Venezuela launches technology platform to rapidly improve public services

Mexico City, Mexico, May 23, 2022 (venezuelanalysis.com) – The Venezuelan government has launched a new app-based initiative to address the deterioration of public services that will facilitate a more direct means of communication between citizens and the government.

President Nicolás Maduro toured the headquarters of a recently opened Rapid Response Center inside the Miraflores presidential palace on Saturday, saying the new system would “show the complaint, show the process and show the outcome, so that people can see the processes”. and the results.

Maduro said the aim was to break with the bureaucracy that is often used to delay a quick resolution, adding that issues related to water, education and health care would be prioritized. Centers throughout the country are responsible for filtering reports and forwarding them to the national or local institution concerned.

“We call on everyone to communicate with government authorities,” Maduro said when unveiling the program on Thursday. “Reports will reach mayors, governors, ministers so we can start working through the issues.”

The so-called “1×10 system” will be overseen by Planning Minister Ricardo Menéndez and aims to quickly respond to complaints through Venezuela’s new social app, known as VenApp. Users have 60 days to register for the service.

The government has also touted the app as an example of “people power” and direct democracy, where users have a direct line to officials tasked with resolving complaints. Authorities urged grassroots organizations such as communal councils to register as well, and urged municipal and regional governments to prioritize basic services.

During the president’s visit on Saturday, officials said they had resolved half of the 31 complaints registered that day.

The sanctions campaign led by the United States and the country’s years-long economic crisis have led to a drop in government revenue, an exodus of qualified personnel and difficulties in obtaining parts, which has resulted in a deterioration significant utility services such as water, electricity or cooking. gas supply.

Until the start of the crisis, the expansion of public services was one of the fundamental principles of the Bolivarian process initiated by Maduro’s predecessor, the late Hugo Chávez.

The government’s effort to resolve complaints quickly reflects its confidence in its ability to address quality of life issues.

The economic situation of the South American country has seen a slight but steady improvement in recent months – with strong forecasts for 2022 – and strengthened thanks to the cooperation of allies such as Iran who have helped the oil industry of the country to recover under significant US sanctions.

The effort to improve public services comes after the Maduro government announced earlier this month a one-time bonus for workers who retired in 2018 as the government seeks to compensate those whose pensions have been shattered by a strong inflation.

At the time, the Venezuelan president also announced a number of other measures and said government policies were aimed at a gradual recovery of workers’ purchasing power through wage increases.

Edited by Ricardo Vaz in Caracas.

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