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Electronic services in Ukraine: to be or not to be

12/ 09/ 2017
  There are many adherents of traditional ways. I arrived at 8 oclock in the morning - a little girl in the office - chocolate - the result. To be! I think so. Rather, I want to believe that it will be so. As a person with mild manifestations of misanthropy and a bit biased attitude to the level of efficiency of the states performance of my functions, I would like to have absolutely all communications citizen - a state body possibly remotely in an electronic format. Of course, due to life circumstances or personal beliefs, there are many supporters of traditional ways of obtaining documents from government agencies, registration of business, property, etc. And this method often enough reduces to the algorithm arrived at 8 am - a little in the office - chocolate - the result. Apparently, to each one of them - both one and the same way can exist and coexist. However, the second way raises questions about its effectiveness, especially given the fact that it is funded by taxpayers. What do we get if administrative services can be used online? Answers are pretty obvious. First, convenience for citizens. Access in 24/7 mode. No need to worry about foster days, wear a document folder, stand in queues. Secondly, the fight against corruption. In electronic communication with a state with a high probability, the element chocolate can be avoided. Thirdly, cost optimization. If the share of administrative services provided in electronic form will increase, it will be possible to reduce the expenses of state bodies for the maintenance of personnel, consumables. In the context of this issue, it is important that our state authorities also understand the necessity of developing e-government in Ukraine. Moreover, in addition to understanding there are concrete steps. The State Agency for E-Governance is working actively, developing portals through which administrative services can be used, banking identification systems of BankID and MobileID are being implemented. Recently, within the framework of the European Business Association, we held a meeting devoted to the discussion of the prospects for the development of electronic services in Ukraine, and during it representatives of state authorities also talked about achievements and ambitious plans in the field of e-governance development. By the way, according to the United Nations (UN E-Government Survey) in 2016, Ukraine ranked 32nd among UN member-states with the index e-participation - an indicator assessing the level of access of citizens to information and public services online. In 2014 (evaluation is conducted every 2 years), our country was 77th in the ranking of the given index. In two years we have a growth of 45 positions. As if bad? Lets try to find out in practice. For example, I had to register as an entrepreneur. In my opinion, this is one of the most popular services available to citizens that you can use online. I want to do this without leaving the apartment. Which portals offer such service? 1. The Cabinet of Electronic Services of the Ministry of Justice. Entry is possible using the email address, EDS (e-digital signature) and BankID. However, after selecting the services from the users directory, it is redirected to the page of the Online Justice House. 2. Online Justice House. Entry is possible only with the use of an email address. 3. The only state portal of administrative services of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade. The entrance is possible using the e-mail address, EDS and BankID. However, the section contains only information about documents required for registration and place of receipt of the service. 4. Portal IGov. Entry is possible using ID cards, EDS, BankID and Cards of Kyiv. * The IGov portal is a volunteer project. Since I am not in the list of volunteers working on the development of this portal, I will not comment on his work. These suggestions and comments, which will be given below, relate exclusively to the portals of state bodies. I did not reach the final stage of registration of the FOP, but even the first two stages - the search for such services on the portal and authorization on it - I was enough to draw some conclusions. 1. Different portals provide similar services. Each of the portals has its own interface, structure, uses different ways of authorizing users. Frankly, in this variety you can easily get lost and forget why you came here. And this is already in the first stages among the few that need to go to use a certain administrative service. That is, there is a high probability that the person who first showed the desire to use the online service will abandon such an idea at the very beginning. Will refuse and go with papers to a state institution, having fun spending time in a queue. The second time to convince such a person to use the online service will be extremely difficult. What is the way out? One of the factors contributing to the popularization of Apples products is the simplicity and intuitive understanding of the user interface, high-quality visualization and well thought-out structure. The same principles can be applied for administrative services portals. During the event, representatives of the business community voiced the proposal (and government officials supported it) that it is necessary to create a single portal with a catalog of all administrative services provided online. Let it at least include links to other portals, but will combine the entire list of services, have a simple, intuitive interface and a convenient search structure. The Ministry of Economic Development and Trade has shown readiness to organize work in this direction and unite process participants around them. Lets hope it will be. 2. BankID. BankID service NBU has been functioning officially for a year. Yes, there is some progress - several new banks and portals are connected. However, today the number of banks connected to the service is declared, only 7 (in fact, actually working less). Not all portals can be authenticated / authenticated using BankID. For example, Online Justice House did not connect this service). The possibility of remotely opening accounts in banks using the BankID service is still not implemented, although this is a long-standing question. The situation with the prospects for further development of BankID and expansion of its scope is rather ambiguous and, I think, nobody would have liked the project to eventually collapse. In order to give it a new impetus for development, the National Bank, as the project owner, should pay attention to four important aspects that the business community says: Firstly, as many banks as possible should be connected to the BankID service, at least all top 10; Secondly, steps should be taken to expand the list of portals where authorization and identification of users is possible through BankID; thirdly, to bring to a logical conclusion the issue of amending the legislation and by-laws that will allow to realize the possibility of remotely opening accounts in banks using BankID; Fourth, to ensure the process of popularizing the service and the benefits of its use. Today around BankID is a situation in which banks are not too rushing to join the service, because the accession process requires banks to adapt their internal systems to the requirements and standards of the NBU and, accordingly, investment. At the same time, the benefit to the banks they receive after joining the service is rather obscure. Moreover, competitors also take a wait-and-see position. In turn, administrative services portals are also in no hurry with connecting the BankID service - in fact, few banks are connected and the demand for service from users is not high. We expect that the NBU will be able to unite the participants and solve this situation, providing both connecting banks and connecting new portals. 3. Is there a systemic approach by the state in terms of popularizing the use of portals for the provision of administrative services by citizens? Perhaps, but personally, I did not fall under the influence of this approach. To me: the work of the state authorities is on the development of e-governance, but its results are not widely known to the general public. Some citizens may not even know that some services can be obtained online. What shall I do: firstly, through various methods to promote the work of the portals of administrative services. These are the portals of state bodies, which have significant resources and a wide range of tools for the qualitative and effective promotion of their services; and secondly, to try methods of financial motivation of citizens. For example, you can set a differentiated value for one and the same service, depending on the way in which it is provided. Online cheaper, offline more expensive; thirdly, to conduct an experiment and to choose one or several services, which for a certain period of time will be provided exclusively through the portals of administrative services. This will encourage citizens to use online resources and, in the long run, can develop their habit of using them on a regular basis. As a result, we have not the worst situation with the level of development of electronic services in Ukraine, but it can improve - we have for this reserves of ideas and professionals. But it may deteriorate, as compared to other countries that are not in place and move forward. The key task is to combine the efforts of state bodies, balance their interests and tasks, and efficient interaction. And although in 2018, we are unlikely to be able to rise again to +45 positions in the UN E-Government Survey rating, we are exactly in position with +32 positions. Source: Economichna Pravda

There are many adherents of traditional ways. “I arrived at 8 o’clock in the morning – a little girl in the office – chocolate – the result.”

To be! I think so. Rather, I want to believe that it will be so.

As a person with mild manifestations of misanthropy and a bit biased attitude to the level of efficiency of the state’s performance of my functions, I would like to have absolutely all communications “citizen – a state body” possibly remotely in an electronic format.

Of course, due to life circumstances or personal beliefs, there are many supporters of traditional ways of obtaining documents from government agencies, registration of business, property, etc. And this method often enough reduces to the algorithm “arrived at 8 am – a little in the office – chocolate – the result.”

Apparently, to each one of them – both one and the same way can exist and coexist. However, the second way raises questions about its effectiveness, especially given the fact that it is funded by taxpayers.

What do we get if administrative services can be used online? Answers are pretty obvious.

First, convenience for citizens. Access in 24/7 mode. No need to worry about foster days, wear a document folder, stand in queues.

Secondly, the fight against corruption. In electronic communication with a state with a high probability, the element “chocolate” can be avoided.

Thirdly, cost optimization. If the share of administrative services provided in electronic form will increase, it will be possible to reduce the expenses of state bodies for the maintenance of personnel, consumables.

In the context of this issue, it is important that our state authorities also understand the necessity of developing e-government in Ukraine. Moreover, in addition to understanding there are concrete steps. The State Agency for E-Governance is working actively, developing portals through which administrative services can be used, banking identification systems of BankID and MobileID are being implemented.

Recently, within the framework of the European Business Association, we held a meeting devoted to the discussion of the prospects for the development of electronic services in Ukraine, and during it representatives of state authorities also talked about achievements and ambitious plans in the field of e-governance development.

By the way, according to the United Nations (UN E-Government Survey) in 2016, Ukraine ranked 32nd among UN member-states with the index “e-participation” – an indicator assessing the level of access of citizens to information and public services online. In 2014 (evaluation is conducted every 2 years), our country was 77th in the ranking of the given index. In two years we have a growth of 45 positions.

As if bad? Let’s try to find out in practice. For example, I had to register as an entrepreneur. In my opinion, this is one of the most popular services available to citizens that you can use online. I want to do this without leaving the apartment. Which portals offer such service?

1. The Cabinet of Electronic Services of the Ministry of Justice. Entry is possible using the email address, EDS (e-digital signature) and BankID. However, after selecting the services from the user’s directory, it is redirected to the page of the Online Justice House.

2. Online Justice House. Entry is possible only with the use of an email address.

3. The only state portal of administrative services of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade. The entrance is possible using the e-mail address, EDS and BankID. However, the section contains only information about documents required for registration and place of receipt of the service.

4. Portal IGov. Entry is possible using ID cards, EDS, BankID and Cards of Kyiv.

* The IGov portal is a volunteer project. Since I am not in the list of volunteers working on the development of this portal, I will not comment on his work. These suggestions and comments, which will be given below, relate exclusively to the portals of state bodies.

I did not reach the final stage of registration of the FOP, but even the first two stages – the search for such services on the portal and authorization on it – I was enough to draw some conclusions.

1. Different portals provide similar services. Each of the portals has its own interface, structure, uses different ways of authorizing users. Frankly, in this variety you can easily get lost and forget why you came here.

And this is already in the first stages among the few that need to go to use a certain administrative service. That is, there is a high probability that the person who first showed the desire to use the online service will abandon such an idea at the very beginning. Will refuse and go with papers to a state institution, having fun spending time in a queue.

The second time to convince such a person to use the online service will be extremely difficult.

What is the way out? One of the factors contributing to the popularization of Apple’s products is the simplicity and intuitive understanding of the user interface, high-quality visualization and well thought-out structure. The same principles can be applied for administrative services portals.

During the event, representatives of the business community voiced the proposal (and government officials supported it) that it is necessary to create a single portal with a catalog of all administrative services provided online. Let it at least include links to other portals, but will combine the entire list of services, have a simple, intuitive interface and a convenient search structure.

The Ministry of Economic Development and Trade has shown readiness to organize work in this direction and unite process participants around them. Let’s hope it will be.

2. BankID. BankID service NBU has been functioning officially for a year. Yes, there is some progress – several new banks and portals are connected. However, today the number of banks connected to the service is declared, only 7 (in fact, actually working less).

Not all portals can be authenticated / authenticated using BankID. For example, Online Justice House did not connect this service). The possibility of remotely opening accounts in banks using the BankID service is still not implemented, although this is a long-standing question.

The situation with the prospects for further development of BankID and expansion of its scope is rather ambiguous and, I think, nobody would have liked the project to eventually collapse. In order to give it a new impetus for development, the National Bank, as the project owner, should pay attention to four important aspects that the business community says:

Firstly, as many banks as possible should be connected to the BankID service, at least all top 10;

Secondly, steps should be taken to expand the list of portals where authorization and identification of users is possible through BankID;

thirdly, to bring to a logical conclusion the issue of amending the legislation and by-laws that will allow to realize the possibility of remotely opening accounts in banks using BankID;

Fourth, to ensure the process of popularizing the service and the benefits of its use.

Today around BankID is a situation in which banks are not too rushing to join the service, because the accession process requires banks to adapt their internal systems to the requirements and standards of the NBU and, accordingly, investment.

At the same time, the benefit to the banks they receive after joining the service is rather obscure. Moreover, competitors also take a wait-and-see position. In turn, administrative services portals are also in no hurry with connecting the BankID service – in fact, few banks are connected and the demand for service from users is not high.

We expect that the NBU will be able to unite the participants and solve this situation, providing both connecting banks and connecting new portals.

3. Is there a systemic approach by the state in terms of popularizing the use of portals for the provision of administrative services by citizens? Perhaps, but personally, I did not fall under the influence of this approach.

To me: the work of the state authorities is on the development of e-governance, but its results are not widely known to the general public. Some citizens may not even know that some services can be obtained online. What shall I do:

firstly, through various methods to promote the work of the portals of administrative services. These are the portals of state bodies, which have significant resources and a wide range of tools for the qualitative and effective promotion of their services;

and secondly, to try methods of financial motivation of citizens. For example, you can set a differentiated value for one and the same service, depending on the way in which it is provided. Online cheaper, offline more expensive;

thirdly, to conduct an experiment and to choose one or several services, which for a certain period of time will be provided exclusively through the portals of administrative services. This will encourage citizens to use online resources and, in the long run, can develop their habit of using them on a regular basis.

As a result, we have not the worst situation with the level of development of electronic services in Ukraine, but it can improve – we have for this reserves of ideas and professionals. But it may deteriorate, as compared to other countries that are not in place and move forward.

The key task is to combine the efforts of state bodies, balance their interests and tasks, and efficient interaction. And although in 2018, we are unlikely to be able to rise again to +45 positions in the UN E-Government Survey rating, we are exactly in position with +32 positions.

Source: Economichna Pravda

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