In the space that the 20th edition of the APDC Congress dedicated to Electronic Government (Restart Public Administration – Open Government), the fact that any transformation in the AP implies cultural changes that cannot «happen by Decree» was highlighted, as stressed Maria Manuel Leitão Marques , Secretary of State for Administrative Modernization, is not limited to the introduction of technology, as also stressed another guest of the session, Dominic Campbell, an entrepreneur in the field of Electronic Government and founded0r of FutureGov.
The change is happening and in Portugal, as in the rest of Europe, several examples already demonstrate this, but, participants agreed, the process is time consuming and combines several factors that cannot be changed at the same speed. Some suggestions to speed up the process were discussed, aiming at a more transparent Public Administration, close to the citizen and efficient in the way it manages its processes.
Rogério Carapuça, chairman from Novabase, defended that the political leadership has the capacity to take the first steps that can lead to a «reinvention of the State», adapted to the new times. The other agent of change, in this process of transforming the State that everyone considered necessary, is in the School and in the way education prepares each citizen for citizenship issues, he argues.
The official considered these two critical elements in the construction of a path to more efficient public services and closer to the citizen and left some questions: «Why is there no single service to the citizen, regardless of the service? backoffice for each ministry? And, by the way, why are there so many ministries? «
The answers to the questions again went through the weight of cultural factors that a new logic of public services has to face. The technology throughout the process is an enabler that, as mentioned, can only bring benefits if its use is preceded by process reengineers that before the frontofficetransform the backoffice.