- Veröffentlicht: 14. Juli 2017
E-government is not something that can be implemented overnight but a change that requires hard work and this should not be used as an excuse to serve party interests, Interior Minister Constantinos Petrides said on Thursday.
His statements came two days after the audit service issued a report saying the council set up to implement the e-government service aimed making Cyprus’ public service more digitally friendly was failing to meet its targets.
Petrides said that in the past two and a half years, huge steps have been made which should have begun years ago but were never a part of previous governments agendas.
The government web portal Ariadni currently hosts 62 public services online and the goal is to reach 87 by next year, he said.
“It is a shame that all of the progress achieved in such a short space of time is being used as an excuse for petty party interests rather that receiving any practical support.”
Though not explicitly said, it is likely he was referring to recent allegations that Auditor-general Odysseas Michaelides investigates matters that Akel wants to bring to light.
Nevertheless, Petrides stressed that e-governance is not an application that can just be purchased and installed but requires hard work, legislation, cooperation and coordination of all government departments, simplifying procedures, linking networks and constant monitoring.
Technology changes faster than Cyprus’ 1960 infrastructure “hence why we are proposing changing the infrastructure so we don’t always run after all the developments.”
Problems brought up in the audit service’s report regarding the proper oversight on progress of implementing e-government services are issues the council is aware of that they themselves had discussed in parliament, he said.
Petrides added that the government has pushed forward legislation currently in parliament on setting up a unit whose sole purpose would be to handle e-government and would fall under the responsibility of the under-secretary for development – a post which has not been formed yet but has been in the pipeline since 2015.
Giving an overview of progress so far, the minister said following Cabinet’s approval in April this year, bills regarding electronic identification are in parliament for voting after Cyprus received expert advice from Esthonian specialists.
Additionally, information for 550 government services is now available online and Cyprus in fourth place in the EU as far as progress in making government services available to the public is concerned, Petrides said.
A system on automatically managing state documents saving resources has already been installed in two ministries, the presidential office and a number of services such as the audit service and police with 4,000 users, he added.
The plan is to introduce this to all of the public service so 12,000 staffers can use it after receiving relevant training.
A new telephone service has been in force since March 2015 for free allowing the public to call 1434 to ask for further information on any services available by citizen service centres, Petrides said.
Autor(en)/Author(s): Andria Kades
Quelle/Source: Cyprus Mail, 06.07.2017