“What is wrong with you to start working in a completely divided market?” A logical question; and therefore a nice topic to write about for the first blog on the Parlaeus website. To be fair, all Dutch municipalities already have their own solutions for so-called “paperless meetings” or for dealing with certain cases or DM-systems. What are you going to tell “the market” to make people your client?
I could tell you that it’s all about stable solutions, as it’s simply nice to profit from a good solution. I can assure you that we can make the work a lot easier for clerks, councillors and civil servants. I can assure you that our solution works intuitively. Or I could assure you that it’s decreasing costs. Good for new clients: more for less.
However, that’s not it. Of course, our solution works more than fine. Yes, we improve efficiency and our solution is very user friendly. Yes, we work with marked-based prices. But this is not our strength. Then, what is?
The afternoon I wrote this, I was cycling through the polder near my hometown. At a certain moment, we could not cycle further. A unit from the municipal fire service was called out to a haystack fire. To control the fire, water was pumped from a nearby stream and fire hoses were blocking the road. To not disrupt the pumping, nobody was allowed to pass.
The weather was lovely, so the group of cyclers that had to turn around became bigger and bigger. Luckily, there was an ice cream stall, a couple of hundreds of meters away from the place where the fire hoses blocked the street. Instead of enjoying the blessed sun and the delicious ice cream, people started to murmur. Complaining, swearing even, because of people just doing their jobs. There was no understanding at all for authorities trying to save a farmer’s buildings from the fire. There were only complaints about some slight inconvenience standing in their way. It was a perfect illustration of what I see a lot these days in our country. We are living perfectly good lives; all matters are settled. But still, the connection between the (local) authorities – and its representatives – is mostly horrible.
The gap between citizens and authorities and the belonging management board worries me. The cause of this gap is very complex. As a former journalist, I have heard lots of stories about failing public authorities, about politicians that do not listen properly, incompetence, you name it. It is not hard to say what is wrong, as there are more than enough errors in the system. However, I do not want to be a part of the nay-say-community and the complainers. I want to do something. And that is exactly the reason why I fully commit to Parlaeus. Apart from the efficiency and the stability that we offer, our vision to connect citizens and authorities is the very most important and distinctive thing. It makes us relevant.
Dualism gone too far
We are convinced that, with the help of modern technology, we can seriously contribute to fixing that gap. Our solution brings an end to automatic dualism gone too far in the town hall. We recover the connection between the civil services and the Council and we deal with the information gap that citizens struggle with. In all of this, we take the legal division of powers into account. It might take some mission work to really make this clear, but it’s worth it.
We see a lot of possibilities to strengthen and improve the information position of councillors, citizens and the clerk. We are working on some beautiful ideas, but we also think there are many more ideas to be found when we talk with clerks, councillors, civil servants and authorities. Therefore, we would like to cooperate.
Yes, I hear you think: “Pretty story, but don’t you just want to make money?” Shortly put: of course. We would like to receive a fair reward for the work we do and the risk we take. But still, if you want to work in a market that has already been divides, you’re either naïve or you really have something to say. I bet on the last.
Work with us
We believe that our deepest motivation – recovering the connection between citizens and the authorities – connects us with clerks, councillors, aldermen, mayors and civil servants, worrying just as much as we do about the gap between citizens and the authorities. At the deepest level, this is what makes Parlaeus different. We would love to invite you to work with us.