The French State introduced ‘the Public Services Relay’ label in 2006 because the prefecture and public services based in the Ardennes wanted to reinforce the presence of public services in rural zones, particularly in the cross-border area. Two thirds of the Ardennes population live along the border between France and Belgium. The improvement of the quality of public services in rural and cross-border areas is at the heart of the implementation of a national initiative to a local-cross-border one.
Co-piloted by the General Directorate for State Modernisation (GDSM) and the Interministerial Delegation for Competitiveness of Territories (IDCT), this plan was to facilitate the access to public services, allowing the state to be more involved, improving the quality of its public services especially in rural zones, and introducing an officer to guide the users in their administrative procedures. Thus, it is now possible to see one person in one place, when gathering information and carrying out administrative procedures coming under several public organisations.
The project has invested considerably in its human and technological resources. One big change is the collaboration of people from different services, who, in a ‘win-win’ partnership, are now able to work more efficiently together, thereby giving the users of public services a higher quality service, particularly in the cross-border context. The establishment of this partnership was possible due to an improved organisation between the back office (partners of public services), the front office (local authorities) and the middle office in charge of the coordination (prefecture). Each authority still retains its areas of competence when it comes to managing and treating cases with Public Services Ardennes. In addition, each ‘Public Services Relay’ puts at least one officer at the point of information, who is trained by the partners to welcome and help the users in their administrative procedures, and is responsible for each ‘Public Services Relay’. The back office makes a referent available for each Relay, the middle office is in charge of managing and leading the network of ‘Public Services Relay’, and the front office completes the ‘Public Services Relay’. In addition, each ‘Public Services Relay’ is equipped with a computer connected to the internet and a telephone at the disposal of the users for their administrative procedures. In the future, the network will be equipped with video counters.
This sort of partnership can easily be applied to other situations and can be transposed in other European cross-border areas. Today, this public service label works in French territory, but tomorrow it could easily become a European cross-border label and ultimately it could work throughout Europe. Although the project was only launched in 2008, the results are already significant: 2000 people used the ‘Public Services Relay’ in 2008.
|Award category:||partnership working|
|Sector:||Public administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reform|
|Type of activity:||new services or new technologies|
|Keywords:||Public services, relay, local, cross-border, France, Belgium, quality, gathering people from different services|
|Short English description:||The project has invested considerably in its human and technological resources. One big change is the collaboration of people from different services|
|Organisation:||Préfecture des Ardennes|
|Level of government:||local level|
|Size of organisation:||>100|
|Number of people involved:|
|EU membership:||EU member|