President of Azerbaijan signed a decree on provision of the activity of the State Agency for Services to Citizens and Social Innovations of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan on 6 September 2012. How do you see the activity of the new structure?
The main idea of the State Agency for services to citizens and social innovation is to provide citizens with high-quality and comfortable services from a single space and with application of modern innovation. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed the decree to ensure the application of this idea in practice and make the services provided by state agencies closer to the citizens.
Creation of the State agency can be considered an important reform. This is a new stage in state regulation, which will stimulate the formation of the younger generation of civil servants with highly professional skills who strictly follow the rules of ethical conduct. The commencement of the activity will bring some changes to the life of some people, meet their positive expectations and create satisfaction among the public. A number of services that the state agencies provide to the population will become more operational and the qualitative needs of the people will be provided at a high level. This will also increase confidence in public authorities.
In general, the activity of the structure will increase the effectiveness of institutional reforms in this area.
You have noted the ASAN-Xidmet centers. What will be the role and activity of these centers?
ASAN-Xidmet will ensure the provision of services by government agencies in a unified and coordinated manner. This will reduce the time loss. Thus, a citizen will learn the department and the list of documents he has to submit for receiving the desired document from the information booth of the center and stand in a queue at the window of the department. When his turn comes, he will be able to submit the documents required for the provision of the service and get the necessary document in the optimal period of time.
The e-shields and signs will be placed at the centers to ease the receipt of information by citizens and services will be provided to all citizens regardless of the place of registration. The centers will always be open to citizens at all days. The children’s entertainment center, an internet café, a bank, postal offices and so on will be functioning for rational time spending. All necessary measures will be taken at the centers to ensure the transparency and assess the activity of the employees.
Which services will the ASAN-Xidmet provide at the center?
In accordance with the decree, the ASAN-Xidmet center will provide services such as state civil registration, notary services, issuance and replacement of ID cards and ordinary passports, replacement of driver licenses, issuance of certificates of conviction, repeated statements on the state registration of apartments and references on the collateral, better known among the public as a "form number one" certificates of land registry data, assignment of pensions, registration of commercial legal entities and taxpayers, issuance of archival information to businesses and individuals. It also includes admission of customs declarations, documents for customs clearance, documentation for permission of temporary or permanent residence in the Republic of Azerbaijan. The centers will also carry information support for all the services provided by government agencies.
The indicated services are provided through direct application of a citizen - in the form of self-service and request. Implementation of mobile services is envisaged in the future. This will allow citizens to use the services without leaving their workplace or places of residence by paying an additional amount as stipulated by the law. I would also like to emphasize that mobile services will be free for the disabled and children with limited health abilities.
Was the experience of other countries taken into account in establishment of ASAN-Xidmet and preparation of the draft rules of servicing?
Of course, during implementation of new social innovation we studied the best international experience, and the rules are designed the way that the services to citizens were simple in every way. During this process we studied the experience of Great Britain, Germany, Canada, Russia, Australia and other countries. The concept of ASAN-Xidmet that we are ready to implement is more ambitious and expanded, as it will combine the services of a large number of government agencies. Naturally, the centers will be gradually expanded, and I believe that this innovation will justify itself as an effective experience.