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The City Hall building in Sânmartin, Source: Sânmartin on Facebook

Small town in Romania nabs ‘Most Digitalised Local Administration’ Award

Small town in Romania nabs ‘Most Digitalised Local Administration’ Award

The municipality has under 10,000 inhabitants, but that's no obstacle to digitalisation

Last week, a small Romanian municipality near the city of Oradea, called Sânmartin, was designated as the most digitalised local administration in the country. It has just under 10,000 inhabitants and two spas but is now known as a fast adopter of digitalisation tools.

The award was handed out at the Regista Gala, an event organised by Regista Digital SA, a company providing digitalisation products for the public administration in the country. The award was handed out on the basis of the number of citizens opting to use the administration’s new digital tools.

Tax rebates for using the municipality’s digital tools

Sânmartin has implemented a number of initiatives to entice citizens to start using digital services. One notable example is the tax rebate system. Starting 10 January, the administration started collecting on local taxes, like building taxes, land taxes and personal vehicle taxes.

According to the statement, if citizens paid before 31 March, they would receive a 6% to 10% tax rebate, with the 10% being available for those who pay through the digital platform.

Trickle up digitalisation

The Regista Gala was intended as a celebratory event for local leaders and the strides in terms of digitalisation that were made during the pandemic. So far, around 500 public institutions have opted to improve their workflow using the Regista software.

This translates to 15,000 users nationwide, which is, admittedly a slow start, considering Romania’s population of 19 million. However, it is a step in the right direction, especially for small municipalities that do not have the resources to develop their own digital infrastructure.

This opinion was echoed by the CEO of Regista Digital’s parent company Zitec, Alexandru Lăpuşan. During the event, he explained that the adoption of digital administration has been quicker and more successful in smaller municipalities, that have the means of direct communication with users.

According to him, this could mean that the digital transformation of public services in Romania could be led by smaller municipalities, rather than by the capital Bucharest.

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