In this issue:
- Costs slashed thanks to Stockholm City’s e-building permits
- Did you know…
- Enjoy opera in 3D
- Sweden’s new IT Minister: “Sweden will become the world leader in e-Government”
- 3 Questions for Carina Lundberg Uudelepp
- Subscribe to the newsletter
Costs slashed thanks to Stockholm City’s e-building permits
Faster processing and improved access–these are just two of the benefits when the City of Stockholm launches its e-building permit project e-bygglov soon.
E-bygglov can be described as a range of electronic services combined into a single, comprehensive e-service. The project’s initial phase began during the first quarter of 2008 and made digital access to maps (as supporting documentation for building permit applications) possible. The next step is to make the application itself, the building notification, and ordering site maps online possible too.
Customers will then be able to track their submissions and even discuss them with their case officer over the web. The first step in the process is now being trialed. The first customers were invited to track their cases and communicate electronically with their case officer in early 2010.
“We’re introducing e-bygglov in stages and assessing the results after each step,” explains Birgitta Stenbäck, Section Manager for the IT Department at the City Planning Administration, Stockholm. The plan is to have everything up and running by early 2011.
The City Planning Administration’s replacement of its case management system in 2007 was key in establishing the new e-service. The digitalization of older maps and plans from its archive was also important.
“Now that we’ve done all the internal groundwork we’re able to begin interacting digitally with our customers,” continues Stenbäck.
The aim of e-bygglov is to speed up application processing times so that applicants receive answers faster and no longer need to visit the City Planning Administration in person.
“The change offers major advantages, especially for businesses that already have digital copies of their plans. At present, applicants are required to print everything out in multiple copies and send applications in on paper. E-bygglov makes it possible to handle all communication online.”
Stenbäck believes the e-service will see a reduction in the number of incoming calls to case officers, leaving them with more time free for other work. The City Planning Administration handles 6,000 permit applications and 3,000 building notifications each year. Around 80 administrators will see changes to their workday as a result of the new e-service.
- Did you know…
- …in 2007 the Stockholm City Council decided to invest SEK 650 million over four years to prepare municipal operations to support e-services.
- … the City of Stockholm’s e-services have received several prizes, including the Golden Link Award given in recognition of the e-service developed to facilitate applications for drilling in connection with geothermal heating.
- …you can follow the development of new e-services online at: http://utveckling.stockholm.se
Enjoy opera in 3D
Folkoperan in Stockholm recently became the first opera house in the world ever to broadcast a live performance in 3D over the fiber-optic network. Faust was enjoyed live by a remote audience via Stockholm’s open fiber-optic network. The broadcast was made possible thanks to collaboration between Public Live, Telia, Sony, technology company Twentyfourseven, and Stokab. “Our new work flow is designed to suit the technical quality demanded by the media market today. We deliver 3D productions live from one site to another using fiberoptics. It’s totally unique. I’m incredibly proud to be able to work together with Folkoperan, Sony, and others who have contributed to this project,” says Kent Lundgren from Twentyfourseven. Read more at
Sweden’s new IT Minister: “Sweden will become the world leader in e-Government”.
When the minister opened this year’s e-Government Days in Stockholm, the message was: “As simple as possible for as many as possible”.
E-Government Days was held at the Kistamässan exhibition and events center for the first time in November. Sweden’s new Minister for Information Technology and Regional Affairs, Anna-Karin Hatt, opened the expo by telling her audience that the government’s ambitions were grand: “Sweden will become the world leader in e-Government by 2014″.
“It’s both fun and interesting to work for a municipal administration that has a clear vision that it’s working hard to achieve. The way forward hasn’t always been uncomplicated, but everyone has put in a good team effort and never lost sight of the goal,” explains Nils Gummesson, Project Manager at Logica.
The question is – how do we develop an e-Government system that benefits both citizens and businesspeople alike? For the minister, the answer was obvious: if you build it, they will come. If the e-services are good, the users will follow. If the users come, then many will reap the benefits. But, she stressed, developing good e-services is made difficult by a number of obstacles. The problem is a public administration that is still far too inflexible in its operation. The problem is in a lack of cooperation between different government agencies, but also in poor communication between agencies, county councils, and municipalities. The problem is in a public administration that often focuses too much on its own interests instead of on the interests of the citizens it serves and the needs of business.
E-Government Days arranged by Hexagon AB, pulled out all the stops with a solid program and a large number of exhibitors. Approximately 600 participants from both the public and private sectors took part in the two-day expo. The overarching themes were cooperation, openness, and an e-society with room for everyone. Some of the questions raised included how to achieve the effective and needs-driven development of e-services, why sharing information and experience is so important, and how to achieve technological cooperation that also transcends organizational boundaries.
Anna-Karin Hatt concluded with a vision of third-generation e-Government: “I want to see Sweden become a digital greenhouse! I want to see that, just like in the US, government agencies provide buttons for their information sources and APIs so that businesses and the general public can create apps that simplify our lives and create both growth and jobs. Why not blue buttons for health information, perhaps orange buttons for business information and green ones for environmental information? Why not an app store that specializes entirely in e- Government apps – e-health apps, e-learning apps, and e-administration apps?
CARINA LUNDBERG UUDELEPP
Vice CEO of the City of Stockholm
Who received the eDiamond Award for the best e- government initiative on behalf of the City of Stockholm. Why did the City of Stockholm receive this award?
“We have made good progress through a combination of always keeping the best interests of Stockholm residents in sight and allowing the development of e-services to be driven by those who know our residents best: our agencies. The knowledge held by our agencies is an important part of e-service development because it’s important that we understand what happens when we develop new e-services and can implement the needed development of our own organization and work methods.”
How important are e-services to the City of Stockholm’s development?
“They’re very important from a number of different angles. The first is the image of Stockholm as an attractive city. E-services as a gateway to city life is something that people should be able to expect – both businesspeople and residents alike. The second is that we as an organization must develop towards what is actually possible and in demand at present. We can’t afford to stagnate in developing our work methods. A third aspect is that we have younger generations on the way into the public sector workforce, and they expect access to technology that has progressed from what it was 20 years ago when I started my working life, as do our citizens. That influences how attractive we are as an employer.”
Do you share your experience with others?
“Absolutely. And we’re currently seeing a great deal of interest in what we’ve been doing. Each week we either receive visits from those interested in our work or who are taking part in work that allows us to share our experience with others, both in Swedish municipalities and in international arenas. Just last week we took part in a major conference in Paris in order to explain our work.”