Public Services Will Soon Have Daily In Person Attendance Hours

Written By Manuel Poças

In the official journal of the Portuguese Republic, the Portuguese Council of Ministers recently published a resolution determining that all public services must guarantee face-to-face service without appointment, and make real-time information available about their capacity and waiting times.

The Government declared that “all public services and public administration entities that provide services to the public,” regardless of whether they are integrated in a Citizen’s Shop (Loja do Cidadão) or not, will now ensure service hours “without the need for prior appointment, on a daily basis.”

Simultaneously, public services will have to make available to the public, both in Portuguese and in English, information about the services, in an “adequate, complete, and updated” way, on their websites and physical locations, as well as the continuous indication, live, of their waiting times.

Telephonic translation service in languages other than Portuguese and English must be disseminated through the Migrant Helpline of the Agency for Integration, Migration, and Asylum (AIMA).

For citizens with deficiencies or incapacities, elderly visitors, pregnant ladies, and people accompanied by young children, there will be tickets allowing priority service.

The resolution also requests that each entity delivers a study, within 180 days, that includes the “survey of the quantity and training adequacy of the human resources of the services for the functions of public service, as well as any necessary improvements in the physical facilities where it is provided;” the “identification of services exclusively provided in person, justifying such need or the susceptibility for their dematerialization;” and the “evaluation of the impacts of the telework regime, by service workers,” for the fulfillment of face-to-face service.

Luís Montenegro’s Government also recommended that the administrative bodies of the autonomous regions and respective local authorities, as well as the local and regional administration entities, adopt these rules, so that they are applied uniformly throughout the country.

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