One stop shops have been identified as a solution to the problems associated with service provision. The key is ‘bringing services together under one roof’; both for providers to share costs and to make it easier for people to access a range of services in one place.
One stop shops have mainly been used to extend the range of services on offer to the public, and improve their quality. In several cases entirely new services were offered which could not – or would not – have been provided in any other way.
One stop shops commonly face a range of problems with the initiation, startup, and running phases of the project. These include many things such as relatively large capital funding needs in relation to the size of the population and the service they provide or problems with certain types of partnership where, for example, different partners or different client groups are more powerful or carry greater weight.
One stop shops can be very effective in improving service provision, and so public policy should be supportive. However, one stop shops are a means of generating and maintaining community involvement in improving the range and quality of services and achieving greater integration on the ground rather than a means of reducing public expenditure or centralizing public services and this should be recognized.
The Addis Ababa Investment Agency recently started to offer a one stop shop service to alleviate the problems encountered by investors and to create favorable investment atmosphere in the capital. The purpose of one stop shop service is to help businesspersons get efficient services in one place.
The previous service was considered as long and discouraging and the one stop service was expected to create a conducive and competitive investment climate.
Many of the problems here arise because of very different administrative cultures and/or structures pertaining to different providers sharing the same facility.
The new one-window duty free service launched a month ago by the Addis Ababa Investment Agency has been facing severe criticism from customers who have deemed it to be ‘too time consuming.’ The duty free service, previously provided by the customs office took a maximum of four days; the new service given by Investment Agency now takes six to ten days.
Customers are forced to waste time, left unable to meet deadlines. The process is now taking ten days to bring out imported machineries from customs. “The main reason the government has allowed us to import in the machines duty free is because the work we are doing is of great priority to the country. That means we should not lose a single day of work, we should not be idle. But because of sluggish work procedures in the agency we are wasting our time; we can’t work without our equipment”