One Stop Shops Across Myanmar
A Step Towards Bringing Services Closer to People
In Bago’s bustling town, located at the centre of the market, on a floor in the same building which daily welcomes hundreds of shoppers out to buy fruits, vegetables, groceries and other household items, is a new government office.
It is a one stop shop, which opened its doors on September 9.
This one stop shop is part of the 72 set up across Myanmar to bring government services closer to people and ensure that these are delivered in an efficient and transparent manner. One stop shops are a step towards bringing transparent and efficient government services closer to the people, the lack of which was revealed through a nationwide local governance mapping exercise conducted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the General Administration Department in 2013-2014.
At the entrance of the Bago One Stop Shop is a huge board which describes in detail the ten governments departments operating there, the types of services they provide, how long these take to accomplish and how much they cost.
Inside the one stop shop is a wide, open space, lined with counters on two sides, forming an L shape, and chairs on another, the fourth side being a wide entrance. The first counter is an information desk. It is followed by counters from the Departments of Development Committees, Electricity Supply Services, Police, Immigration, Public Health, Social Welfare, Fire Services, Internal Revenue, General Administration Department and Agriculture, Land Management and Statistics. The final counter is that of a monitor, who manages the overall daily operations of the one stop shop, receives complaints and clarifies queries.
Kyaw Myo Latt, is the monitor at the Bago One Stop Shop. He explained that in its first month of operation, the one stop shop served 527 clients. 198 clients sought services from the Immigration Department, 102 from the Electricity Department and 75 from the General Administration Services.
The news about the establishment of the one stop shop was disseminated through the distribution of flyers, announcements in the media, and through village tract and ward administrators.
Twenty year old Min Min came to the one stop shop to get his national identity card.
“I came here today for the first time to get my national identity card. My ward administrator told me where to come,” said Min Min.
Myint Myint Aye was at the Immigration Counter.
“I came here to renew my national identity card. I live near here so it is convenient for me to get this service here,” she said.
Each counter is managed by two staff members from the respective government department. These staff are on a rotational basis and will serve for three months before returning to their mother Departments. The rotational system is based on standard operating procedures developed by the Bago district General Administration Department. The Bago One Stop Shop monitor is a permanent member of the staff team, and he reports daily to the Township Administrator.
The Bago One Stop Shop is considered one of the best in Myanmar. One stop shops have been set up along a similar model, but on different scales addressing the immediate needs of the population living around it.
For example, the Insein One Stop Shop in Yangon Region has two counters from the Labour Ministry. Insein is home to many factory workers. One of the counters provides identity cards for job seekers and operates five days a week. The other disseminates information about workers’ rights and receives complaints relating to the workplace. This counter operates three days a week.
Aye Ko, the proprietor of a rice trading company came across the sign board describing the services offered.
“I walked into this office after seeing the sign board outside. I needed tax stickers and the Department of revenue can provide it, and I am very happy to get them from here,” he said.
Daw Khin, who is the monitor at the Insein One Stop Shop said that in addition to their office, the building houses 20 other government departments.
“People feel comfortable coming here as this looks different from other government offices. They know that we can answer their questions, and provide multiple services under one roof. For example, when someone comes looking for a job seekers card, they also need police clearance and a birth certificate. They can get these two documents from the counters at the one stop shop and get their job seekers card immediately,” she said.
In addition to providing services, the one stop shops connect people to other government departments not represented at the one stop shop.
UNDP has continued to provide support towards the establishment of the one stop shops. This includes opportunities for learning through a study visit to Vietnam and Mongolia to learn from the one stop shop set ups in there, training for the one stop shop monitors, equipment for some one stop shops and overall guidance on how to make these set ups more efficient.