Approaches Made by the Local Governments Business Division
Helping to Improve Service to Residents and Management Reform in Municipal Administration through Effective Use of the Latest ICT
The Local Governments Business Division offers specialized information services to help promote the welfare of residents through enhancing efficiency in administrative works, in line with one of TKC's business objectives stipulated in its Articles of Incorporation (Article 2, Paragraph 2: "Management of EDP centers for the purposes of improving the administrative efficiency of local governments").
Environment Surrounding Local Governments
With the declining birthrate, aging of the population, and ensuing decline in population, and with the trend towards new ICT, which is claimed to be the fourth industrial revolution, the management of municipal administration and service to residents are now reaching a major turning point.
In May 2017, the government announced the "Declaration to be the World's Most Advanced IT Nation Myna-Portal (My Number Portal Website by the Government) Basic Plan for the Advancement of Public and Private Sector Data Utilization", and the "Digital Government Strategy" and recognized the "digital government" as the focus policy for IT strategy, where administrative services will be reviewed from the viewpoint of going "digital", aiming at enhancing convenience of users (administration, the public and business) as a whole.
As the basis for the approach, local municipalities are required to "introduce the cloud-based services for municipalities" and "disseminate and expand the use of My Number Cards."
The government is particularly accelerating its efforts for introducing cloud-based services for municipalities, setting the target of full implementation to municipalities from the fiscal year 2020. Local municipalities, in response, are promoting the establishment of plans for the implementation. From the perspective of using the My Number Cards, it is urgent to realize the Certificate Issuing Service at Convenience Stores, and the One-stop Child-rearing Support Service utilizing the Myna-Portal in all municipalities.
Furthermore, as the threat of cyberattacks targeting public institutions increases, "drastic strengthening of information security measures" remains an important issue.
Leading Cloud-based Services Offered by TKC
Over the years, TKC has supported the "implementation of optimal business processes at optimal costs" in local governments, through the provision of the latest ICT.
Currently, TKC offers the TKC Government Cloud Service to municipalities nationwide, with the TKC Internet Service Center (TISC) as its service base. The number of municipalities using the service has reached about 900.
The TKC Government Cloud Service consists of the TASK Cloud Service that supports various operations of service to residents and mission-critical and intra-office information systems, and the Outsourcing Service that supports bulk printing processes such as tax notifications.
It has the following benefits:
- It supports the entire operational functionalities ranging from system development to operation of data centers, thereby achieving "safety, security, and convenience."
- It provides a system as one package, without any need to customize: the "Software in a rental method", in which any expenses for modification in response to minor amendments to laws are absorbed in the monthly subscription fee.
TASK Cloud Service, above all, enables municipalities nationwide to share a single packaged system operated at TISC, whether used by one of them independently or shared by multiple municipalities. This feature has drawn attention from the viewpoint of cloud-based services for municipalities promoted by the national government and this service now boasts its largest number of implementation cases in this field.
In response to environmental changes surrounding local governments, TKC is promoting the following approaches:
Helping local governments to carry out "Administrative Service Reforms"
Taking the opportunity of adapting to the Social Security and Tax Number System, we have revamped all TASK Cloud Services in order to help local governments adapt to the review of operational process and system reforms required by the national government.
In developing the system, we have taken into consideration the opinions given by more than 150 employees of municipalities who have rich experience and expertise in business practices. This has enabled us to enhance the functionality of the system so that it allows even staff with limited experience (such as new hires, temporary staff, or contractors) to carry out the process in an optimized manner without wondering what to do or making mistakes or omissions, helping to optimize and standardize the administrative operations.
In January 2017, we completed the transition to the New Generation TASK Cloud in all of the municipalities (approximately 130 municipalities) that use TKC's mission-critical systems for the Basic Resident Registration System and taxation. As a result, the customer municipalities are now equipped with an environment that can respond flexibly to administrative service reforms on the premise of going "digital" that the national government is promoting, including information linkage.
Helping to achieve "efficient and appropriate government finance"
Municipalities are required to put "accrual basis accounting" (double entry bookkeeping) into practice as a mechanism to supplement the ongoing "cash basis accounting" (single entry bookkeeping), and to prepare and disclose financial documents based on the new mechanism and utilize it for making its finance more efficient and appropriate.
TKC offers a system that supports the administrative management cycle in a comprehensive manner, from planning to budgeting, closing of accounts, preparing financial statements and evaluation, including the TASK Cloud Public Accounting System which supports the daily journalizing (real-time journalizing) method. The TASK Cloud Public Accounting System in particular is recognized widely for its ease of use such as "highly accurate automatic journalizing" with patented technology and is used by 73 (about 65% of the total) of the 113 municipalities nationwide adopting the daily journalizing method.
TKC also offers a new function that helps to "make the best use" for the management of assets and liabilities which are financial information, budget compilation, policy assessment and more, and strives to help municipalities to "enhance administrative management by utilizing accounting information" and "make its finance more efficient and appropriate."
Helping to adapt to "Administrative Service Going Digital"
TKC passed the "LGWAN-ASP service connection/registration qualification test" (application and contents service) in 2003, the first of its kind for private companies. Since then, we have been developing and providing numerous cloud services utilizing LGWAN and actively making efforts to spread the use of electronic administrative services. For instance, TKC, as an authorized contractor of the Council for the Digitization of Local Taxes, the registration of which was made in April 2010, offers the TASK Cloud Local Tax Electronic Filing Support Service. In particular, the Local Tax Electronic Filing Inspection Service promoted by TKC and its 46 alliance partners has been adopted by as many as 740 local governments (prefectures and municipalities) nationwide.
The national government is actively promoting the use of the My Number Cards for carrying out more convenient electronic administration services and has requested municipalities to promptly introduce the "service for issuing certificates at convenience stores." TKC offers the TASK Cloud Convenience Store Certificate Issuing System to meet this request. Being the first cloud service targeting municipalities throughout the country, the system has numerous cases of implementation, and is continually receiving inquiries from municipalities including government-designated cities. TKC is helping to put the application and other processes online utilizing the Myna-Portal, such as by offering the TASK Cloud One-stop Child-rearing Support Service from July 2017.
In October 2016, TKC established the New Product Planning Promotion Office as a special department for research and commercialization of these next-generation administrative services and put the system in place to actively support municipal customers in addressing the issue.
We expect that the amendments to legislation will continue to arise in the future, greatly influencing the work of local governments. TKC is committed to creating new values that customers appreciate and enhancing support system by creating innovation that utilizes the latest technology, and to helping local governments to achieve "management reform" and "creation of new electronic administrative services."
Reliable Support Structure for Customers
In an effort to support customers, TKC is engaged in various approaches in addition to offering our systems:
- 1. Disseminating the latest information
- In addition to issuing "Kaze (Fresh Air)", an information magazine for local governments, we provide varied information that is useful for administrative works at local governments via "TKC Express" and "FAX Express" publications.
- 2. Adapting to amendments to legislation
- The basic policy for design and development of TKC systems is determined based on requests, proposals, and suggestions made by customers in their business practices. This is based on TKC's unique idea of aiming to provide a more optimal system through mutual collaboration between customers being "business professionals", and TKC, an "ICT expert".
In case of the establishment of new legislation or its substantial amendment in particular, the System Research Council is organized inviting administrative staff in municipalities to discuss and study how to respond from the institutional and technical points of view, in order to achieve a smooth transition. TKC, for its part, plays the role of supporting the management of the research council as the organizer, and incorporates the outcomes into the system design and development activities.
- 3. Organizing Seminars and Workshops
- TKC organizes seminars nationwide, covering the latest trends of ICT, establishment and amendment of legislation and administrative management. In addition, we offer individual workshops tailored to various requests from customers.