Dragan Tošić, President Of The Municipality Of Bečej:

eSessions For Better Transparency

Introducing new technologies into the work of local assemblies is in the general interest

Dragan Tosic

During the project realised in Bečej with the UNDP in 2014, the website of the Municipal Assembly was created in three languages, in order for all interested parties to be able to monitor innovations to receive an introduction to the work of the Assembly and its bodies. Now it is the turn of new projects.

What is the importance of using digital technologies in the work of the local assembly and what are your future plans? Do you intend to follow examples like that of Novi Sad, in terms of creating digital local assemblies and introducing e-parliamentarism?

– In addition to informing citizens about the work of the Assembly via the site, the idea – once conditions are met – is also to enable direct broadcasts of sessions and other events of general interest.

Parliamentary materials are today sent electronically, with only the heads of council groups and councilors who are not computer literate receiving printed copies. This has made the work faster and more efficient, saving time and money, and contributing to the preservation of the environment.

We plan to secure conditions for eSessions by procuring the necessary furniture and tablets. We also plan to connect the existing website of the Bečej Municipal Assembly to the system, in order for citizens to have an insight into the agenda and material prior to the session being held, and not only for us to inform them via news items on the site.

Using parliamentary e-materials saves time and money, and contributes to preserving the environment

A virtual registrar was established in Bečej in 2010. How much have Bečej residents since become attached to these services, compared to the classical services? On the other hand, how will the future full digitisation of data from registries impact on citizens no longer needing copies of register entries?

– From the launch of the service, the obtaining of statements has been made significantly easier for citizens, and the annual number of such statements issued has reached about 5,000. However, by establishing a central system of registry books and entering data from registries in electronic form in 2017, the conditions were reached for the issuance of statements regardless of the applicant’s home area, as they are available to every registrar on the territory of Serbia. This led to a reduction in the number of certificates issued by the virtual registrar.

The plan is to completely digitise data from registries and citizenship records, in accordance with the law. Citizens will no longer be obliged to submit written certificates and confirmations, but rather municipal bodies will obtain them electronically, ex officio.

Bečej also has an important eService in the unified procedure for the issuance of electronic building permits, when citizens submit an application electronically and all required documentation is acquired by addressing the body.

A significant investment in the local health centre was marked in 2017, witth the procuring of a new digital X-ray machine. How much did the municipality participate in the project; are you planning investments in new health technologies in 2018?

– Bečej doesn;t plan to introduce new technologies in the field of healthcare in 2018, but the budget for 2018 includes plans to pay a million dinars for a new digital RTG device in January, while the majority of funds for its procurement – 5.7 million dinars – were provided by the Office for Capital Investments of Vojvodina.

It is also planned for additional funds to be allocated in April, in order to provide the Health Centre with even stronger support.