Portuguese Government invests 22 million euros to reinforce face-to-face service

Within the scope of the implementation of the Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR), the Portuguese Government announced that it will invest 22 million euros by 2026, in face-to-face service responses, foreseeing the opening of 8 Citizen Shops and 67 Citizen Spaces during the year 2023

 

The announcement was made during the regimental hearing at the Commission for Public Administration, Land Planning and Local Power, which took place last Wednesday (February 8th) in Parliament. The Secretary of State for Digitization and Administrative Modernization, Mário Campolargo, stressed that “the digitization process in public administration «does not neglect to continue to invest in face-to-face assistance”.

It should be recalled that on January 26, as part of the commemoration of the National Participation Day, created by the Government in 2021, with the aim of bringing citizens and public administration closer together, modernizing management models, Mário Campolargo presented the new image of Simplex, appealing to the Portuguese to join and stressing that it would help “people and companies”. In practice, Simplex is exclusively digital access to all public services, the same ones that can be found in person at a Citizen’s Store. That same day, the Secretary of State guaranteed that face-to-face assistance would continue for “more complex cases” and as a way of combating “digital illiteracy”.

However, a few days later, Mário Campolargo announces that “by 2026, with an investment of 22 million euros from the Recovery and Resilience Plan, we will open another 321 customer service responses”, adding that “by 2023, there will already be eight Citizens’ Stores and 67 Citizen Spaces”.

The objective of this reinforcement is, in the words of the Secretary of State for Digitization and Administrative Modernization, to create a citizen service model that is “uniform and harmonized, obeying the same rationale whether it is provided in person or at a distance, that is, whether it takes place in a store or citizen space or in the single service portal, accessible via a computer or a single app (application) for the entire administration, or by telephone or videoconference”.

It should be remembered that the Lojas do Cidadão spread across the country have offices for the most varied entities, public and private, and in some Portuguese cities it is in the Loja do Cidadão that the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) is located, such as, for example, in Braga, Coimbra or Aveiro, among others.

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