The Prime Minister stressed that refurbished or newly-built offices are hardly worth anything without committed employees trained to the highest standards.
Speaking about the future, he said that the next few years will be about changing over to digital administration.
Mr. Orbán also pointed out that the Szigetszentmiklós Public Administration Centre opened in the ceremony accommodates the final “government window” in the country to be handed over. He noted that former Public Administration and Justice Minister Tibor Navracsics had started the development of standardised government windows, which permit the administration of more than 1,500 different procedures; now János Lázár, Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office, has completed the process.
The aim of this is to ensure that the reformed system of public administration is worthy of a state with a thousand-year history, and that at the same time it meets the expectations of modern society in the 21st century.
Before 2010, he said, the state hardly had a single agency that functioned well. They performed their operations as forms of “private agency”, with their activities outsourced. Citizens found it extremely difficult to receive assistance in their affairs, and laws protected perpetrators, rather than victims. He said that it is only a question of time before organisations “eaten away by woodworm from within and in a state of decay” also fail to show any kind of outward strength.
Now, however, police numbers have been boosted by an extra 7,100 officers, and there is a permanent police presence in every settlement in the country.
“We have restored public order in Hungary”, the Prime Minister said.
He also spoke about career models introduced in public administration, law enforcement and the justice system. He stressed that it is always detrimental to public order if committed, highly qualified officials working for the state leave to find jobs elsewhere. We can now say that serving the public is not only a noble calling, but also financially rewarding, he said.
The Prime Minister described the continuous increase in the importance and size of the settlements around Budapest in recent years as a spectacular phenomenon. He pointed out that Szigetszentmiklós, which has doubled in size since the beginning of the 1990s, would not have been able to create its administration centre from its own resources, and therefore the Government made an allocation of HUF 4.4 billion to help the settlement refurbish a dilapidated building for the purpose.
János Lázár, the Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office, said that in 2010 the Government set out to make regional public administration simpler, faster and cheaper. Six years ago there were 29 government windows available for the administration of 29 types of case, but today the 270th government window was opened. In the past six years a great many organisational units have been integrated into the government office and district office structure, 197 districts have been created, and 25,000 civil servants deal with the administration of the public’s everyday affairs.
He said that last year people contacted government offices in relation to some 24 million cases, and the government window now opened is expected to deal with the affairs of some five hundred people.
Mr. Lázár said that waiting times have shortened, and the number of cases which Hungarian public administration is able to process in under eight days has increased significantly.