Public services between the citizen need and administration potential
public administration, public services, citizen need, economic potential
This paper aims at the balance between the citizen and the public authorities with public services as an interface. Public services place themselves at the crossroads of many elements such as: needs of the citizen, social need, public will, public resources, private availability, and civic sense. Without claiming to have identified all factors that converge to defining / structuring the SP / GIS, the paper tried to highlight some of the most important. The social need is covered at the macro level and it represents what society - as a whole - needs. Citizens' needs are more specific, individualized and custom-designed, rundown by gender, age, education, social condition, financial strength, religion, living environment etc. The public will is an expression of what the Administration encompasses in mid- and long-term national strategies and addresses in detail the SP / GIS in sectorial policies where responsibility is assumed. Public resources include in our assessment all resources at the disposal of the Administration at some point. Private availability can be expressed through various forms such as public-private partnerships, development of complementary private sponsorships, donations etc. A balanced public service can also benefit of citizens’ civic sense. Even if they are completely satisfied with the services at hand they understand that it would be without sense to unnecessary ask for them just only because it’s free. An aspect to be emphasized is the meaning of a decent and proper public service, able to satisfy the citizen. The issue should be analyzed, according to the paper, in the terms of the five components of the marketing mix: (a) product, (2) personnel (3) price (4) distribution (5) promotion. Obviously one goal for the citizen, but also for the authorities should be the "perfect mix" of each public service. Defining such a "perfect mix" would lead to “an ideal level” to be reached. By properly adjusting “the archetype”, one could get 2-3 alternatives to be submitted for public debate in order to detect citizens’ standpoints towards an issue. One of citizens’ expectations is related to providing quality SP / GIS, free, at low prices, or partially subsidized. The main concern of the Administration should be directed towards SP/SIG users, their requirements and expectations. Public authorities with responsibilities in the design and supply of SP / GIS must act in full transparency. This involves recognizing citizens’ needs for which the services were designed, what they consist of, who is responsible for providing them and under what terms. In other words, what are the obligations the Administration is assuming and in which way are these going to be met? SP Systems / GIS must be consistently designed and should aim at supporting people and implementing national strategies and policies. What deepens misunderstanding and disharmony between citizen and authorities are the lack of regulation and of long-term stability. Harmonizing the interests of both parties is essential for the smooth existence of the society. Cohabitation between state and private suppliers enables the Administration to design effective and competitive systems, and to decrease investment efforts. Informing citizens on all elements inspiring public decisions with respect to SG / GIS is a vital element in building a relationship citizen-solid authority based on trust and mutual respect.