Money comes from PRR (the so-called EU ‘bazooka’)
Portugal’s government has today unveiled plans to spend €22 million on 321 new locations for ‘face-to-face government services’ and eight new ‘one stop’ Citizen’s Shops (Lojas de Cidadão).
The money will be drawn from funds under the Programme for Recovery and Resilience (PRR) – the ‘EU bazooka’ the PM has been extolling for the best part of the last two years.
The announcement came from secretary of State for digitalisation and administrative modernisation, Mário Filipe Campolargo, during a regular hearing in parliament’s committee on public administration, planning and local government.
Campolargo stressed that the process of digitalisation of public administration does not mean disinvesting in face-to-face services.
“By 2026, with an investment of €22 million from the PRR, we are going to open 321 more service responses,” he said, stressing this year would see the opening of eight Citizens’ Shops and 67 Citizen Spaces.
The aim, he stressed, “is that the future service model is uniform and harmonised, following the same rationale whether it is provided in person or remotely – meaning whether it takes place in a shop or citizen space or in the single services portal, accessible via a computer or a single app, or by telephone or videoconference.”
The secretary of State cited some of the measures already implemented as part of the government’s Simplex plan for administrative simplification, including the activation of citizens’ digital mobile key via mobile phone, which in about a month has seen “over 33,000 activations.”
Since April 2022, meanwhile, digitalised health exams have allowed more than 17 million requisitions for procedures to be issued virtually, and more than 21 million results from those exams, he said.
In its State Budget for 2023, the government foresees the opening of 12 new Citizens’ Shops, 170 new Citizen Spaces and six new Mobile Citizen Spaces.