Going digital: Poland’s new e-payment scheme
Tired of standing in queues at your local city hall to pay charges and taxes? A new EU-funded e-payment scheme may make that a thing of the past. Implemented in the Polish city of Olsztyn, citizens can now make all tax declarations and waste payment charges online, among a range of other tasks.
" Our citizens do not have to come to City Hall anymore as their computer screen has become the clerk’s window. It is particularly important for those unable to visit City Hall regularly. Without leaving their home or office they can now submit a property, agriculture or forest tax declaration via the internet. "
The world is turning digital and as it does life is becoming easier. We can do everything online – from ordering our shopping to managing our bank accounts and speaking with far-flung friends on the other side of the world.. An EU-funded project in Poland is channelling these opportunities by setting up a new fully electronic payment scheme, which can be used for some 44 services. These include tax declarations and paying waste removal charges.
Until now, such payments had to be made in person by queuing at the city hall. By transferring this service to an online platform, Olsztyn has tackled two issues with one platform – making it handier for citizens while, at the same time, reducing the queues at the city hall and freeing up civil servants for other tasks.
At your convenience
Previously, citizens had to queue up to make tax payments at times that were not always convenient. Since the city hall is only open during business hours, it is often difficult for people who work to pay on time. E-payment allows everyone to pay whenever it suits them and their timetable.
Transportation taxes, waste charges, agriculture and forest taxes and tax returns can all be made on the platform; a total of 44 services are available online. Documents are submitted in electronic format, which has the added benefit of reducing the number of mistakes.
After the e-declarations and other documents have been uploaded by citizens, they are picked up by the electronic document circulating system and taken to the finance and accounting system. From here, the city’s accountants and finance administrators can finalise the process.
Citizens can also keep an eye on their payments, tracking what is due or coming up on the portal. Even parking tickets and fines imposed by the government can be accessed and paid online.
Information and communication technology (ICT) is essential for digital development in EU countries and for making public services available online. Local government employees are benefiting by gaining ICT skills, which are highly prized in today’s labour market.
Overall, the project has enabled the city of Olsztyn to enter the digital era and to simplify many laborious administrative procedures. Thanks to EU funding, public services are now provided in a more efficient way, which is better for both the citizens and the city.
Total investment and EU funding
Total investment for the project “Integrated Public Services Platform Implementation and Electronic Payments of Olsztyn” is EUR 566 743, with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 475 224 through the “Warminsko-Mazurskie” for the 2007-2013 programming period.