Deutsche Telekom AG (DT) is offering a one-stop e-government service to cash-strapped German municipalities eager to lower their administrative costs.
The service, now commercially available after a several month pilot phase, could serve as a model to local city governments in other countries seeking ways to make their operations more cost-efficient and citizen-friendly, according to Peter Spohn, director of public sector services at T-Systems International GmbH, DT’s systems integration subsidiary in Frankfurt.
The rent-an-e-government service provides local governments with everything they need to replace paper-based transactions between administrative staff and citizens.
“We offer a front-end solution that provides an electronic interface for citizens to use the most popular services provided by municipal governments, such as residence registration and construction permits,” Spohn said. “We’re totally focused on enabling end-to-end electronic transactions. Our service is fully electronic, eliminating the need for citizens to download, print, fill out and return forms at their end and for clerks to key in this information at the other.”
For a flat-rate, local governments can lease hardware, software, bandwidth, maintenance and support services provided by T-Systems through a network of data centres.
“Municipalities don’t have to worry about buying equipment or hiring IT staff,” Spohn said. “We provide everything and we do so for a set fee that they can calculate in their budgets to avoid any financial risks. They don’t want to encounter any hidden costs down the road.”
Spohn estimates that municipalities can reduce their administrative costs for applications managed electronically by as much as 40 per cent to 70 per cent.
Although T-Systems has no immediate plans to expand the service outside Germany, Spohn said it could be easily adapted to meet the needs of municipal governments in other European countries.