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Milan Latinović, Acting Director of the Office for IT and eGovernment of the Republic of Serbia

We Care About Security

The Government Data Centre in Kragujevac holds a certificate based on European standard EN 50600 for data centres, confirming that it satisfies the highest levels of reliability, security and efficiency in the protection and storage of equipment and data, while it is also the first such centre in Eastern and Southeast Europe to gain EN 50600 Class 4 Certification

The eGovernment Portal of the Republic of Serbia has become the central hub for citizens and businesses to communicate with the public administration, and it today has more than two million users. Milan Latinović, acting director of the Office for IT and eGovernment of the Republic of Serbia, emphasises that launching the eGovernment Portal has enabled the digitalising of many services intended for citizens and businesses.

What kind of user structure does the eGovernment Portal have; and what does that tell you about digital literacy levels among Serbian companies and citizens?

— We are proud of the fact that the services of the eGovernment Portal are used by an impressive two million citizens. These eCitizens, registered users of the eGovernment Portal, are no longer “couriers” moving between counters, rather they have the possibility to obtain personal documents as and when needed, quickly and easily, via a computer or mobile phone, 24 hours a day, from any location in the world. More than four million documents have to date been sent to citizens’ ‘e- sanduče’ [e-post boxes], which represent an integral part of the eGovernment Portal. Moreover, hundreds of different electronic services enable the public administration to work much more efficiently, transparently and economically, and increase the level of satisfaction among citizens. The eGovernment Portal has a diverse user structure, as we offer services that are needed by citizens, but also by the business sector. We currently also have more than 696,000 active users who sign-in to the Portals application via the ConsentID mobile app, while more than 180,000 of them actively use a cloud-based signature. These facts all indicate to us that we are doing a good job, which is why we will continue realising our goal of switching fully to online communication between public administration and the citizenry.

The main advantage of using the consentid mobile App to sign-in is that it only requires a mobile phone to access all connected portals

It is worth recalling that the World Bank’s analysis for 2022 highlighted the fact that Serbia occupied a high 4th place in Europe and 11th worldwide on the Digital Transformation Index, while our country is ranked in the top ten countries for speed of electronic administration development [eGovernment Development Index (EGDI)], according to a United Nations report. Thanks to electronic administration, citizens have to date been spared from having to visit counters more than 180 million times, with civil servants having done so on their behalf in electronic form, which serves to make electronic administration even more what it actually is: visiting as few counters as possible.

The issue of security and personal data protection is among the crucial issues whenever talk turns to digitalisation and online services. How does the eGovernment Portal’s data protection system function and what are its main features?

— It has been made possible for citizens to use the eGovernment Portal in such a way that prescribes a high level of identity protection and personal data security, via the ConsentID mobile app or with a qualified electronic certificate.

Moreover, the main advantage of using the ConsentID mobile app to sign-in is that it only requires a mobile phone to be activated and grant access to all connected portals – eGovernment Portal, LPA [local tax admin], eZdravlje [healthcare], APR [business registers agency], Moj esDnevnik [school journal], eFaktura [invoicing], eAgrar [agriculture], eSud [courts] and Moja prva plata [My first salary], CROSO [central registry of compulsory social insurance], and soon also the Portal of the Tax Administration. It also provides the possibility of signing documents with a cloud-based signature, without the need to install additional software or carry a reader for qualified electronic certificates.

Data has become the most valuable commodity in today’s world. How does the Government of Serbia approach data protection and internet security?

— We like to say that data represent the “oil of the 21st century” and that is indeed the case. Thanks to the construction of infrastructure, the Government of the Republic of Serbia, through the Office for IT and eGovernment, stores and protects data in accordance with the highest security standards. The Government Data Centre in Kragujevac holds a certificate based on standard EN 50600 for data centres, confirming that it satisfies the highest levels of reliability, security and efficiency in the protection and storage of equipment and data – Class 4 Certification. This certificate represents a great acknowledgement for both the Government Data Centre in Kragujevac and for the Republic of Serbia as a whole, because it is yet more confirmation that Serbia is a leader in the field of digitalisation and the construction of technological infrastructure in this part of Europe. EN 50600 is a European standard that relates to the planning, construction and operation of data centres and similar digital infrastructure facilities. Only eight data centres in Western European countries have previously received this certificate for class 4, so the Government Data Centre in Kragujevac is the first in Eastern and Southeast Europe.

Which of the services are most commonly used by businesspeople and where is the need to further improve communication between the business sector and the public administration most pronounced?

— The services most commonly used by the business sector are: issuing/renewing a retail license (Tobacco Administration), issuing a confirmation of the conducting of criminal proceedings – KU (issued by a court, Ministry of Justice), issuing a confirmation from the Criminal Records of Legal Entities – KEPL (Ministry of justice) and filing a need for employment (National Employment Service).

EFFICIENCY

The digitalisation of numerous services has enabled citizens and businesses to spend less time moving between counters, as these tasks can be performed via eGovernment

USERS

We currently have more than 696,000 active users who sign-in to the Portals application via the ConsentID mobile app and actively use a cloud-based signature

SERVICES

The business sector most commonly uses the Portal’s service for issuing or renewing a retail license