Civitas Foundation for civil Society and Odorheiu Secuiesc Municipality
What began as a temporary project turned into a permanent community service. The Citizens advice bureau was created 14 years ago, and because of the need it represents at community level it is still a support for locals. Just like 14 years ago, the office’s role is to help people on the legislative side. The main areas where services are offered are as follows: health, social services, labour relations, consumer protection, civil rights and obligations, property regimes, taxes and fees, education, notary, child protection and public services. Since the service was launched the office work is carried out following the same 4 principles:
• Free of charge services- the service is accessible to every citizen
• Data privacy
• Independence from political interests
• Impartial character
The Bureau does not solve the citizen’s problem, but it offers alternatives to solve problems. It helps locals be informed before taking a decision. In order to facilitate access to legal information, besides the office work, we also created a weekly column in a local newspaper, where we present news or the latest legislative changes. The public of the bureau consists mostly of people over the age of 50, and the most frequently debated topic is related to social security. Statistically, on average per year, our office provides counselling services for 1100 people.