‘You must not run after money, you must go to meet it’ (Aristotle Onassis). With the introduction of a municipal claims management system, the State Capital Wiesbaden has taken measures to reduce bureaucracy and avoid burdening residents with tax increases. Not only was the financial situation of the city of Wiesbaden improved, but the knowledge acquired was also used to enhance residents’ satisfaction. For example, prior to receiving the fee-based reminder notice, residents are advised by phone and the explanations regarding payment history and general suggestions addressed by the residents during the phone call are recorded, processed with the relevant functional areas, and implemented. High levels of outstanding receivables and write-downs were the basis for the project work. Initial analyses indicated a monthly receivables level of €52.6 million. These claims were either not paid or paid with delay. To compensate for the outstanding debt, reserves had to be used, loans had to be taken out, or plans had to be deferred. The result is additional costs in other areas, so that the funds expended for these costs are then not available to the residents. Lowering of receivables and the days outstanding should reduce loan and processing costs. The funds generated in this way will be available to the residents at an earlier stage. The results of the project work should contribute to quality assurance and be implemented as soon as possible. Interfaces between multiple functional areas are identified and optimised, and arising difficulties are communicated.
In contrast to the existing static dunning sequence (30 days after maturity), personal telephone contact with the residents was established through the ‘Municipal Payment Counselling Service,’ through which in addition to the discussion regarding payment of multiple contributions towards quality assurance (example: understanding of letters) were received. The suggestions from residents to the municipal payment counselling service regarding advising before maturity were also implemented. As a consequence, the resident feels competently advised and pays the amount owed. Whereas in the past claims were value-adjusted and written off after failed enforcement, these claims are now further processed by an external collections company. Similar to the experiences of the municipal payment counselling service, the contact with the resident occurs before being passed to a collections company. Even for claims that have already been processed by the external collections company, questions from the resident are forwarded to the city administration and contact with the resident is initiated from that point. The services are accepted by the residents, not least through the option of arranging individual and affordable payment modalities. Internally, claims are processed more attentively and in part, already secured in the origination process, respectively also being checked for the customer’s ability to pay. Through the incorporation of the addressfinding office, the City of Wiesbaden obtains the resident’s current address, which is often not available in the registry office records, and can therefore send letters that were previously undeliverable to the current address. The various functional areas cooperate more closely than before. This cooperation is particularly evident in the collaboration between the fines office and the office for social work and employment, but also in other areas in which interfaces exist.
|Award category:||smart public service delivery|
|Sector:||Taxation, customs, finances|
|Type of activity:|
|Short English description:||The results of the project work should contribute to quality assurance and be implemented as soon as possible. Interfaces between multiple functional areas are identified and optimised, and arising difficulties are communicated.|
|Organisation:||State Capital Wiesbaden|
|Level of government:||local level|
|Size of organisation:||>100|
|Number of people involved:||11-15|
|EU membership:||EU member|