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STATE OF E-GOVERNMENT AND DEVELOPMENTAL PROSPECTS IN GEORGIA

Автор Доклада: 
K. Mdinaradze, D. Gamkrelidze
Награда: 
STATE OF E-GOVERNMENT AND DEVELOPMENTAL PROSPECTS IN GEORGIA


STATE OF E-GOVERNMENT AND DEVELOPMENTAL PROSPECTS IN GEORGIA

Ketevan Mdinaradze, PhD Associate Professor
David Gamkrelidze, PhD, Associate Professor
University of International Relations of Georgia


The work is about the state of e-government and developmental perspectives in Georgia. At the modern stage, e-government is very much topical, as the state government becomes more efficient, democratic and transparent on the background of active societal engagement.
Keywords: e-government, informational technologies, state bodies, informatization, informative society.

The modern world lives in terms of major technological changes. A new wave of the technological revolution in digital, information and communication fields since the 1960s has transformed the Western countries into “information societies”. Both, the structure of economy and social environment were changed making the political systems of the countries and their governmental regimes face new challenges and objectives. At present, the term e-government is very common. It denotes the national programs of informatization of different countries. Similar programs are in fact developed in every European country and are coordinated within the limits of a single “Electronic Europe”program.
The e-government is the system whose aim it is to boost the efficiency, productivity, transparency and accountability within the governmental organizations and between the governmental organizations (central or local) and government and citizens and promote a citizen’s role in the process of state government by utilizing the information and communication technologies. In other words, the aim of “e-government”, the same as “digital democracy” is to ensure swift and qualitative delivery of the information to the citizens via information technologies (telephone, web-site, internet). In the developed countries, “e-government” is actively used to ensure the publicity of the governmental activities and engage the citizens in social processes. The word “electronic” in “electronic government” denotes a component of the digital technology, and the word “government” denotes the social aspect.
The major reasons for the e-government’s establishment in the world may be summarized as follows: complexity of fiscal processes, in particular, there appeared the demand for highly elastic and mobile work by public services, including governmental organs to meet the consumers’ variable demands; the number of people connected to the internet as well as of those choosing e-means to contact the state bodies is increasing; developed and strengthened globalization processes urging the governments of different countries (mostly of the developed countries) to respond to the modern technological changes and try to ensure the compliance with the existing trends in the world. [1]
The e-government between the state officials is realized through e-relationship between the state authority and the society. In the opinion of some scientists, the idea of “e-government” lies in solving three major problems of the authority:
1. Doing the electronic workflow allowing reducing bureaucratic barriers and accelerating the decision-making process;
2. Having the citizens and businesses engaged in the electronic form of relationship with the authority;
3. Making the state and municipal government more transparent, reducing the state bureaucracy and bringing the authority closer to citizens.
The e-government may be realized in the following four directions widely introduced to the West: 1) e-government to citizens through G2C system (Government to Citizen); 2) e-government to private companies through G2B (Government to Business); 3) e-government to public employees through G2E(Government to Employee); 4) e-government between the organs of different branches and levels through G2G(Government to Government). [2]
The principal stages to form the e-government are as follows: I. development of the information internet-portal, which must ensure the availability of any urgent and reference information about the state organs or administrative-territorial organs to any person (unilateral communication); II. conversion of the information internet-portal into the tool of bilateral communication between the governmentalorgans on the one hand and between the citizens and the businesses on the other hand making the standardization of all processes of information relationship necessary; III. the internet-portal must allow realizing the individual processes (operations) of relationship of the state organs with the citizens and businesses in the electronic format (tax payment, business registration, issuing licenses, etc.); IV. it is necessary to develop the integrated internet-portal uniting the whole complex of the governmental service, which will be easily available to every citizen.
Notwithstanding the fact that at present, Georgia, with its economic indicators meets the demands of the western-type information society (most of its GDP (59.6%) is for the service sector), it still much lags behind in respect of informatization and e-government. The capital investment in the field of information technologies is insignificant. Accordingly, no large-scale progress of innovation in the field of information technologies is observed, and the public sector is unable to thoroughly discharge the function of an initiator in distributing the novelties. This is proved by the results of 2010 study by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (the name of the study is “The levers of e-government during the economic crisis”) having determined the level of development of “e-government” in 192 UNO member states. Georgia ranges one hundredthalong with Afghanistan, Nepal, Mauritius, Burkina Faso and Madagascar. However, it should be noted that a similar UNO report of 2005 made a special accent on the newly created web-site of the Parliament of Georgia. The internal links of the site give access to different sections, including the legislative base, biographies of the members of the Parliament and regulations. In this respect, the web-site of the parliament is among the sites ranging the second. [5]
As at present, no fruitful state government is possible without e-government, a particular attention is paid to the introduction of these new systems, e-government in particular. The initiator to introduce e-government is the state, no matter how inefficient it may seem.
For this purpose, a communication and informational technology department has been established with the Ministry of Economic Development of Georgia, whose immediate purpose it is to specify the trends of the state policy and relevant legislative-normative base in the field of communication, post and information-telecommunication technologies; short-, average- and long-term strategy and priorities to develop the networks and means of information-telecommunication technologies and programs based on them; and implement their monitoring. The immediate mission of the telecommunication and informational technology department is “to develop the concept, strategic plan and program of the Georgian e-government and to develop the information and telecommunication technologies to perfect the state government; in line with the international rules and recommendations, to develop the technical policy for the application of the positions of Georgia on the geo-stationery orbit, electromagnetic compliance of the radio-electronic techniques and coordination of the international legal protection measures for them”; and introduce Georgia and protect its interests with the international organizations. Aiming at implementing the above-mentioned activities, an info-communication office as well as the post service has been established within the department.
Under the decree of the President of Georgia of March, 2006, a center for efficient governmental system and territorial management was established. The center has developed much important conceptual documents, including the project for the state concept of informatization of Georgia and concept of e-government.
Another much important document about e-government was drafted by the same center - a concept named “The e-government for Georgia: the essence, urgency, developmental perspectives and capabilities”. The document reviews the main principles of e-government, aims and means of reformation, factors hampering the introduction, objectives and perspectives. Unfortunately, the concept of e-government has not been ratified yet by the Parliament of Georgia and accordingly, no terms of implementation, financial resources or control authority have been specified what to the certain extent hampers the further informatization of the country and timely development of the process of e-government.
The efficient relationship with the state control authorities and members of government with the citizens of the country is possible via the customer relationship managementsystem and e-government technology. At present, we must initiate the process of practical establishment of e-government by meeting the set of demands of Georgian citizens and business field in the country, what the citizens and businesses reasonably require from the government of the information age. The relationship between the state and the citizens is of a particular importance. In therealm of Georgia, the principle of so called political will or readiness to act in the state is very important, under which we mean the wish of the state bodies (ministries, establishments, departments, commercial structures, etc.) to integrate their services with the system of e-government, while the practical implementation must be accomplished based on the availableworldwide experience, in a common sense and by considering the possible risks. In the information epoch, the life itself has necessitated the establishment of e-government. The e-government as the concept to realize the state government, is typical to the information society. According to the UNO study of 2011, the highest level of the “e-government” development was fixed in the Republic of Korea (ranging the first). According to the same data, in respect of the e-government development, out of the former USSR Republics, only Armenia and Turkmenistan lag behind Georgia.
So, the development of e-technologies boosts the governmental responsibility to the society, makes the citizens more influential and allows them “participating” in the formation of the governmental decisions, i.e. in terms of application of information technologies and relevant systems, the democratization of the decision-making procedures is possible.
As a general conclusion, we may say that Georgia, in respect of informatization and e-government, is underdeveloped. Our country has strong HR positions, but it has severe deficiencies in respect of introduction and application of modern technologies, citizens’ service and citizens’ engagement in the process of government. Significant intellectual and financial investments are needed to allow the country getting closer to the western standards in the field of informatization and e-government.

References:
1. Koniashvili M., /Information Systems and Technologies in Economics, T.,2005,pp.86-88;
2. Sakhun U., From Business to Business, // Infobusiness, – 2007. – №9. – pp. 28 – 29.
3. Surguladze G., Using Internet Network in Politics, Transactions Automatic Control Systems, T.2009, N1(6);
4. Turkia G., Political Communications in informative society. Periodical Scientific Journal, T.2006, N1(18);
5. UNDP Georgia - Home. Web. July 2011. <http://www.undp.org.ge/index.php?lang_id=ENG>.

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About the state of e-government and developmental perspectives

Thank you for your interesting article about the state of e-government and developmental perspectives in Georgia. As you write, significant intellectual and financial investments are needed to allow the country getting closer to the western standards in the field of informatization and e-government. But it is not clear where exactly to spend the money. I wish you luck. Olexandr Josan, Kirovograd, Ukraine.
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