Chile turns to the internet to make government more accessible

The Chilean government is at the forefront of an international push to streamline the bureaucratic process into the digital age.  

As anyone who has ever had to apply for a visa, collect a pension, seek a government permit or had just about any run in with state bureaucracy around the world can tell you, dealing with government institutions can be a drawn-out and exasperating experience.
So Monday’s launch by the Chilean government of a new initiative that aims to cut down on the bureaucratic process for everyday Chileans must have come as a welcome relief for locals and expats alike.
Rolling out 142 offices throughout the country, the networked project combines access to nine government departments, which would previously have only been accessible through their own separate offices.
Speaking at  the official launch at the presidential palace, La Moneda, on Wednesday, Labor Minister Evelyn Matthei said that the initiative would mean that residents of many smaller cities will no longer have to travel to regional hubs every time they need to fill out a government form, but will be able to do it from a Chile Atiende office.
On the digital front, the project aims to bring the services of the state into people’s homes with a website that provides information from all nine of the different state departments.
The website should give access to more than 1,800 services, procedures and benefits offered by the public institutions, which will complement plans to make the country a technological hub for the region.
President Sebastián Piñera said that the process would horizontally integrate government services that had previously been vertically arranged, moving from meeting the needs of the state to meeting those of its citizens.
The project includes access to Chile’s national health fund, consumer service, training and employment service, housing sector service and welfare service, among others. For more information, see the Chile Atiende website.