April 2006

Thailand Citizen-centric approach

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Somboon Mekpaiboonwattana

Royal Thai Government emphasizes on e-Government flagship as one of the appliance to reforms government by utilizing ICT to enhance management efficiency – effectiveness and capability to deliver services to the citizen. Since 2003, Royal Thai government launched the e-Government Development Plan to navigate the e-Government initiative in Thailand, consisting of 15 milestones. As a result of these, every government agency owns the websites and central government advances integrated – front office & back office, one-stop services, contact centre and centralize citizen portal etc, to serve the potential customers. Presently, many of these milestones have already arisen and acquainted.

e-Citizen concept
Under the concept of Citizen-centric, e-Citizen (Electronic Citizen) was issued. There is shifting from traditional concept, Department-centric to the new one – Citizen-centric. The integrated electronic citizen-based management system, e-Citizen, aims to decrease the redundancy on the execution and consumption of management resources; bring about work collaboration and specially underline on the citizen advantages, the ultimate outcome of e-Governance. Assembled with one-stop-service platform, e-Citizen is able to serve all citizens, at many points of service and by citizen self-service via Internet on a 24 x 7 basis. Because of the unequal access, Thai government supplies various service delivery channels for instance, portal website, single-point-service, kiosk and so forth, to support e-Citizen.

e-Citizen portal (http://www.ecitizen. go.th/), one of the channels mentioned above, is the citizen gateway to public information and services. This portal would eliminate the need to logon to several government websites. And people can connect to as the alternative to make contact with government agency.

e-Citizen portal provides not only the essential public information but also provides the online services. Information and service compiled in the e-Citizen portal is categorized based on agency, category, target group and life cycle. e-Citizen portal was launched in April 2003 as the first phase of e-Government service delivery, and has ever since obtained a good reaction as well as a stimulant to government agency to transform to e-Services. Currently, the second phase has already finished.

The other channels, which are furnished to fulfill the e-Citizen are the single-point service and kiosk. This is a resolution to bridge the digital divide. To facilitate the citizen, Royal Thai Government has a single-point-service called Government Counter Service (GCS) located in the community or business centre. Besides, kiosk is another point of service that can be placed anywhere to comfort the citizen. Now, single-point-service and kiosk are just at the beginning and the government desire to expand throughout the country.

e-Citizen is just a piece of jigsaw to complete the e-Government picture that featured in e-Services, government ICT infrastructure, rule & regulation modification and so forth. If we have all of these, it will generate the integrated Citizen-Centric e-Government.

About  the author:
Somboon Mekpaiboonwattana is Director, e-Government Promotion & Development Bureau Ministry of Information and Communication Technology Royal Thai Government

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