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The Guardian on Georgia’s Innovative ‘Drive-Thru’ Services

Published: April 18, 2012 | 3:34 pm
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The COMMERCIAL TIMES

The government of Georgia is to launch the world’s first drive-thru public services, enabling citizens to pick up new passports as easily as buying a burger, the Guardian reports.

This unusual idea, which will go live in the country’s capital, Tbilisi, in September, is part of an innovative approach to public services that has seen the number of public servants slashed by a third – from 300,000 staff to 100,000 – since the country’s Rose Revolution in 2003. As part of a sweeping approach to public reform, Georgia is setting up centralised locations, or public service halls, to deliver public services in its major cities as well as online.

Getting a passport will be one of the services that will be available at the proposed new drive-thru station, which is set to open in Tbilisi in September.

The idea for drive-thru public services is part of Georgia’s bid to rebuild its public services. “We have a lot of young staff who are there to think of new services,” said Nika Georgian, Prime Minster of Georgia, who was speaking at the Open Government Partnership conference in Brazil. “We are building the country from scratch. Up to now we have copied other people’s reforms but now we are thinking of different angles.”

Georgia is now rated one of the least corrupt countries in the world, partly due to having increased public sector wages. Previously, he said, public sector salaries had been so low and that had resulted in widescale bribery. But now public servants and politicians receive higher salaries and bonuses, as is the case in the private sector.

 

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