March 5, 2008
For immediate release
Tenth Anniversary of Access PEI Sites
Development and Technology
The first Access PEI site was opened in Summerside March 1998. Minister Brown says the sites, which are located in eight communities across the Province, have been a great success.
“Access PEI is a vital part of our Island communities,” said Minister Brown. “These sites allow one office to deliver a variety of government services, and Islanders appreciate the convenience of being able to go to one location to renew a driver’s license, get a fishing license or pay property tax.”
The first site was staffed with employees from the Regional Services Centre, Highway Safety, Property Tax and the Land Registry Office, and those employees were trained so they were knowledgeable about the programs and services offered by other government departments, he said.
Minister Brown said government employees are committed to providing high-quality customer service. “Every year, thousands of Islanders receive services at these sites in person, on-line or on the telephone,” he said. “Our employees do a very good job of offering efficient, convenient service.”
Premier Ghiz and Minister Brown invite Islanders to visit the Summerside Access PEI site, 120 Harbour Drive, on Thursday March 6 at 2 p.m. for cake and celebrations.
ACCESS PEI'S TENTH ANNIVERSARY BACKGROUNDER
The Government of Prince Edward Island created Regional Services Centres in the 1960's to provide a location for Islanders to obtain government programs and services. Other departments also had sites throughout the province delivering a wide variety of provincial government programs and services. This meant that Islanders were required to go to several locations to obtain provincial government programs and services which meant lining up in several locations. This was frustrating and time consuming.
The Red Tape Review conducted by the Government of PEI helped initiate the creation of Access PEI. The process began in the fall of 1996 after Islanders indicated they wanted single-window, easily accessible government service.
A Steering Committee of government officials was established in 1997 to create the first Access PEI. Many hours were spent establishing information technology infrastructure and training staff who were required to learn about many new programs in order to offer a variety of services at one wicket.
Access PEI Summerside opened the doors in March 1998. It was the first Access PEI ever opened in the province. The site combined staff from the Regional Services Centre, Highway Safety and Property Tax and Land Registry offices into one location staffing common wickets. Staff were cross trained so that Islanders only had to line up at one wicket to obtain multiple services rather than lining up in several locations
Currently, there are eight Access PEI sites in Tignish, Alberton, O’Leary, Wellington, Summerside, Charlottetown, Montague and Souris.
Access PEI offers hundreds of services on behalf of many government departments. Islanders have embraced the concept of being able to go to one location to obtain many government services. Islanders are pleased with being able to line up once to renew their driver’s license, register a vehicle, pay property tax, purchase a fishing license or remit a tourism payment. In the course of a year, Access PEI staff provide services to thousands of Islanders and answer thousands of phone calls.