Contribution of Unified Billing System in Facilitating Public Service Delivery: the Case of Selected Lehulu Centers in Addis Ababa

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Addis Ababa University


The Unified Billing System (UBS) project, as part of E-Gov initiatives, is one of the major interventions by the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT), Ethiopia, to unify the bill payment of various utilities for the convenience and benefit of citizens. It focuses on enhancing the quality of Service available to the citizen through re-defining the way citizens pay their utility bills which was introduced based on public-private partnership between the Ministry of Information and Communication and a private company named Kifiya Financial Technology. With this premise, this paper is an attempt to understand the contribution of UBS and its various challenges and bottlenecks that are being faced in making this system sustainable. The system is able to reduce the burden the government face financially and in deploying the essential expertise, it has also created an opportunity to improve government service delivery to citizens, and within government agencies by creating more transparency, greater convenience, less corruption, revenue growth and cost reduction. It has also created job opportunities to the young unemployed. It is however, noteworthy that these perceived benefits to the citizens from this project can only be accrued when Lehulu centres met the expectation of citizens and accelerate the service delivery. The study also reveals that there was lack of coordination at the government’s end in terms of having no structured framework for complaint handling and no risk mitigation plan in place for a project of this dimension. Moreover, as the system is not yet synchronized, citizens are charged more than their regular bill. This is of utmost importance in order to upgrade UBS as a key actor to enhance public service delivery. The study calls for an improved enabling environment for citizens like UBS to improve integrated Public Service Delivery. Keywords: Public Service Delivery, E-Government, Integrated Service Delivery, UBS-Lehulu



Public service delivery, E-Government, Integrated service delivery, UBS-Lehulu