The City of Nuremberg won the "Digital Award" with the housing benefit robot, a prize that was presented for the first time at Kommunale. Every two years, mayors and procurement decision-makers from cities and municipalities come together at the Nuremberg exhibition centre for Germany's largest trade fair for public administration and municipal needs.
Following the introduction of Housing Benefit Plus, the city of Nuremberg had to deal with a threefold increase in the number of people entitled to apply and, as a result, a lack of capacity, overtime and ever longer processing times. As the Franconian metropolis has been committed to process optimisation for years as part of its digitalisation strategy, the solution was quickly found: A software robot that independently carries out data synchronisation in the background and files incoming housing benefit applications online in the e-file for further processing after checking them in the specialist procedure. "The housing benefit robot was quickly accepted as a new 'team member'," says a delighted Dieter Frank, Head of Housing at the Nuremberg Social Welfare Office.
With around 2,500 hours saved, the 2023 robot will have a positive impact on administrative work and Nuremberg residents will also benefit from faster processing of their applications. The expert jury nominated the housing benefit robot in the "Digital Award" category for cities and municipalities with over 20,000 inhabitants. After public online voting with over 5,000 votes cast, the city of Nuremberg emerged as one of three winners.
Be inspired and imitate - that is the idea behind the introduction of the "Digital Award" at the Kommunale. Or as Felix Ebner, CEO of Databund e.V. and member of the expert jury, puts it: "They exist, the best-practice examples of administrative digitalisation. The purpose of the Digital Award is to present them in the spotlight and draw attention to them."
Too little strategy, too bureaucratic, too sluggish - the topic of administrative digitalisation has not come off particularly well in the public debate for years. It is therefore all the more pleasing that a total of 25 municipalities, districts, ministries and other authorities from all over Germany submitted remarkable projects for the premiere of the "Digital Award". In a multi-stage jury process, three finalists were then selected in each of three categories.
In addition to the highly topical issues of climate change and the energy transition, a lot of space was given to digitalisation at this year's Kommunale. In addition to the focus on innovative projects and best-practice examples at the "Digital Award", topics such as construction management, IT security & law and smart city were on the agenda at the "Digital Congress", the centrepiece of the digitalisation focus at NCC Mitte. Municipal decision-makers were able to engage in direct dialogue at the "Digital Talk" to discuss topics that are currently burning issues and will occupy municipalities in the coming years. For Municipal Association President Dr Uwe Brandl, the Kommunale is and remains a successful product: "This year, we have once again addressed the key topics of the municipal family and analysed and discussed them with a very interested audience."