Global e-government forum in Seoul
Just the other day, the “Global e-Government Forum: Smart E-Government for a Better Future” was held in Seoul, organized by the Ministry of Public Administration and Security of the Republic of Korea and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
The forum brought together about 300 people – ministers, high-level officials from international organizations, government officials, academics and representatives from the IT industry – and provided a venue for sharing and discussing the most relevant e-government policies and best practices between governments, international organizations, academia and civil society.
Chairman of the CIS Interstate Committee on Knowledge Dissemination and Adult Education Efim Malitikov took part in the Congress on the personal invitation of the Head of the Korean Ministry of State Administration and Security Meng Hyung-kyu, which noted: “Your participation and contribution will ensure the success of the forum as well as further strengthening of our friendly bilateral relations.
Indeed. Mr. Malitikov’s report “E-government in Russia in 2012: preliminary estimates” aroused great interest among the participants of the Congress, and at the end of the Forum Yefim Malitikov and Meng Hyung Kyu signed a Memorandum of Agreement between the CIS Interstate Committee for Knowledge and Adult Education and the Ministry of Public Administration and Security of the Republic of Korea (MOPAS).
E-Government in Russia in 2012: Preliminary Assessment
“Globalization has inexorably come into our world. It has predetermined the lives of future generations and is dictating its terms to governments. It either makes us its victims or its riders.
Globalization has brought new derivatives and terms into our glossary, which have entered our everyday speech. They are widely used in the media and the Internet: informatization, digitalization, internetization, smart house, e-government and others.
Residents of Russia and the CIS countries, who have entered the digital civilization, actively use the terms “electronic government” and “electronic services,” forcing the authorities and bureaucracy not in words, but in deeds to comply with their intended purpose.
Globalization inevitably leads to the formation of a prototype of global e-government, as well as e-governments in individual countries. But inevitability is not passive drift in the hope that everything will “work itself out. The new always makes its way through active efforts and struggles to establish new foundations for life. It is important to understand – well-being goes out from under the foundations of even a rich country, if it in its conservative welfare, spending the savings of the previous phase of its development.
The tasks of the Millennium, its challenges and confrontations, the global problems of the planet require new knowledge, skills and technologies of planetary world order, which no single person, even a genius, and no single country in the world can cope with alone.
Over a decade and a half of my participation in numerous summit meetings I have argued and argued in favor of mass digitalization of the mechanism of power as one of the necessary steps on the way (including Russia) to a modern society.
The changes associated with digitalization must take place, first and foremost, in the very structure of society, in its governance, and, as a consequence, in the systems of interaction of government structures with each other and with the consumers of their services.
E-government is a civilizational feature.
It took Russia more than 10 years to launch the e-government program, which replaced the Federal Target Program “Electronic Russia”.
The implementation of the “e-government” project has already passed through five stages, and only by mid-2012 can significant achievements and changes be noted in this process. Since the fall of 2011 the transition to the provision of basic services in electronic form is underway. The list includes the most demanded services: traffic police, Federal Migration Service, Federal Tax Service, Pension Fund of Russia, Service for Registration of Rights to Land and Real Estate. Today the “e-government” project has spread to the Russian regions, where the authorities are connecting to the federal portal of public services, saturating it with local content. The process of fine-tuning the regulatory framework is underway. Inter-agency cooperation has improved noticeably.
In developed countries e-government is not just a reorganization of the existing relations of the population with administrative structures, but also the transformation of the principles of organization of state management. The most important criterion for the effectiveness of government structures is the satisfaction of the needs of citizens through information and communication technologies (ICT). In a number of countries, this factor has already become the most important means of increasing the efficiency of government.
In Russia it is still an expected result.
E-government opens up the possibility to help the “analog” majority of Russians overcome the huge mental lag of the “digital” minority.
The topic of e-government is inextricably linked in Russia to the topic of corruption. Corruption is generated by redundant functions of the state and incomplete division of powers between the executive authorities. Redundant functions of the state should be transferred to self-regulatory organizations.
Methodological, organizational and financial support for e-government in Russia began only in 2008.
Today authorities, bureaucracy, business and population began to perceive e-government as a reality that should be able to use and interact.
The technological basis for the digitalization of society in Russia has begun to develop rapidly. Sixty million Russians use computers and similar devices. Broadband Internet and unlimited traffic have been introduced everywhere.
The bureaucratic system of government has been forced to change its orientation and turn to the individual. Direct communication between the official and the population is reduced, thus neutralizing the very possibility of corrupt technologies.
E-government is not a supplement or an improved analogue of the old management mechanism, but a new way of interaction between the bureaucratic apparatus and the consumers of their services. The first purpose of e-government is to disseminate information about the services provided electronically.
In the late 90’s it was obvious that the increasing gap between the state structures and the objects of management threatens the stability of the state. This is why the concept of “e-government” became an integral part of the administrative reform. Paradoxically, it was developed by the bureaucrats themselves. They copied elements beneficial to them from the practices of developed countries. However, until 2010 the program “Electronic Russia” was being implemented sluggishly, despite the fact that it was approved by President Putin and adopted by the Government as a federal target program.
The reason was that there were not enough financial resources allocated to the project. And without them, even fundamentally sound scientific concepts and organizational efforts proved ineffective.
The Russian bureaucracy ignored the proposed measures, dragging out the process of decision-making and execution whenever it did not suit its usual interests. In 2008, realizing the impending failure of the program, the bureaucracy began to adjust it and reduced the broad transformation to the creation and adjustment of a narrow range of services in electronic form.
In 2011. The Audit Chamber of the Russian Federation found that out of a planned $2.5 billion, the state had allocated only $1 billion, of which only $700 million (less than 30 percent of the original intent) had actually been spent. The reduction in funding was allegedly due to “cost and goal optimization.” It was only an attempt to change the scheme and structure of public administration.
After analysis, more realistic strategies for creating a functioning e-government were developed. If in 2007 it was planned to spend $1.3 billion on e-government in Russia, in 2013 it was planned to spend $2.6 billion on ICT from the federal budget. Large, but very justifiable expenditures.
E-government is supposed to help in the fight against corruption in our country. So far the fight against corruption is limited to denunciation of rhetoric and exposure of some stiff-necked bribers. This imitation of the fight against corruption only increases the skepticism in the society concerning the prospects for its eradication in Russia.
The unscrupulousness of officials undermines faith in the usefulness of “e-government,” which is typical of many middle-income countries. Nevertheless, Russia has already begun to act electronically: The Register of State and Municipal Services, the Portal of State Services as a platform for disseminating information about them, the “Single Window” for ordering services and receiving them. A system of remote submission of documents to the tax, statistical, antitrust and customs authorities is functioning. There is a system of “Personal account” for citizens. There is an electronic key system with validation for legal entities. This made it possible to launch a number of interactive services.
Public tenders and procurements are now conducted through the public procurement portal. These processes have been implemented on the Internet resource gosuslugi.ru, which has become the “core” of e-government. Now this site informs about the services of 35 agencies, 16 of which provide them in electronic form. A lot of time will be needed for debugging, but it is necessary to go that way. Russia and the CIS countries are already moving along it.
Digitalization of services even today allows government agencies to work more clearly and quickly as each appeal is recorded and placed under control automatically. Interdepartmental interaction has improved dramatically.
However, high tariffs for connection to computer networks and their underdevelopment in a number of Russian regions hinder development and limit the possibility of e-government as a common system for the country. Nevertheless, the transformation of the very principles of the organization of government is underway.
The imperative to use electronic devices, transmission networks and other ICT is dramatically accelerating the digitalization of government agencies and their communication with people.
The plan of the information society – for the CIS countries
To conclude my speech as Chairman of the CIS Interstate Committee for Dissemination of Knowledge and Adult Education, I will say that the processes of creating e-government in the management systems of the CIS countries began in the early 2000s. More
Specifically about it representatives of Kazakhstan and Ukraine which reports are announced at our forum will tell. It is worth mentioning that the CIS countries cooperate well in this sphere.
In the summer of 2012 in Yalta the meeting of heads of CIS countries adopted a strategy of cooperation of CIS countries in building and developing the information society and the action plan for its implementation until 2015. The states of the Commonwealth are reaching a higher level of interstate relations in information interaction. Agreements on common goals and ways of achieving them help develop and implement national ICT programs.
An informed citizenry is a critical component of political stability. This is why, in the face of the destructive role of rising unemployment, poverty, poverty and poorly managed migration, the tools of development and governance must be changed lest we face even more neglected problems and crises.
As far back as 500 years ago, Machiavelli wrote: “Nothing is harder, more dangerous and uncertain than to direct the introduction of a new order of things, for every innovation has ardent enemies who have lived well in the old way, and sluggish supporters who are not sure whether they can live the new way.”
In lieu of an afterword
It is truly impossible to cover the entire scope of Yefim Malitikov’s interests in one article, because even the most recent information about his activities, contacts, and new ideas gets hopelessly old even during the preparation of the current material.
We have just received additional information from Malitikov’s press service. They inform: As a direct result of the actions taken by Yefim Mikhailovich in 2012, significant progress was made in the implementation of MAKSM (International System of Global Monitoring of Geophysical Phenomena) and WUDO (World University of Distance Education) projects.