"The first steps towards an e-government were made back in 1996, which means this initiative is already 20 years old,” said Andrew Stott, the World Bank International Expert, at a discussion of the Digital Government: Prospects for Russia report, whose draft was earlier presented at the Analytical Center. The document contains strategic recommendations for creating a digital government in line with the best international practices and adapted to Russian realities. It was prepared by World Bank experts in cooperation with the Information Society Development Institute.
“People mostly use the e-government to get information rather than services,” Andrew Stott noted. “At the same time utilization of online services remains extremely low and a lot of people regard them as not particularly convenient.” Speaking of the under-utilization of the e-government, Mr. Stott noted, that while a lot of money had been invested in the e-government, the return on investment has been really modest: a lot of interesting projects were never implemented and the vast majority of the investments never produced any tangible results. The expert believes that in order to ensure effectiveness, development of the e-government system must come hand in hand with administrative reforms. In addition, the e-government must be created in the first place and only then a transition to the digital government can be made, the expert believes.
What should a Digital Government be depends on the stakeholders, said Mr. Stott. “From the point of view of the general public, the digital government must be accessible everywhere and at all times, including from mobile devices, so the use of mobile phones in transactions must be reevaluated,” the expert explained. “It must also be personalized and based around the problem-solution paradigm, and be offered in a manner that makes people trust it more than the alternatives.” From the government point of view it must be digital throughout, with the bulk of procedures using data rather than documents, Mr. Stott noted. In addition, the digital government must share same data sets in the state governance system. In addition, it must feature integrated sensors, integrated analytics and automation of routine procedures.
“From the point of view of the general public, the digital government must be accessible everywhere and at all times, including from mobile devices, so the use of mobile phones in transactions must be reevaluated.”
World Bank International Expert
Speaking about the digital government strategy, Yuri Khokhlov, the chair of the Board of Directors of the Information Society Development Institute, noted that Russia needs to reassess, expand and strengthen its strategy for the transition to digital government and develop a detailed strategy for the transition to digital administrative processes. It is equally important to develop plans for how information and communications technologies can best be utilized by each federal state authority. Enumerating the principles that must apply when offering digital state services, the expert mentioned platform-independence and emphasis on mobile devices as well as usability in service design.
In April, the Analytical Center is holding a series of expert discussions about the key elements of the e-government system level project.
Schedule of upcoming discussions:
April 14th: E-Government 2020 System-Level Project for the Russian Federation E-Government Architecture
April 18th: E-Government 2020 System-Level Project for the Russian Federation Security and Trust for E-Government
April 21st: E-Government 2020 System-Level Project for the Russian Federation Managing E-Government Development
April 25th: E-Government 2020 System-Level Project for the Russian Federation Provisional Plan for E-Government Development in Russia