Greece is poised to strike a critical blow against its notoriously Byzantine bureaucracy with the introduction of a new electronic Register of Citizens. The plan is scheduled to go online on January 22, and will act as a central database for registry offices and municipalities throughout the country.
According to athensnewsagency, the interior ministry’s nationwide IT system will link up 1,036 registry offices and 325 municipal rolls throughout Greece, as well as the Special Registry Office in Athens, and include all acts of registration by Greek citizens.
This will mean that those entering into transactions with state services will no longer be obliged to submit certification from municipal rolls and registry offices relating to births, marriages, deaths and family status since these will be available to online via a secure electronic connection.
Interior ministry’s Interior and Electronic Governance Secretary General Theodoros Economou told the news agency that the register will allow such documentation to be sent automatically to the relevant municipalities with one click, saving time for both individuals and for municipality staff, who had been obliged to repeat the same processes from the beginning each time.
For example, he said, if an Athenian citizen was married in Iraklio, Crete and registered the marriage at the Iraklio registry office, he or she would not need to take a copy of the act of registration to Athens to update his or her family records since this would be done automatically via the system.
The same system will also support other public administration functions, such as the issue of IDs and passports, the issue of the AMKA social security numbers and certificates for school enrollment.
When the system goes online on January 22, direct access will be given to the Hellenic Police (ELAS), the education ministry, the Single Social Security Agency (EFKA), the farmers’ pension fund OGA and the foreign ministry. There will also be “semi-automatic” access for the finance and national defence ministries, the Electronic Social Insurance Governance (IDIKA), the independent statistical authority ELSTAT and the Hellenic Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO), while other state agencies have expressed interest.
PS A central data base full with citizens’ data. If security is guaranteed… But why should ELSTAT and KEELPNO have access to this database is one more Greek wonders.