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Ponta Delgada ,  August 26, 2010

Restructuring of Social Security moves ahead this year

The Government of the Azores will carry out the structuring of Social Security later this year, thus promoting a simpler structure in order t improve the quality and efficiency of the services rendered to citizens and companies.
The announcement was made by the Regional Secretariat for Labour and Social Solidarity during a press conference on the restructuring of Social Security that was held in Ponta Delgada on Monday.
The proposal for Regional Legislative Decree, which was submitted to the Parliament, envisages the establishment of the Institute for the Social Development of the Azores and the Social Security Financial Management Institute of the Azores. 
The Institute for the Social Development of the Azores is the result of the fusion of the Social Security Management Institute with the Social Work Institute. It will be divided into four departments: Benefits and Contributions; Attendance, Social Work and Resource Management.
In turn, the Social Security Financial Management Institute of the Azores will integrate the Social Security Financial Management Centre, being divided into two departments: Financial Management; Budget, Accounting, Assets and Support Services. 
This initiative also meets the need to redirect public expenditure, that is, “less for resources and more for the people,” because, according to Ana Paula Marques, “an oversized administration is not only expensive: it creates bureaucracy, hampers the dialogue with citizens, companies and communities and constantly tends to demand more resources.”
For the Regional Secretary, the reform of the regional Social Security Institutions which now starts is part of “a vast process to reform the Social Security of the Azores.” It will correspond to a change in the legal framework of social security subsystem, with special emphasis to new forms of cooperation between the Regional Administration and the IPSS (Private Social Solidarity Institutions), as well as to the creation of the Integrated Computer System to Support Social Decision that will the promote the simplification and rationalisation of the administrative procedures supporting the Social Work services in the Azores.
Moreover, the new changes also aim to provide all Social Security services from a single point, the optimisation of local services, the standardisation of procedures in the various points of contact with citizens, a closer monitoring of taxpayers which will be possible with the existence of the Taxpayer Manager associated to the Attendance Integrated Unit. Consequently, the costs with infrastructures associated to the installation of some local services will be reduced and the resources will be allocated to other areas with recruitment needs.
According to the Regional Secretary, the restructuring of Social Security will also enable the reduction of staff costs in 21% in the long term without need for dismissal, just by reducing new admissions and reallocating resources for other services.
In addition to reducing costs, the savings may also reduce the pressure on the regional budget, reinforce the intervention on the field and allocate the resources to other services, mainly of the Regional Secretariat for Labour and Social Solidarity.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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