Sesimbra | Photo: Adobe Stock

The number of users of Infracontrol Online in Portugal continues to grow, and the service is now available in more than 30 of the country’s municipalities. It is mainly used to receive and handle comments and fault reports from residents and helps streamline and simplify the management of streets, parks, buildings and technical installations. A major user conference was recently held in Sesimbra, where current users shared their experiences with municipalities that have not yet joined the service.

Nuno Batista da Silva, the adviser to the mayor of Sesimbra, explains the background to the choice to use Infracontrol Online in its operations:

– When we decided to get a support system for our technical management in Sesimbra, we visited other municipalities with experience in this to see which could be the best system to adapt to our needs. As soon as we got to know Infracontrol, we knew we had found the right tool. We have now been using the service for almost two years. It simplifies and streamlines our management, makes our work much smarter and more rational and creates added value for everyone who works, lives or is a visitor in Sesimbra.

Active citizenship in Torres Vedras

One of Infracontrol’s first customers in Portugal was Torres Vedras, where Infracontrol Online has been operating since 2014. The municipality is located 40 km north of Lisbon and has about 83,000 inhabitants. There is a strong agricultural industry here, but the municipality is also important for trade, industry and tourism. Dalia Jesus is responsible for the “Citizenship and Participation Department” and said that the service contributes to improved cooperation between residents, municipalities and other actors:

– The municipality of Torres Vedras wants to run an open and accessible administration. Citizens’ experiences and participation are valuable assets to achieve this. That is why we introduced Infracontrol Online, under the name “Alerta TVedras”, and have thus created better conditions for a responsible citizen policy. Our experience is that the system strengthens the citizens’ relationship with the municipality, encourages active citizenship and gives us important information on how to improve our service and create a more sustainable society in the municipal administration.

Dalia Jesus said that the goal was to expand Alerta TVedras to all municipalities in the municipality and use the service in the areas of health care, schools and social services. It is now possible to collect inquiries, error reports and comments and identify deviations in the same system, contributing to faster and more efficient efforts from the municipality’s various areas of activity.

The app for comments and error reports provides the municipality with valuable information from the citizens.

Simplifies municipal administration

Martinho Gonçalves, responsible for Infracontrol’s operations in Portugal, says that one of the most important strengths of Infracontrol Online is that municipalities can automate the flow of cases from error reports or alarms to the person who is to act.

– The various cases reach the right person quickly and easily. This means they are remedied much faster, and the municipality can invest resources in other things. Connecting technical alarms is an important possibility, as you can then automate even more and detect errors before they cause any problems.

He says that the municipalities feel they have better control over their operations and thus can improve their service. They get access to valuable feedback from the residents, and they have better control over all ongoing cases and their resolution.

Johan Höglund, CEO of Infracontrol, was one of the speakers at the conference in Sesimbra.

A growing community

During the conference in Sesimbra, about 70 participants from existing and new users of Infracontrol Online, such as Espinho, Vila Verde and Moita, met and shared their experiences with future users. The speakers included representatives of Cascais, Torres Vedras and Sesimbra.

– Each new municipality that joins Infracontrol becomes an important member of the Infracontrol Community, where they can share experiences with the total of about 150 Portuguese and Swedish municipalities that are now part of the community, said Johan Höglund, CEO of Infracontrol.