March 6, 2021

"In the Administration we must abandon the culture of the counter" – La Provincia


In just two years, since the opening of the Open Government framework strategy, 83% of the Autonomous Community procedures have been digitized. It is the first step, says Manuel Castellano, the general director of Telecommunications, so that it can evolve in relations with the citizen and anticipate their needs and do it in a personalized way. In short, move from the culture of "counter" and give a value added to the citizens.

Is electronic administration a reality in theGovernment of the Canary Islands?

We have been working in the process for years, although at a very slow pace. As a result of the Open Government framework strategy, during these two years we have achieved that citizens can access 945 electronic procedures. Not only is it a change of procedure, it has also facilitated the change of the internal culture of the public employee when performing an adaptation and training of their functions.

What has been the greatest difficulty in digitizing the activity?

In the Public Administration it is a doubly expensive process. Technology is probably the element of this simpler digital transformation. The Administration does not easily assimilate the process changes. It is necessary to change and approve new regulations and structures to face the new services demanded by citizens. The fundamental thing is to carry out a correct change management with the personnel. The adaptation and reassignment of profiles are non-technological elements of the transformation and are probably the most expensive.

In what next steps are you working?

The citizenship is the one that demands us to carry out as many transactions as possible with the mobile phone and we still have a lot of work to do in this regard. They also demand more advanced, value-added, personalized and proactive services. These functions are already being experimented with companies with which it is related on a regular basis, such as banking, so it also demands these services from the Government of the Canary Islands. After the digitalization of administrative processes, we have to move from the culture of the counter, in which we are waiting for the person to go to the Administration, to be more proactive and based on the data we have of the people, to offer them services. In short, it is bringing the Canarian Administration closer to the citizens. Society also asks to participate more and more in public policies, that requires transparency and accessibility of information. For this reason, in all services, according to the framework strategy, it is planned that participation instruments be enabled where not only the service is valued as private companies do, but where they can also propose improvements or even request new services.

Is there reluctance among canaries to use e-government?

Availability is what generates trust in society. Last year we had problems in a selective process. Although they were provoked by a State service, it was the Canarian society that had difficulties. Since then we have improved a lot. The test of fire has been carried out with two massive procedures, probably the most voluminous we have this year, which have been the selective processes of theCanary Health Serviceand the Body of Teachers that coincided in time and generated more than 25,000 applications. It was a success.



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