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Lebanon Municipalities to introduce computerized maps of information

Municipalities throughout Lebanon are getting a helping hand in their fight against corruption and inefficiency from a new program that will generate computerized “maps” of information. Head of Jounieh municipality’s IT department, Fawzi Baroud, said: “Think of a map of Jounieh where you can zoom in on a house and find out everything about it, from taxes owed, to its size, to number of residents and so on.” He added: “It is basically the computerization of the municipalities. This is an important step towards efficienct control of municipality activities.”

As part of the program, a municipal GIS will be implemented over the next two years in 20 municipalities to create a computerized “mapping” of some 70 layers of physical, financial and taxpayer data. The GIS has already been implemented in Jounieh as a pilot project, where inspectors are using the system to evaluate “pending municipal transactions for citizens as well as overdue transactions.”

According to a statement released by Usaid: “Lack of information, inadequate human resources, corruption, inability to enforce laws etc. are components of a multifaceted problem that has lessened municipal effectiveness in Lebanon in providing services and infrastructure to local communities.” The statement further said: “Specifically, the system will enable all cadastral, financial and administrative data related to municipal taxpayers to be maintained and tracked.”