouraged Thai people’s life to new normal. So, MEA has confronted with the challenge and restrictions to service customer under new normal. By the way, MEA attempts to change customer service according to the government measures. Moreover, MEA has rapidly issued a relief measure for electricity charge to help all of customers and boost a country economy during COVID-19 pandemic. All of MEA’s actions can rapidly respond to the government because of the systematic innovation that mentioned before. And these actions comply with “reducing inequality to create fairness in all dimensions and decentralization of economic progress, society and technology” in National Strategy Creating opportunities and social equality and “citizen - centered public Government with rapid services and transparency” in National Strategy Government Management Systems.
Please explain how the initiative is linked to the selected category (100 words maximum)
MEA has operated to achieve an increase of convenience and a reduction of time & cost for customer service equality and impartiality such as 1) cancel the copy of identity cards & house registration 2) improve/update MEA’s service rates regulation (regarding low-income people especially) 3) reduce procedures and time 4) implement digital platform, such as MEA Smart Life, MEASY and Line MEA Connect, to serve 24 hours online service responsive to current customer’s lifestyle, requirement and satisfaction These actions are in accordance with Category “Fostering innovation to deliver inclusive and equitable services for all including through digital transformation”.
a. Please specify which SDGs and target(s) the initiative supports and describe concretely how the initiative has contributed to their implementation (200 words maximum)
Regarding the Balancing and Development public administration concept with citizen - centered public Government and response & service rapidly and transparently, MEA has actioned to increase the opportunity to access the service for customer including low-income people. This action complies with the governance policy which encourages investment to increase country’s income and support Development Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries, Development Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation and Development Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth.
b. Please describe what makes the initiative sustainable in social, economic and environmental terms (100 words maximum)
Beyond the aim to serve entire customer equality, MEA regards the advantage for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) who are the economic growth driver. MEA has intended to increase interesting and confidence of Thai & foreign investors to run a business in Thailand, especially MEA’s distribution areas. This action complies with the governance policy which encourages investment to increase country’s income. Moreover, MEA encourages the customers to use online services. Resulting in an increase of amount of MEA’s online services in 2021 (35,081 tasks from 629 tasks in 2017).
a. Please explain how the initiative has addressed a significant shortfall in governance, public administration or public service within the context of a given country or region. (200 words maximum)
MEA’s action complies with the Licensing Facilitation Act B.E. 2558 (2015) by reducing procedures and time for service about 24% and 19.25% respectively. These actions change mindset about a delay and multiple steps of customer services. Moreover, MEA also reduces service charge rates for getting electricity and improves MEA's public manual such as service charge rates of 15(45) Ampere meters (the most popular for household) reduces 85% from 4,550 baht to 700 baht and service charge rate of 15 (45) Ampere meters reduces 97% from 77,050 baht to 2,500 baht resulting in an advantage for entire customers. In other words, no one will be left behind.
b. Please describe how your initiative addresses gender inequality in the country context. (100 words maximum)
MEA has enhanced/reviewed the service by Data/Big Data Analytic. MEA has monitored the customer service according to quality management system, ISO9001: 2015, and applied ISO26000 as the criteria for designing and developing the convenient online service. In the past, mostly men requested for the services. Nowadays, online service is an easy channel for women to access the service by themselves, causing an increase number from 46.4% in 2017 to 52.6% in 2021; and tends to increase continuously. This proves that MEA’s action can reduce absolutely gender inequality.
c. Please describe who the target group(s) were, and explain how the initiative improved outcomes for these target groups. (200 words maximum)
All types of electricity users in the perimeter area of (Bangkok, Nonthaburi and Samut Prakan) received better and more convenient services. MEA can also implement the government policies to speed up measures to help people and urge the economy during the Covid-19 pandemic, effectively since the year 2020, for example, the refund of collateral for electricity usage was designed and developed to be convenient and easy to use including telephone registration systems for electricity users who were unable to access to online service systems. As a result, MEA was able to expedite the return of collateral / deposits to the registered users in the amount of 1,815,009 million returns, totaling 5,226 million baht within the first 3 months of commencement (April-June 2020) which helped alleviate suffering of those affected that drew money into the country's economic system quickly during the first wave of COVID-19 in 2020.
a. Please describe how the initiative was implemented including key developments and steps, monitoring and evaluation activities, and the chronology. (300 words)
The implementation began with defining the organization's strategies, focusing on services and excellent customer experience management. Data/Big Data Analytic technology was adopted to analyse and elevate/improve/review different services, in accordance with the Service Quality Standards and the Quality Management System ISO9001: 2015. The MEA has also adopted the requirements of Social Responsibility Guidelines while using the Standard ISO 26000 to apply to the service process and service development. Hence the origin of policy to review and improve the guidelines for people according to the Licensing Facilitation Act, and reduce the cost of receiving services to match the lifestyles of our users and their ``New Normal Life``. The details are as follows: Year 2016 – 2018, the regulations began to be revised in order to be more convenient for our users and to reduce the burden of expenses such as eliminating the need to make copies of ID cards or house registration documents, adjusting the service fees of getting Electricity by exempting fees when applying for new electricity request or changing types of electricity use for all types of electricity users, thus significantly reducing the process and time of service. Since 2018, the digital system has been providing online services on the Digital Platform to move towards a full digital service by 2026.
b. Please clearly explain the obstacles encountered and how they were overcome. (100 words)
Many low-income and underprivileged people do not have access to new technologies such as online service systems. Therefore, the MEA continues to provide conventional services but increase convenience and flexibility for this group of people to receive efficient services. The MEA has also encouraged and motivated electricity users with technological readiness to use the service through online channels. To achieve sustainability and support the future implementation of full digital services, such as MEA reward points to redeem special privileges, etc.
a. Please explain in what ways the initiative is innovative in the context of your country or region. (100 words maximum)
The development of a service system for the convenience of all categories of electricity users is a system innovation, which is to install a new system or replace an existing system to have a broad effect or fundamental level by using the concept of reduction and cancellation as follows: 1) Cancel unnecessary collection of documentary evidence of transactions by switching to online or electronic channels. 2) Reduce time and improve conventional service processes by adapting new digital bureaucratic systems which are more concise and flexible. 3) Reduce service fees appropriately to allow all groups of people access.
b. Please describe, if relevant, how the initiative drew inspiration from successful initiatives in other regions, countries and localities. (100 words maximum)
The MEA's “Services Development for convenience of all categories of customers” is based on Singapore's integrated e-government model for all service sectors, a country which is in the same region as Thailand. The use of information technology and new innovations to better connect and reach people will be the MEA’s new model to manage important services such as getting electricity and upgrade/downgrade electricity, etc.
c. If emerging and frontier technologies were used, please state how those were integrated into the initiative and/or how the initiative embraced digital government. (100 words maximum)
Big Data Analytic technology is used to analyze and improve services such as statistical data analysis, service provision and operation time. Customers are classified by their economic group, meter type, various discounts used in each month. That was used for planning and designing an online service request system to speed up the process, and be prepared to deal with situations in district electricity office quickly. It will also be used during the Covid-19 crisis. The integration of government data will improve public services such as electricity usage information connected to the Department of Provincial Administration and other government agencies.
a. Has the initiative been transferred and/or adapted to other contexts (e.g. other cities, countries or regions) to your organization’s knowledge? If yes, please explain where and how. (200 words maximum)
This work has been extended to the Virtual District Electricity Authority. In other words, power users can use all MEA services via online and electronic channels known as fully digital service, following the concept "The best service is No service". All of this has been implemented under the 20-year-National Strategy with results being reported through the Electronic Monitoring and Evaluation System of National Strategy and Country Reform (eMENSCR) since 2018, under the name of Smart Customer Service project.
In addition, this work participated in the Ease of Doing Business rating 2020, classified in Getting Electricity, by the World Bank. The results of the Ease of Doing Business ranking in 2020 found that the Getting Electricity procedures and expenses were reduced. The ranking remained in the 6th position and achieved a full KPI score of 5. Overall Thailand ranking was improved from 27th to 21st.
This work has also passed the criteria of the United Nations Public Service Awards, category of Government Services, type of Services Facilitation and extended to be certified by Government Convenient Center (GECC). As a result, all 18 MEA district offices have been certified, 16 offices achieved basic level and 2 offices achieved advanced level.
b. If not yet transferred/adapted to other contexts, please describe the potential for transferability. (200 words maximum)
a. What specific resources (i.e. financial, human or others) were used to implement the initiative? (100 words maximum)
This work was carried out by internal personnel spending a budget of 15 million Thai baht. Knowledge sharing and storage through the knowledge management system to be a knowledge resource for the next generation of personnel. It can be used to consider, review, and improve for further development.
b. Please explain what makes the initiative sustainable over time, in financial and institutional terms. (100 words maximum)
People who use electricity at all levels, small entrepreneurs, and medium enterprises (SMEs), are key forces in employment and economic drivers, they respond to city lifestyles and attract both Thai and foreign investors to be more interested and confident in business investment in Thailand, especially in MEA distribution areas. In accordance with the government policy that aims to promote investment and generate income for the country, the underprivileged and the impoverished can also benefit.
a. Was the initiative formally evaluated either internally or externally?
b. Please describe how it was evaluated and by whom? (100 words maximum)
The Ease of Doing Business evaluation by the World Bank, in the category of Getting Electricity will be determined by the improvement of Getting Electricity procedures as follows:
1) Procedures 2) Duration 3) Cost 4) Reliability of the power system and transparency of the electricity rate compared to the best practice value, based on the data of best service in each country. In the 2020 rating, the MEA was ranked 6th in the world.
The annual service quality satisfaction survey of customers is conducted by external consultants using the average of the survey results as an annual assessment.
c. Please describe the indicators and tools used (100 words maximum)
For the evaluation of Ease of doing business, MEA defined the indicators as follows:
1) Procedure: Best practice values were 3 steps. MEA had done in 2 steps, received 100 DTF.
2) Duration: Best practice values were 18 days. MEA used 30 days, received 94.782 DTF.
3) Cost: Best practice values were free of charge. (0 baht) MEA was evaluated at 3.9% of income per person, received 99.95 DTF.
4) Reliability of the power system and Transparency of the electricity rate: MEA has 8 of 8 index scores, received 100 DTF.
Overall, the score of DTF was 98.7 of 100.
d. What were the main findings of the evaluation (e.g. adequacy of resources mobilized for the initiative, quality of implementation and challenges faced, main outcomes, sustainability of the initiative, impacts) and how this information is being used to inform the initiative’s implementation. (200 words maximum)
Reduce the burden of consumers for getting electricity or up/downgrade electricity.
As a result, consumers, entrepreneurs of small and medium-sized (SMEs) receive benefits.
They are the main forces in employment, economics driving that responds to city lifestyles and attract investors (Thai and foreign) to be more interested and confident in business investment in Thailand, especially in MEA distribution area, which according to the government policy aimed at promoting investment to generate income for the country and reduce the burden for the populace.
Please describe how the initiative is inscribed in the relevant institutional landscape (for example, how it was situated with respect to relevant government agencies, and how the institutional relationships with those have been operating). (200 words maximum)
MEA worked with different agencies. The details are as follows:
1) Department of Provincial Administration on linking civil registration information to reduce the documentary evidence for identity verification.
2) Office of the Public Sector Development Commission (OPDC) supervises policies according to Licensing Facilitation Act, B.E. 2558 (2015).
3) Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) supervises the electricity fairly and transparently, including protecting electricity user benefits and issuing aid measures for consumer during the COVID-19 epidemic crisis.
4) Metropolitan Waterworks Authority (MWA) collaborate with MEA to link the system for requesting electricity and water to increase convenience for the populace.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development puts emphasis on collaboration, engagement, partnerships, and inclusion. Please describe which stakeholders were engaged in designing, implementing and evaluating the initiative and how this engagement took place. (200 words maximum)
“Services Development for convenience of all categories of customers” arises from the integration of several sectors as follows:
1) Stakeholders in the category of directing policies. The OPDC is responsible for supervising operations following the Licensing Facilitation Act, B.E. 2558 (2015) by monitoring the results of operations. The ERC regulates electricity rates fairly and transparently, including protecting electricity user benefits, and takes an important role in determining aid measures to alleviate the hardship of consumers during the COVID-19 epidemic crisis.
2) Stakeholders within the organization, which is service agencies, information technology, and legal be joined together in follow-up, evaluating performance, revision, improvement, solving obstacles in the process resulting in flexibility and achieving the integrated development plan.
3) Stakeholders in the category of customers and the general public. In this section, we survey the requirements and satisfaction of services. For the information to review and improve the relevant services.
Please describe the key lessons learned, and how your organization plans to improve the initiative. (200 words maximum)
Results of “Services Development for convenience of all categories of customers” Although MEA’s main services (Electricity Requests) is ranked quite high in the ease of doing business, according to the World Bank ratings.
However, there are issues to be improved urgently such as requesting electricity takes 30 days different the best practice takes 7 days.
it is a challenge for MEA to figure out the distribution system and meter of electricity immediately from requested by consumers.
Even though all MEA's districts have been certified by the Government Easy Contact Centre (GECC) 2021. we still to improve and elevate our services to reach the excellence level.
This will be a warranty, MEA has been successful in raising the level of convenient services, quickly, easily, and give importance to the disadvantaged and handicapped, reducing social inequality.
All mentioned above meet the assessment criteria of the Government Easy Contact Centre (GECC).