Cities in action: ‘One contact’

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Citizens’ services under one roof

The city of Vilnius created ‘One contact’ in a move to simplify citizens’ services and improve transparency. Launched in 2003, the service brings together relevant city departments that were previously located in different sites across the city. Now they are all based in one place, the ‘visitors services division’, making it a one-stop-shop for citizens’ services.

The move by the city represents a change in service culture and an effort to bring local government closer to the citizens. As well as creating a single site for services, the city began using a specialised document management system (@vilys) to allow it to process requests more efficiently and monitor the progress of individual cases. This was a challenge in itself, as many of the city staff had not previously worked with such software and lacked computer literacy. The city provided training courses and simplified the system to deal with this. Now up and running, this system has helped make the city administration greener: emails are no longer printed but transferred electronically to the relevant department.

To improve accountability, the city conducts regular polls amongst citizens about the services it provides, and also uses a visitor comment box and book to gather feedback. Visitors can also book appointments to meet directly with senior managers and the mayor, and the city organises weekly visits for children to and young people to get to know the city administration.

In a city where service culture has not always been a strength, One contact is a step in the right direction.

Read more about it in our ‘cities in action’ case study, below.