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Russian Govt To Name 60 Public Services To Be Provided In Electronic Form


The Russian government will approve a schedule of providing 60 public services electronic form, Vice Prime Minister Sergei Sobyanin said.

"The pilot project 'Electronic Region' will create a model regional management system for use in other regions," Sobyanian said in Kazan on Monday.

Ministries and agencies will start rendering priority services in electronic form by the end of 2011, he added.

At a meeting of the Council for the Development of Information Society in February 2009, President Dmitry Medvedev criticised how an electronic government was being created and pointed to a lack of electronic document processing and electronic public services.

Medvedev expressed frustration at a lack of progress in the implementation of the e-government programme in Russia.

"As for electronic government, today virtually all federal structures are provided with modern computers connected to the Internet. Almost all state agencies have set up a database, but that is all that they have done. Our internal documents are all still circulated on paper, as they always have been. And computers are mainly used - well, you know what they are used for. They are used as typewriters, only more convenient ones because you don't need to retype things over and over," he said.

"In most cases for ordinary citizens nothing has changed. With rare exceptions, it is simply not possible to send in an application from a personal computer, or to trace the movement of one's document in an office, or to get online help by means of the "single window" system. We were supposed to create a single portal for state and municipal services; it should have been up and running on 1 January of this year. It didn't happen," the president said.

Medvedev has set up a new committee to address the problem, titled the Presidential Council for the Development of the Information Society in Russia. "I certainly hope it gets somewhere - for one thing, I can't think of a surer way to stifle corruption than to increase the number of rules-based computer interactions between citizens and government," he said.

The strategy for the development of information society up to 2015 was adopted in 2008. It determines strategic goals and the main guidelines for governmental authorities in the development of information society in Russia.

The presidential council on the development of information society met in February to adopt decisions aimed at implementing this strategy. It set up a working group and ordered the creation of a council of chief designers.

"Information resources of ministries and agencies are rarely compatible with each other. Some resources do not even provide for inter-agency information exchanges," Mass Communications Minister Igor Shchegolev said earlier.

"Having analysed the structure of projects planned for this and subsequent years we can say that most of them seek to create internal departmental systems and ensure primary automation," he added.

"About 30 percent of departmental budgets are invested in the integration of systems with similar functions," the minister said.

The main task during the crisis is to optimise all funds in order to use them more rationally and implement a unified technological policy, he said.

"We know that some departments create several systems with similar functions. As a result, more funds are spent," Shchegolev regretted.

He believes that the council of chief designers will be able to propose effective solutions for building an e-government.

"We want to create a team of like-minded specialists who will speak the same language and choose the best solutions," he added.

Shchegolev is confident that work can be optimised and prompt solutions for creating an e-government can be found if all interested ministries and agencies and researchers pool their efforts.

Now that the e-government programme has passed the planning phase, it is well into several studies and pilot projects. The e-government goal is to ensure that electronic interaction accounts for 65 percent of internal communications and up to 40 percent of communications between federal, regional, and local governments by 2010. Also, as the number of public Internet outlets grows, they will provide a range of services to citizens, such as submission of tax declarations and electronic voting.

As the first top priority, the government will create a information centre to insure interdepartmental information exchange and access to the data of government information systems. The system will provide a wide range of government services to Russian citizens in electronic form and create a single information system to embrace all government agencies, ministries and agencies.

By 2010, all federal and regional government agencies will have to set up their own call centres and websites, meeting single standards. The broad use of ICT will help improve labour productivity, reduce energy costs and simplify many research and industrial procedures.

The strategy for the development of Russia's electronic industry up to 2025 and the federal programme entitled "The Development of the Electronic Component Base and Radio-Electronics" in 2008-2015 were approved in 2007.

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