The path to citizenship can often be complicated and laborious. Saddled with thousands of applications, governments frequently find it difficult to keep track of all the requests. The result is that applications for citizenship can get backlogged.
Recognizing the problem, the Spanish Ministry of Justice decided to take action. With a backlog of more than 400,000 applications, the ministry needed to process citizenship requests more efficiently. After researching the issue, it chose global technology services firm FUTUVER to develop an electronic management system that digitally manages the workflow of all citizenship requests. And it selected Microsoft SQL Server 2012 as its database for digitally storing and retrieving all citizenship records.
“We needed to respond quickly and effectively to a large volume of records, so it was necessary to digitize both data and processes,” says Joaquín Rodríguez, Director General of Registries and Notaries for the Ministry of Justice. “We chose Microsoft SQL Server 2012 because it offered us the maximum availability and security guarantees and adapted completely to the level of requirements essential for public administration.”
Thanks to its new technology, the Spanish Ministry of Justice has dramatically improved the way it handles citizenship requests. Within six months, the Ministry of Justice resolved more than 400,000 applications that had been backlogged in the last three years. In addition, it now handles an average 4,000 applications per day, either granting or denying citizenship to applicants. More than 5,000 users are connected to the system, including eight government ministries and 1,450 public and private offices throughout Spain.
The Ministry of Justice plans to further hone its electronic management system by the end of 2013 so that it can quickly adapt to legal changes and new procedures that may occur in the future. It also plans to allow applicants to apply for citizenship over the Internet.
“This pioneering experience is an example of how the innovative application of technology can be applied in short periods of time to many of the problems facing government,” says Luis Miguel Garcia, Director of the Business Unit of Servers and Platforms for Microsoft Ibérica. “By digitizing its data and processes, the Ministry of Justice is laying the groundwork for a true e-Government.”
Essential to every nation’s future, progress in these four areas improves everything from a government’s policy development to its legislative decision making. But most importantly, increased e-participation allows nations to create a connected citizenry in which democracy thrives.
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