A new digital government platform in Cyprus aimed at pulling sources from different agencies to deliver fast customer service is behind schedule, with officials pointing finger at internal procedures but remaining hopeful that the service will soon be up and running.
According to Innovation Deputy Minister Kyriacos Kokkinos, a digital platform for remote and virtual services to the public was still in the works after missing the government’s January deadline to launch.
“For internal purposes, the launch of the public tender process was delayed, but it has been launched, and now we are in the assessment stage and we hope to soon be able to announce it,” Kokkinos said.
Citizens will be able to get quick answers to most frequently-asked questions and also send email or hold a video call with an official to address a particular issue
According to Kokkinos who spoke to Reporter online, one factor in delaying the new undertaking was the need to carry out legal consultations with multiple agencies to ensure the project would be legal.
The portal is expected to solve several issues that have been frustrating citizens for years, including never having someone pick up the phone at a state agency or respond to a question.
After the launch of the new portal, estimated by the government to take place within six months, citizens will be able to ask quick questions and get quick answers to most frequently-asked questions, while also sending email or holding a video call with an official to address a particular issue.
The service will also allow citizens to request a callback within one hour in some cases, depending on the nature of the question and service being sought.
Numerous reports over the years including recent stories painted a frustratingly hopeless picture of citizens calling a department or agency in Cyprus for days if not weeks and still not being able to get through to anyone.