Requesting a document or completing a process with an administration often has an impact on users’ free time. The virtual counter offers an easy, practical solution for a reduced administrative burden for citizens and companies.
A more practical public service
You probably know about Tax-on-web, the federal website that allows you to complete your tax returns online. This is an example of a virtual counter.
When we talk about a virtual counter, we generally mean an online tool that allows the administration’s users to find all the administrative information they need or to complete administrative formalities such as their tax returns. This avoids them having to make one or several trips for the same issue.
What are the benefits for users? They can submit requests when they want, where they want. They do not have to take into consideration opening times for the regional and municipal administrations and can receive documents by letter or email. A real benefit for the user and a solution as well to reduce road congestion!
Virtual counters in Brussels
In the Brussels-Capital Region, the IRISbox virtual counter offers dozens of online processes at both municipal and regional levels. Parking card applications, change of address notifications or even household composition requests are just a few examples of documents you can get now with a computer, a tablet or smartphone.
You would like to start a business in Brussels? Visit the website 1819.brussels which contains all the information about business under various practical subjects: business creation, aids and subsidies, advice, etc.
Some Brussels administrations have also developed specialist virtual counters, as is the case with Osiris, developed by Brussels Mobility. Brussels companies can use this tool to provide online notifications of building projects that may impact roads or traffic in the Brussels Region. This centralisation helps the administrations to coordinate and validate the building sites while maintaining traffic flows for mobility in the Brussels Region.
As a Brussels agency, Easybrussels also supports virtual counters and federal tools such as Mon Dossier/Mijn Dossier and the Local Registration Application (LRA). Mon Dossier/Mijn Dossier allows citizens to consult their personal files in the National Registry and download documents such as the household composition or residency certificate free of charge. The LRA allows administrations to issue a digital key to citizens who do not have an electronic identity card (eID), so that they can easily access online administrations using a unique code sent by SMS or a username and password.
So, is this goodbye to the physical counter?
Not necessarily. Easybrussels aims to boost the deployment of digital solutions, particularly through the BRIC (Brussels Regional Informatics Centre), which facilitates administrative simplification and is designed to make processes more convenient for citizens and businesses in Brussels.
However, it is essential to ensure that administrations adopt an inclusive approach traditional “physical” services alongside digital solutions guarantees service availability to all public service users. Since Easybrussels and the regional administrations are also responsible for combating the digital divide.