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Mihailo Jovanović, (Associate Professor, PhD), Director of the Office for Information Technology and E-Government

Intensive Development of eGovernment Systems and Services

This year was marked by the continuation of intensive work on the development of information systems and e-administration services

Thanks to the great support of Prime Minister Ana Brnabić and the dedicated work of the experts of the Office for IT and eGovernment, the Prime Minister’s Office and the Coordination Council for eGovernment, more than 100 million electronic services have been provided so far. The public sector data exchange system (eZUP) has enabled the exchange of more than six million electronic documents between government departments, which means that six million times citizens have not been couriers carrying documents from counter to counter.

Many other electronic systems have been introduced or upgraded: Welcome to the World, Baby, eCadastre, ePrescription, eRegistration of Seasonal Workers, eCourt, Single Information System for Local Tax Administrations, Automatic Health Card Verification, eInspector, eRegistration, eKindergarden, eSchoolDiary, eForiegner, eCertificate of (Clean) Criminal Record. The National Open Data Portal was upgraded, the obligation to use stamps was abolished for companies, electronic payments at POS terminals were enabled. After the new Portal and Customer Relations Management of the Government of Serbia, we also released the first Government mobile application My Local Tax Administration, enabled the delivery of driver’s licenses to the home and began the formation of an address register.

Finally, it is important that the introduction of such a large number of information systems was accompanied by a systematic approach to building modern eGovernment infrastructure. In July, we began construction of the State Data Centre in Kragujevac, a centre of regional importance in terms of capacity and technical specifications, which will have sufficient space for equipment and data for both state authorities and local governments, as well as commercial users.

The results of the work of the Government of Serbia on the digitalisation of the public administration have been confirmed by reputable international institutions, in whose independent reports Serbia has been positively evaluated. A report by SIGMA, a joint body of the European Commission and the OECD, confirmed that since 2017 Serbia has progressed in five out of seven indicators concerning service provision to its people. The SIGMA report points out that Serbia is a regional leader in this field with great ambitions to compete with the best in the world. Another important report is one by the USAID Economic Development Program, which covered 1,000 small and medium enterprises.

A report by SIGMA, a joint body of the European Commission and the OECD, confirmed that since 2017 Serbia has progressed in five out of seven indicators concerning service provision to its people. The SIGMA report points out that Serbia is a regional leader in this field, with great ambitions to compete with the best in the world

According to the results, as many as 72% of businesses operating in Serbia say that transparency and predictability of business operations have increased over last year. As many as 74% of respondents from SMEs say that the public administration is more efficient today than it was a year ago. Furthermore, the latest opinion poll conducted by the Swiss program “SWISS PRO” shows that almost every second citizen of central Serbia (about 45 per cent) today considers that local government takes care of citizens, compared to only 22 per cent nine years ago. All of these reports indicate that progress in public administration reform in Serbia has above all been achieved through the introduction of eGovernment.

The progress we have achieved in reforming the public administration through the digital transformation has aroused the interest of many Western Balkan countries and beyond. We are aware that much work remains to be done in developing eGovernment, while recognizing that we need to institutionalise potential knowledge transfer and use it as an instrument of foreign policy. That is why the Government of Serbia has launched the digital transformation knowledge transition programme “Serbia Digitalises”. This programme is an instrument of cooperation of the Republic of Serbia with partner countries in the field of digital transformation. Its goal is to strengthen the capacities necessary for performing professional and technical tasks to support the implementation of eGovernment, and to establish an additional basis for improving economic and political cooperation. Providing this type of service to other partner countries is also an important segment of development cooperation with foreign countries.

The aim of the Programme is to establish new and enhance existing forms of partnership, based on the dissemination of knowledge and mutual empowerment required for digital transformation and support for the development of eGovernment. Programme information is available at ite.gov.rs.

So far, an Agreement on Digital Transformation has been signed with the Republic of Northern Macedonia. We have provided them with expert assistance in the development of a new two-way government website. An agreement with Republika Srpska is under preparation.

We will be working hard towards the New Year as the final stages of activities are underway to implement new systems: the Central Catering and Tourism Information System – e-Tourist, the new eGovernment Portal, two-factor electronic user identification and a single point of authentication (single sign-on), but also beginning the rollout of the Central population register. All this indicates that 2020 will be marked by further intensive development of eGovernment systems and services.

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