For a Human-Centered AI

Trento smart city | online help desk: a new step to simplification

November 22, 2017

A new portal that allows easy and fast access to local administration services, developed as part of the European Simpatico Project, of which the City of Trento is partner with FBK

A new portal that allows fast and easy access to local administration services and its digital forms: the first official step of the new online Town of Trento help desk concerns the application form for landscape authorization and mandatory opinions on the architectural quality of the works, which will become the only way to start the procedure as of January 1.

The form, built on the platform of a company called Globo Srl, already in use in many administrations in Italy, has been integrated with a set of simplified and aided tools to complete it, that have been specifically developed within the framework of the European Simpatico project, of which the Municipality of Trento is partner with Fondazione Bruno Kessler as coordinator.

The construction process of the onlne help desk starts with a precise choice based on the reuse of a tested, open and flexible product and the collaboration with the Consortium of the Municipalities ofTrentino, which co-financed the whole project.

Globo’s offer was then improved by integrating the services already used by the City of Trento (authentication system, PI-Tre protocol, internal applications) and more sophisticated interoperability services (webservices), making sure that they be integrated with the simplification tools at the basis of the Simpatico project.

Four major players are involved: the users (citizens or businesses) that initiate the procedure by filling out the online form, the automatic agents who record and import the data into applications, the municipal offices of reference that change the way they work by following the requests in digital environment and the innovation service that sets the system up and creates the forms.

To initiate the process, users authenticate on the portal and complete the forms following the various blocks that are proposed and illustrated step by step. Some data, already owned by the Administration, are automatically retrieved. As soon as the sumitted request is received by the Municipality, the system automatically performs secretarial operations: it registers and enters the application on the document management system, submits the registration outcome, imports data into the applications. It therefore totally changes the way officers work, and provides consulting services and assistance on how to approach the new tool to less “digital” citizens.

The development work involved three different procedures, selected for the different degree of complexity and the subjects involved: enrollment in daycare centers (active since September 14, has so far involved 60 citizens, 10 users with difficulty in using the technology -digital divide-, 5 employees and 1 trainee), requests for acoustic waivers (online from October 17, involved 10 professionals who participated in a science cafè presentation, 1 professional who presented a real request, 7 citizens who submitted test-requests and 2 employees) and the landscape authorization request.

The above authorization has several factors of complexity: it involves several interested parties (applicant and designer in charge), each responsible for part of the submitted documentation; it presents different types of electronic signatures required; it requires structured, diverse and important as well as heavy documents; it provides for formal and substantial checks; law regulations are constantly updated.

As of January 1, the forms for these authorizations will only be available online. To facilitate this transition to digital, a complete guide is provided, with Simpatico project-based simplification tools (completion guides, step-by-step guide, FAQs). In the early stage, support with completing the forms will be provided through a dedicated workstation set up at the Building Services Office where users will receive assistance from the staff.

The simplification and digitalization process will continue in the coming year by examining high impact procedures and by supporting other reorganization projects such as the integration of the online payment system (PagoPAT), the display of all documents in a dedicated space (“Home of the citizen”), the use of digital residency and new forms of signing for citizens.