Please provide a brief summary of the initiative including the problems/challenges it addressed and the solutions that the initiative introduced (300 words maximum)
The Prime Ministry Communication Center (BİMER) is an important project that has been come to in effect in 2006 as an electronic public service tool where the public administration can apply for the right to petitions and right to information from anywhere in the country.
As known in today's public administration literature, the concepts of "Governance" and "Participation" have come to the forefront. For this reason, the establishment of a fast and efficient system for citizens to easily communicate all requests, complaints and opinions related to administration is an indispensable requirement for the penetrate of democracy as well as for the success of management.
Applicants to be made to the Prime Ministry with BİMER are accepted all around the country and the applications are made to be delivered to the related public institutions rapidly. In addition to these, it is aimed to provide the answer to the applicants as soon as possible, to warn the relevant units in case of delay, to receive statistical reports and to provide supervision from the center.
Applicants who want to make electronical application, can apply via “www.bimer.gov.tr” which is our web site or can use e-government system. Applicants also can apply via ALO 150 telephone line with orally, go to the application offices of the Ministry, the Governor's Office and the District Governorships in person, or posting letter or fax.
Approximately 6.000 applications are made in BİMER every day, and about 80.000 public personnel are working in the whole country. Considering when it is taken into account that 92% of the applications were received over the internet and 60% of these applications were made using mobile phone; BİMER provides significant financial savings to the public.
a. What are the overall objectives of the initiative?
Please describe the overall objectives of the initiative (200 words maximum)
The objectives of the project can be summarized as follows:
• To mediate the formation of a democratic society culture that allows inquiry, opinion and recommendation and participation in the governance.
• To provide administrative advice on public services and public duties for citizens with a centralized application system.
• To inform the citizens of their constitutional and legal rights and to submit their application for judicial and legislative acts and the deadlines for applications that do not concern the administration.
• To analyze incoming applications and to identify the issues and institutions that intensify requests and complaints, and to ensure that the problems of every administrative level of the country are intervened more quickly by political will.
• To provide statistical data on applicants' age, gender, education level etc.
• Strengthening the link between state and citizen in the context of "participatory democracy"; contributing to the formation of a public management style that ensures transparency, accountability and citizen satisfaction.
• To facilitate the archiving and reporting of applicants and public institutions' applications to be made electronically and through a call center.
• To speed up the bureaucratic process, to warn delayed institutions, to reduce paperwork.
b. How does the initiative fit within the selected category?
Please describe how the initiative is linked to the criteria of the category (200 words maximum)
The project aims to increase participation in the decision-making processes by strengthening inter-agency relationships and involving the citizen in the management process, evaluating the feedbacks received from them, and reporting to senior authorities.
In order to obtain data and conduct analysis studies all statistical data related to the applications made to BİMER are reported monthly. In this way, the demands and complaints received from the citizens about the services provided by the national and local governments are evaluated on the spot and especially contributing to the solution of the local problems. In addition, it is encouraged to organize the top management for the resolution of problems by providing awareness in this regard to the top administrators of the administrations.
In addition to this, suicide, life safety and other situations that need to be assessed as urgent are discussed with the applicants and efforts are being made to find a solution to the problems quickly by passing them with the municipal governor or mayor.
The initiative should improve people’s lives, notably by enhancing the contribution of public services to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the realization of the SDGs
a. Please explain how the initiative improves the delivery of public services (200 words maximum)
Because of BİMER is a central electronic system, all transactions can be followed and the problems that arise in the presentation of public services can be detected instantaneously. Besides, there is a necessity of responding positively or negatively to all the applications made by the institutions. For this reason, institutions are not indifferent to the applications. Also 15 working days in right to information; when 30 days have elapsed in applications for petitions, an SMS is sent to the people working in the institution and the public personnel are warned with visual warnings via the system.
In some special cases, the identity and communication information of the applicant is hidden and sent to the institutions so that the applicants do not encounter any adverse situation due to the applications. Thereby the personal data is not illegally shared with third parties. Especially in cases of complaints, these people are offered the opportunity to realize their applications in a comfortable and reliable environment and it is requested that institutions pay special attention to this issue.
The initiative must impact positively a group or groups of the population (i.e. children, women, elderly, people with disability, etc) and address a significant issue of public service delivery within the context of a given country or region.
a. Please explain how the initiative has addressed a significant issue related to the delivery of public services (200 words maximum)
When the applicant is doing his/her application, is asked about application subject: Request, complaint, denunciation, right to information, opinion-suggestion. Each subject type of application is evaluated by a separate team. In this way, for example, applications for denunciation are processed within a very short period of time after the application is filed on the same day, and it is aimed at preventing a possible victimization or crime. Likewise, it is reported to the competent authorities in order to provide policy data to be developed by considering the opinions and proposals submitted on all kinds of topics.
Anyone over 12 years old can apply to BİMER. In the category of children between the ages of 12 and 18, the applications of those are classified by the system and we are special interest in these applications.
In particular, violence victims of women are handled by coordinating their applications with the Ministry of Family and Social Policy, and at the same time they are sent to the security units with a "very urgent" code for nobody harmed.
b. Please explain how the initiative has impacted positively a group or groups of the population within the context of your country or region (200 words maximum)
BİMER is an easy system in which especially women and elderly people can call ALO 150 phone line via their home or mobile phone. However, BİMER, which is a system in which the public can apply for collective attention in order to attract public attention, has the characteristic of being a public service especially benefited by non-governmental organizations.
The initiative must present an innovative idea, a distinctively new approach, or a unique policy or approach implemented in order to realize the SDGs in the context of a given country or region.
a. Please explain in which way the initiative is innovative in the context of your country or region (200 words maximum)
It has been determined that the BİMER System established in our country has been operating long before the systems established for this purpose throughout the world. Even more important is BİMER; both in terms of the area covered and number of personnel assigned within the organization; it is most likely in the first place.
While 129.297 applications were made in 2006; 2.016.020 applications were made to BİMER in 2017.
As of January 2018, 2.546 public institutions' internet access right to information systems have been integrated into BİMER. In this way, it is aimed to provide a simple public service instead of different ways of getting applications from institutions.
With BİMER, the negative perception of the citizen towards bureaucracy has begun to change. Administrative and legal supervision of public personnel as well as public supervision were established.
BİMER, an electronic public utility vehicle, has made it possible to follow the performance of all public personnel in the system.
At the time of application, T.C. identification number, name and surname, mother's maiden name information, mobile phone and e-mail address information are requested. The applicant also has the opportunity to quickly intervene in local issues by sharing online location information.
b. Please describe if the innovation is original or if it is an adaptation from other contexts (If it is known)? (200 words maximum)
As far as we know, the first electronic application system in the world was in operation in Scotland in 1999, limited to applications to the parliament. From 2005-2006 onwards, the European Union countries have also moved to the only parliamentary electronic application system.
Moreover, the procedures and principles regarding the use of the petition right in many countries, have not been regulated by law. The right of petition has been regulated in the Constitution of States, but the way how it will be used and how long it will be responded to has been left to the parliamentary committees established for this purpose.
On the contrary, Constitution of Turkey, the petition and the right to information given in the 74th article and also in 1984 the Law on the Use of Right to Petition and in 2003 Right to Information Act is made with legal regulations. In 2004, with the Regulation on Principles and Procedures for the Implementation of the Law on the Right to Information, use of the rights were detailed. Also, the Prime Ministry Circular of 1993/2, 2004/12 and 2006/3 instructed the institutions to assist the citizens in all matters concerning the exercise of their rights.
c. What resources (i.e. financial, human , material or other resources, etc) were used to implement the initiative? (200 words maximum)
The administrative director of the project is the Prime Ministry Public Relations Department. The execution of the technical works is provided by the Prime Ministry Information Technologies Department. Within this scope, there are 75 people in charge of BİMER in the Prime Ministry. In the country there are 80.000 people working as staff of other institutions but working for BİMER.
BİMER is a dynamic system because it is a 24/7 application system. For this reason, there is a need to perform all kinds of innovation requests related to the system coming from the stakeholders (citizen, institution) and updating the software to solve the problems. In this context, staff salaries in the Prime Ministry and the cost of services for software are basic cost elements.
The initiative should be adaptable to other contexts (e.g. other cities, countries or regions). There may already be evidence that it has inspired similar innovations in other public-sector institutions within a given country, region or at the global level.
a. Has the initiative been transferred to other contexts?
It is possible to transfer the system to other institutions in many contexts. The system is designed to be able to integrate with all institutions. In this context, in the year 2018, 2.546 public institutions' information acquisition screens were integrated into BİMER. This number is increasing day by day. These applications are sent directly to the personnel of the relevant institution by using the BİMER technical sub-structure. This integration has been completed at no cost or need for additional staff.
The initiative should be able to be sustained over a significant period of time.
a. Please describe whether and how the initiative is sustainable (covering the social, economic and environmental aspects) (300 words maximum)
Right to petition; has emerged in the form of societal, economic, cultural and political developments in different societies since the ancient times in which the relationship has ruled and ruled over the historical period, and demanding or ruling something directed by the ruled. With the emergence of modern states, the right to petition has been guaranteed by the Constitution of the countries and it has been aimed to strengthen the bond between people and the state and to transform the perception of negative state with the help of developing technologies especially developed for effective use of this right.
In the top policy texts that the State has published, especially the Development Plans, participation has been emphasized all the time. (For example, "ensuring participation, transparency and citizen satisfaction" among the basic principles of the 10th Development Plan of Turkey and "restructuring of BİMER as an element of participatory management mechanism" in the Information Society Strategy and Action Plan). With the support of information technology, the Project is thought to be sustainable in the long run.
b. Please describe whether and how the initiative is sustainable in terms of durability in time (300 words maximum)
The right to petition is an important instrument in the use of virtually every fundamental right as well as a right of welfare. Considering that many fundamental rights in the modern states are under constitutional security, the right to petition for the exercise of these rights is the most important means by which persons are entrusted with the State.
Due to the reciprocal relationship between the right to petition and other rights, the Project is considered to be sustainable in terms of durability. Judging from the number of applications related to this, it is determined that the number of applications has increased regularly from 2006 to 2017 every year.
The initiative should have gone through a formal evaluation, showing some evidence of impact on improving people’s lives.
a. Has the initiative been formally evaluated?
If yes, please describe how the initiative was evaluated? (200 words maximum)
Each application made to BİMER provides statistical data as well as an important input for analysis to identify problems. In this context, as a result of the researches carried out by the analysis team, the Council of Ministers and the Ministers are presented with reports and suggestions for the solution of the problems of citizens are introduced. For example, legislation has been amended after requests for a drug that has not been paid by social insurance schemes, and the lives of those in need have been positively affected. In another example, after the intense complaints about the vehicle insurance prices, the problem was resolved with the legislative amendment. In addition, transfer of services between the house and the voting region has been provided by the authorized institution considering the request of the citizens with disabilities to vote in the elections.
On the other hand, applicants who come in contact with issues that are misinterpreted or misinterpreted by the public are shared with the press by the authorized persons or by various means of communication (e.g. social media, internet address of the institution etc.) and the public is informed with accurate information.
b. Please describe the outcome of the evaluation of the impact of the initiative (200 words maximum)
The greatest output of the influence of the project is to help establish strong communication between the state and the citizen. Citizens' sense of belonging to the state is reinforced by the urgent processing of applications made under the normal conditions especially in settlements where the government has difficulties in reaching the state institutions due to geographical and climatic conditions (.eg. cities in the Eastern Anatolia Region, where the winter months are very hard and in a mountainous region).
In addition, monthly evaluations are made by ourselves and the results of the questionnaires made with the citizens are scored on 5 institutions and the tables on which these rankings and inter-institutional ranking take place are announced to all institutions. In this respect, a remarkable acceleration is seen in the presentation of public services.
c. Please describe the indicators that were used (200 words maximum)
Several criteria are used in the evaluation of BİMER. Firstly, positive and negative opinions and criticisms coming from the BİMER related system are considered. The applications of the citizens who have solved the problem due to the application are evaluated separately.
In addition to this, after the reply given to the applicant, a questionnaire is currently being conducted with 3 questions. This questionnaire asks questions such as "Was your application returned in time?", "Were you satisfied with answer?" And "Evaluate your satisfaction with BİMER service". By December 2017, a survey was conducted with approximately 250.000 people.
On the other hand, written and visual press surveys and social media follow-up are conducted to follow the opinions made about BİMER.
The initiative must demonstrate that it has engaged various actors such as from other institutions, civil society, or the private sector, when possible.
a. The 2030 Development Agenda puts emphasis on collaboration, engagement, coordination, partnerships, and inclusion. Please describe what stakeholders were engaged in designing, implementing and evaluating the initiative. Please also highlight their roles and contributions (300 words maximum)
The third version of the BİMER system was launched in August 2016 and is intended to be more comprehensive than the other two versions. For this purpose, a workshop program was organized between 17-18 December 2015 before the software studies were started. With the results of this work, the opinions and suggestions related to the system coming from BİMER were evaluated together with the citizens and started to work on the project.
BİMER started to accept applications from everyone (e.g. students, workers, trade unions and representatives of associations, public personnel, deputies, senior bureaucrats) after the project was put into service, and this way BİMER started to work in a structure that covers the entire society.
It should also be pointed out that private legal entities can apply to BİMER and if they wish, they can upload the authority document indicating that they represent legal entity.
a. Please describe the key lessons learned, and any view you have on how to further improve the initiative (200 words maximum)
Institutions, public personnel and political officials must always look at the opinions of citizens in order to see the results of their policies and practices. It is important to think that a person who is a social entity is taken into account by the directors of his or her own views, both in terms of establishing social happiness and ensuring the legitimacy of the policies applied.
Sometimes people who are on the verge of suicide are looking for BİMER as a last chance and make an application. BİMER personnel talk to these people for long time over the phone and finally persuade them to get back to life. For this reason, we think that what we do is closely related to human life and dignity.
BİMER will enter the age of 12 in February 2018. As we have witnessed many times, in our country the right to petitions and information is called “BİMER Right” and the role that society gives us is getting bigger day by day. We continue to work on the development of a more qualified service delivery in the awareness of this increasing responsibility and how to be a faster and more effective assistance to the citizen.