Starting today, citizens of Sombor and Šabac will be able to order citizenship, birth, marriage or death certificates via Viber. This will make it easier for many of them to communicate with the city administration and enable faster access to the requested documents.
The new service will be provided by virtual assistants MIA SOMBOR and MIA ŠABAC,, which have been regularly responding to citizens' inquiries about various administrative procedures via Viber, Facebook and city portals since last year, and providing service information about the work of local administrations.
In Šabac, MIA chatbot provides answers to questions related to issuing the citizenship, birth, marriage or death certificates, tax certificates and the right to parental and child allowance. In Sombor, citizens can find out how to exercise their right to child allowance, as well as inquire about the procedure for determining the amount of tax debt and issuing a certificate of paid taxes.
- MIA answered more than 14,500 inquiries in ten months. The greatest interest in Sombor was shown about tax certificates, and for exercising the right to child allowance in Šabac. The introduction of chatbots has improved the efficiency of local administration, as officials are relieved of the burden of providing information and can devote themselves to other tasks, while citizens do not have to spend time waiting in line in front of the counter. In addition to being able to receive extracts from registers and citizenship certificates through chatbot, citizens will also have the opportunity to report communal problems to the competent city administration services. Via Viber, they will be able to easily send photos and videos, descriptions of problems, as well as their contact information to the chatbot, if they want the competent authorities to inform them further about the procedure - says Ana Ilić, Good Governance Director in NALED.
The extent of MIA’s support for local government efficiency is shown by the fact that during 2019 when the project started, public officers in Šabac received more than 18,000 inquiries, and needed about 2,400 hours to process them – and they are now being received by the chatbot. It is interesting that in more than 65% of cases, citizens came to inquire about procedures at the counter, and much less by phone or email. In Sombor, in the same year, there were as many as 60,000 inquiries about the procedure for determining the amount of tax debt, for which officials allocated 1,650 hours.
Sombor and Šabac are the first cities in Serbia to get their own chatbot colleague, and the innovation was introduced through the regional project "Improving municipal services in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina by introducing a chatbot application", which is implemented by GIZ and company SAGA in partnership with the Business Friendly Environment Network, which is represented by NALED and the Chamber of Commerce of the Republic of Srpska, within the develoPPP program of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the project is implemented in Bijeljina and Laktaši.
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