A one-stop administrative service centre has now opened its doors in Latvia's capital Riga. It is the first of several centres to be created in the country as part of the ESF drive for better public services.
As the centre offers access to the services of the State Employment Agency, State Labour Inspectorate, State Revenue Service and State Social Insurance Agency, Riga residents will no longer have to go to each national authority separately. Other state agencies may join the centre in the near future.
“Developing both advanced e-administration and on-site, personal services in parallel may seem contradictory,” says Kaspars Gerhards, Latvian Minister for Environmental Protection and Regional Development. “However, citizens should be able to access necessary services in the way that is most convenient for them. The population's great interest shows that there is a need for both, the key being convenience and high quality. It is similar to reading a book: e-books are becoming ever-more accessible, and yet paper books are still in demand.”
Some 85% of funds for the development of the centre were contributed by the ESF, the remaining 15% by the Latvian state.