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Taipei Rolls Out New Digital System for Accessing Municipal Services

Image source: taiwannews.com.tw

Taipei City has been promoting a convenience-driven Neighborhood Digital Construction system since October, enabling citizens to access municipal services via ID cards or National Health Insurance (NHI) cards.

The Taipei City Government has been striving to enhance its smart city blueprint while ensuring every citizen, especially those in vulnerable groups or the elderly, have been included in the city’s digital rollout. As a world-leading smart city, Taipei also developed TaipeiPass, an award-winning application billed as a one-stop portal for up to 80% of municipal services.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, TaipeiPASS is the key citizen-centric service aimed at providing a convenient service portal. TaipeiPASS employs a two-factor verification mechanism to establish citizen digital IDs and effectively protect citizens’ personal data.

TaipeiPASS was designed by employing a citizen-centric service approach to combine a personal ID with various city government services. Because the application is connected to Taipei City Government services and facilities, it serves as a bridge for communication and interactions between citizens and the city government in the use of digital infrastructure.

The app features a simple and smooth interface, provides citizen-centric service content and integrates diverse, convenient services, including card certification, online registration, welfare estimation, and e-payment services for public fees to provide a one-stop application.

Taipei City Government has implemented real-name registration systems at public venues. When entering, citizens with a Taipei Pass can quickly scan their personal QR codes to save time waiting in line, avoid indirect contact by touching a pen and paper, and protect themselves. At the date of writing, citizens have used the Taipei Pass application to provide their details in real-name registration systems when entering large exhibition venues.

However, TaipeiPassrequires possession of devices, which poses a problem for digitally challenged groups. To make the digital transformation smoother, the city government has built a new system as an alternative.

To boost municipal service quality and help the city government’s ranks and file enhance their work efficiency, paperwork is being replaced with the new system to save time and reduce the carbon footprint. Meanwhile, those less familiar with smart devices can simply verify their identities, acquire supplies, and register for events regardless of the digital divide.

The system was designed to require the least effort for people who are not digitally savvy. Borough offices only need easy-access smart devices, such as tablets and card readers, to upgrade their administrative work, while residents can take their ID cards, NHI cards, or even a registered Taipei EasyCard as a digital proof for municipal services or to acquire supplies or register for an event.

– Chang Yung-ching, Director of the Digital Innovation Center at the Department of Information Technology.

The newly constructed system was established as part of the city’s contactless services as well as to be a smart COVID-19 containment measure. Time-consuming activities, such as waiting in line, can be simplified by scanning ID cards.

A total of 19 out of 456 boroughs in the capital have volunteered for the trial operation of the new system. The majority of borough chiefs consider it a positive addition and think that it should be applied to the whole city.

In September, 215 boroughs out of 12 administrative units joined an expansion of the trial operation, according to Fang. The digital system now provides two main services — distribution of supplies as well as event registration.

The city government will keep streamlining and upgrading. For example, the system will soon incorporate vaccine appointments, including for influenza and hepatitis B vaccines. It’s a two-stage digital transformation. With face-to-face service in borough offices, the digitally disadvantaged can use ID cards to apply for smart services with less pressure.

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