State presence on the Web

Belarusians advised on best way of forming ‘electronic government’
By Alexander Benkovsky

When you hear the phrase ‘electronic government’ do you imagine a group of civil servants connected by cables to computers? Of course, it simply means a new way of organising government activity using information and communication technologies. Many countries around the world have taken this path, providing a new level of service to citizens and organisations.

A delegation from the Republic of Korea recently visited Belarus to share its experience with Belarusian colleagues in this sphere. Comprising representatives from Samsung SDS, the Korean National Information Society Agency (NIA) and the Korea Information Certificate Authority (KICA), the group had a great deal of useful information to impart. After all, South Korea is one of the most technically developed countries in the world, leading in the ICT sphere. In 2010 and 2012, it occupied first place in the UN index for ‘electronic government’.

The Vice-President of the Consulting Department of Samsung SDS, Lim Chung Song, noted that several agreements were signed during a Belarusian visit to South Korea in December 2012, headed by the Presidential Aide Vsevolod Yanchevsky. He added, “We intend to conduct a preliminary study of ‘electronic government’ in Belarus, looking at what you have achieved so far, your current situation and the best way forward in various directions. We’ll help you to deliver a number of recommendations. We share an interest in the sphere of ‘electronic government’, and are happy to share our experience with those abroad.” He emphasises that ‘electronic government’ gives citizens better and more convenient access to services through the Internet.

According to the Korean delegation, the traditional model of ‘electronic government’ progresses through four stages: the first sees the construction of networks; this is followed by wider infrastructure; the third stage introduces e-commerce; and the final stage is full integration and intensification of communication processes. Korea is currently completing the third and the fourth stages and notes that Belarus already has sufficient infrastructure to implement many projects in the sphere of information technologies.

Nikolay Panteley, Minister for Communications and Informatisation, notes that work began on ‘electronic government’ in 2002, with several programmes having been implemented. The current National Programme of Accelerated Development of Services in the Sphere of Information and Communication Technologies for 2011-2015 mentions ‘electronic government’ in a separate clause. All state organisations’ information systems are to be united under an ‘electronic government’, placing Belarus among the top 30 countries for access to electronic services.
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