Experience of Strumyani municipality, (Bulgaria) in public service delivery Valentin Chilikov, Strumyani mayor

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STRUMYANI MUNICIPALITY Experience of Strumyani municipality, (Bulgaria) in public service delivery Valentin Chilikov, Strumyani mayor

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Statute of municipalities as stipulated by Bulgarian legislation, page 1 Article 2, Item1 of the Law On Local Governance and Local Administration (LLCLA) Municipality is a basic administrative and territorial unit with local governance. Article 14 of LLCLA Municipality is a legal entity and has the right for ownership and individual municipal budget. Article 17 of LLCLA Local governance lies in the right and ability of citizens and bodies that have the mandate to make individual decisions on issues of local significance as regards: STRUMYANI MUNICIPALITY

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- municipal property and entities, municipal finances, taxation and fees, municipal administration; - lay out and development of municipal area and its localities; - education; - health care; - culture; - landscape improvement, public services and amenities; - social services; - environment protection; - support and preservation of culture sites, artefacts and monuments; - sports promotion. Article 38 /1/ of LLCLA Mayor is a municipal executive body. Statute of municipalities as stipulated by Bulgarian legislation, page 2 STRUMYANI MUNICIPALITY

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Municipal financing Municipal Council is in charge of municipal budget design (beyond the scope of republican budget) based on individual revenue sources and public subsidies STRUMYANI MUNICIPALITY

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Individual Revenue Sources: Local Taxes: on real estate; on inheritance; на donations; on property purchase; on vehicles. Local fees - for domestic waste; - for the use of markets, pavements, squares and streets; - for the use of infant schools and kinder gardens, camps and other municipal social services delivered; - for excavation of borrow pit materials; - for technical services; - for administrative services; - for tourism. STRUMYANI MUNICIPALITY

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Processes of budget design, execution and reporting are under public oversight through: - preliminary research of services required; - open discussion of a budget draft; - budget’s update in public; - public review of service pricing and fees; - periodic reports to public on budget execution. STRUMYANI MUNICIPALITY

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The idea of open debates on municipal budget aims to follow municipal policy towards transparency of municipal governance as well as encourage municipal community’s active input to life. STRUMYANI MUNICIPALITY

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Municipal service delivery by SICC In Strumyani Municipality (as in the other 90 of 256 total Bulgarian communities), municipal services are delivered by a tailor-made unit entitled Service and Information Center for Citizens (SICC): the Center is located on the ground floor of an administrative building with 98 sq m floor area. The Center provides a one-window service. STRUMYANI MUNICIPALITY

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This is a venue for customers to hand in their requests and receive services. The Center has ‘Information’, ‘Local Revenues’ stands as well as Social Assistance Office of State Agency for Social Assistance and branches of two banks. The Center is equipped with stairs tailor-made for the disabled. STRUMYANI MUNICIPALITY

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Types of services delivered by Service and Information Center for Citizens (SICC) I. Administrative services linked with citizen registration II. Administrative-technical services delivered by ‘Municipal Property’ Department III. Administrative-technical services linked with landscape improvement IV. Administrative-technical services linked with records management V. Religion and Culture STRUMYANI MUNICIPALITY

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SICC ADVANTAGES FOR MUNICIPAL ADMINISTRATION Citizens’ feedback as regards their opinion, advices and recommendations about municipal government performance; Timely information provided on scope of proposed services delivered; Improved staff performance monitoring and greater opportunities to combat possible cases of abuse. STRUMYANI MUNICIPALITY

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Techniques for enhanced efficiency and transparency in service delivery, page 1 1. Transparency in receipt, processing and reporting on citizens’ requests, proposals, claims and complaints. 2. A package of leaflets and information stands provided that feature types of services, prices and terms of service delivery; 3. Customer feedback through: Post box designed for opinions and suggestions Round the clock hotline Internet Forum Questionnaires 4. Ability to communicate through the Internet and Intranet; 5. Effective Service and Information Center for Citizens; STRUMYANI MUNICIPALITY

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Techniques for enhanced efficiency and transparency in service delivery, page 2 6. Meetings arranged between the mayor, municipal officials, experts and residents from all municipal settlements; 7. Clear procedures and rules of staff selection, qualification requirements and incentives: Appointment following competition; Mandatory involvement of psychologist in the competition panel; Rewarding employees that showed good performance by granting the Month’s Best Employee and Year’s Best Employee awards, based on municipality residents and municipal officials’ opinions; English classes arrangement for the whole staff. STRUMYANI MUNICIPALITY

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Customers’ satisfaction with services quality delivered by SICC– Strumyani Questionnaire outcomes (May 2006) 70% of the interviewed visited the Center two or more times; Services delivered: - 50% - citizen registration; - 40% - landscape improvement; - 10% - other services; 60% believe the Center is conveniently located and well arranged; 70% of the interviewed are satisfied with service quality delivered by the Center and the staff treatment; 65% highlight the team work as the key element of Center’s efficiency; 40% need additional information related to landscape improvement service; 80% of the interviewed obtain information on municipal government’s activities through the press, electronic mass-media and communicating with relatives and friends.

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Starting December 2005, Strumyani municipality has been involved in implementing the Electronic region project, and in partnership with the region’s administration, region’s municipal governments and institutions is busy with arranging electronic data exchange to be introduced and designing comprehensive administrative services for Blagoevgrad region’s individuals and businesses. STRUMYANI MUNICIPALITY

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Thank you for your attention! STRUMYANI MUNICIPALITY