Fri, Apr 27, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Taipei government to offer household e-mail addresses

EASY ACCESS Residents will be able to personalize their accounts to select what kind of information they want to receive on city events and policies

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taipei City Government is planning to give out e-mail accounts to provide municipal information and personalized services as part of its efforts to improve public services.

The city government is working to computerize all its administrative functions and will provide e-mail accounts to a total of 950,000 households in the city. The accounts are intended to give residents better access to municipal services and the latest information at home.

"More and more people depend on the Internet for information nowadays, and so we think the e-mails could be a great medium for the city government to promote municipal policies and provide services," said Chang Chun-hung (張俊宏), director of the city government's Information Center.

However, no date has been fixed yet for launching the service, as the government is still working on the infrastructure, he said.

Besides providing information on municipal policies, the service will allow residents to personalize their accounts by selecting information they want to receive, such as cultural events or traffic situation updates, Chang said.

The city government will aim for a service-oriented institution at the community level, Chang said.

When they need help or information, they can dial 1999. The call center provides immediate assistance to residents and bridges communications between residents and the local government, he said.

E-mail accounts will be provided according to the number given to each household in the city, and each household will receive one free e-mail account once the infrastructure is ready this year, Chang said.

For those who don't have Internet access, he encouraged them to take advantage of the call center, which was launched in 2004 to provide residents with services in several languages 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year round.

Taipei residents can simply dial the "1999" hotline with inquiries about city government affairs. Staff at the hotline can also provide information on upcoming events or help transfer calls to relevant agencies.

Foreign residents and visitors in Taipei can also use the hotline to inquire about residency, employment, medical care, education, marriage and household registration, he said.

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