Central State Portal (HR0036)
Action Plan: Croatia Action Plan 2018-2020
Action Plan Cycle: 2018
Lead Institution: Office of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia
Support Institution(s): Central State Office for the Development of the Digital Society, Council for the State IT Infrastructure, Council of the OGP Initiative
Policy AreasDemocratizing Decision-Making, E-Government, Regulatory Governance
FURTHER DEVELOPMENT OF THE CENTRAL STATE PORTAL
Implementation of the measure is under way and will continue until 21 August 2020
Leader of the measure OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER OF THE REPUBLIC OF CROATIA
Description of the measure
Which public issue does the measure address? It is necessary to continue integrating the internet pages of state
administration bodies on the Central State Portal. Given the limitations
noted in the current version of the Central State Portal, and the specific
issues related to individual state administration bodies which cover wide
fields, the set-up must be improved by adapting it to the specific
demands of individual bodies. Within the e-Citizens system, work must
continue to develop electronic services for citizens in line with their
needs. For the My Administration page, an analysis of user satisfaction
should be conducted, along with confirming further user needs, so that
the page content can be improved. From May 2016 to May 2017, the
Central State Portal was visited 1,278,505 times and 3,400,499 pages
What does the measure include? The measure includes improving the content and design of the Central
State Portal. It should be the central site where physical and legal
persons can get information on services provided by public authorities,
and the central place for access to electronic services. The expected
results will be a redesigned portal (in accordance with the analysis of
user experiences related to e-Citizens and the Central State Portal
already conducted, and the new Directive from the European
Commission on easier access to web pages).
In addition, it is necessary for as many state bodies as possible to
transfer to the joint system for managing web page content (CMS)
owned by the Government of the Republic of Croatia, which guarantees
content will be stored in a single place in the centre for shared services.
How does the measure contribute to resolving the public
A good quality, simple, consistent web page which fulfils a service for
citizens can contribute to increased use. By improving the arrangement
of information and services, it will be easier and more accessible to use.
The introduction of new visual elements and links with functionality will
mean that the pages work as a unit to link citizens and information.
Transferring to a joint system for managing the web page content of
state bodies will have a unifying effect and create budget savings, as it
will no longer be necessary for each body to make an individual contract
for web page development and storage.
Why is this measure relevant to the values of the Open
The measure is relevant to transparency, since it improves the quality of
published information by increasing the number of items in high-quality,
updated form, and improves public access to information by improving
the user interface, making it easier to access content and electronic
Additional information • The measure is in accordance with the e-Croatia 2020 Strategy
Activities Implementation start date Implementation end date
11.1. Continuing to develop the Central State Portal
as the single place for access to the internet pages
of state administration bodies Underway 31 August 2020
11.2. Continuing to develop e-services through the
e-Citizens system Underway 31 August 2020
11.3. Continuing to develop the My Administration
page Underway 31 August 2020
Person responsible in the body which is Leader of the
Email and telephone
Central State Office for the Development of the Digital Society, Council
for the State IT Infrastructure, Council of the OGP Initiative
NGOs, private sector,
multilaterals, working groups
IRM Midterm Status Summary
Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan:
"Measure 11. Further Development of the Central State Portal" 
A good quality, simple, consistent web page which fulfils a service for citizens can contribute to increased use. By improving the arrangement of information and services, it will be easier and more accessible to use. The introduction of new visual elements and links with functionality will mean that the pages work as a unit to link citizens and information. Transferring to a joint system for managing the web page content of state bodies will have a unifying effect and create budget savings, as it will no longer be necessary for each body to make an individual contract for web page development and storage. (…)"
11.1. Continuing to develop the Central State Portal as the single place for access to the internet pages of state administration bodies
- Number of ministries and government offices which organise their internet pages as part of the Central State Portal
- Pages in the Central State Portal adapted for access by persons with special needs
11.2. Continuing to develop e-services through the e-Citizens system
- Number of new services in the e-Citizens system
11.3. Continuing to develop the My Administration page
- Number of items in the category My Administration
- My Administration page updated regularly
Start date: Underway
End date: 21 August 2020
Context and Objectives
This commitment is a continuation from the previous action plan  and includes three important components: continued development of the Central State Portal (Milestone 11.1), e-services in the e-Citizens system (11.2), and My Administration webpage (11.3). The indicators stated in each milestone do not mention a specific increase in numerical or percentage terms. The IRM researcher plans to compare beginning and final figures when evaluating results at the end of the action plan implementation period.
The Central State Portal has been available online  since June 2014. The platform included all 11 government offices, 12 out of 20 ministries,  all 5 central state offices, and 1 out of 7 state administrative organizations  at the time the action plan was written. The IT solution and the Portal itself were incorporated into the Information Systems and Information Technologies Support Agency (APIS IT),  and will be freely downloadable and its source code published upon completion of the project.  According to Ministry of Administration officials,  16 ministries in total will be integrated in the gov.hr domain by the end of 2019. The expected results will be the launch of a redesigned portal in line with the new EU Web Accessibility Directive,  adoption of its implementing acts,  as well as the new Croatian Web Accessibility Act. 
Potentially the most impactful milestone in this commitment, and one of the most important activities in the third action plan overall, is further development of the e-Citizens system. This includes implementation of key state IT infrastructure projects, which are to be partially implemented in 2019: e-Business, e-Fees, e/m-Signature, and e/m-Seal.  This also includes expanding use of the e-ID as a certificate, since it will soon allow Croatian citizens to use e-services in other EU countries.  According to representatives of the Ministry of Administration, there are now 54 e-services available in the system and 66 e-mail messages that can be delivered to every user through their personal email.  From its introduction in the beginning of 2016 to March 2019, there were 661,842 unique users signed up at least once for e-services.  In total, e-services have been used over 9,000,000 times in the same period.  The e-Citizens system won the first open award in Europe at the 2015 OGP Global Summit held in Mexico City, in the category of "open government for improving public services." 
The milestones all relate to increasing access to information through technology and innovation, by opening new technological venues and offering new e-services to both citizens and businesses. The potential impact of the commitment is transformative, given that its most important milestone (11.2) will significantly change the business sector, which has been somewhat neglected when designing e-services and making them available to stakeholders. Despite significant progress in economic and administrative reforms since Croatia’s independence in 1991, problems remain. According to the US Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA), these include a judiciary plagued by case backlogs and insufficient expertise in commercial affairs, an overly complex and sometimes non-transparent bureaucracy, relatively high costs, and both real and perceived corruption. Employment taxes are high and there is a lack of good real estate title records. Companies in litigation often face many years to reach a final resolution.  Business dealings are burdened by administrative barriers (e.g., it took 23 days to start a business in Croatia, according to 2018 World Bank data).  This commitment will enable private sector entities to do all their business-related administration through the state Portal (e.g., e-Fees), as well as provide business-to-business (B2B) functionalities, such as e/m-Signature and e/m-Seal. The other two milestones will ensure strong strides are made in increasing the presence and usefulness of public sector and service information (gov.hr and My Administration).
During implementation, the government could consider the following:
- Incorporate all state authorities in the gov.hr portal as soon as possible;
- Include new electronic services from all public sector bodies in the e-Citizens system, expanding technical solutions to other users of public services such as private enterprises, as well as CSOs, foreign and domestic investors, etc. (in this and the next action plan);
- Promote the achivements of this commitment with the wider public in order to increase the number of users of all the offered services and portals and to properly validate the quality of the work done; and
- Transfer technology and know-how to regional and local self-governments, which could significantly increase the number and quality of online services.
IRM End of Term Status Summary
11. Central State Portal Development
Aim of the commitment
This commitment is a continuation from the previous action plan  and includes three components: continued development of the Central State Portal (CSP), digital services in the e-Citizens system, and developing the My Administration website.
It envisaged a redesign of the CSP as a central site for access to digital services in accordance with analysis of user experience and the new European Commission directive on better access to websites. It would also increase the number of state bodies present on the CSP and the number of digital services available within the e-Citizen system.
Did it open government?
Most of the commitments were carried out by the Central State Office for Development of Digital Society and the Ministry of Administration, despite the Office of the Prime Minister being the lead institution for this commitment.  Substantial development of the Central State Portal (CSP) increased the number and breadth of digital services available through the e-Citizens system such that only one ministry and four state administrative offices have not yet migrated to the CSP due to technical and financial constraints. The e-Citizen system now offers 76 digital services (from 15 in 2018). Also, the same system grew from 661,842 unique users in March 2019, to over 1 million users (36% increase) in October 2020, which was due to the major impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown, according to official sources from the Central State Office.  A HrOpen representative remarked that a lack of publicity about new digital services did not lend to increased transparency and was a shortcoming of the CSP/e-Citizen system. 
On the other hand, the My Administration website underwent minor advances as it is expected to undergo a major overhaul in the next action plan cycle. To increase responsibility and authority in implementation, work is underway to select a state-level editorial board, as well as internal gov.hr teams in each government body, to oversee the changes. 
The scope and impact on the systems in this commitment depend on political will and on financial constraints of individual implementing state bodies. The government changed several its processes by including new technological solutions, increasing accessibility of services to citizens (especially citizens with disabilities, per European and Croatian law on web accessibility),  and moving services from physical spaces to an online platform. However, while some are available and many are in the final testing stages,  there is still a lack of digital services provided for legal entities, such as e-Business that can link business-to-business functions, and digital fees, electronic/mobile signatures, and electronic/mobile seal functions. Beyond the scope of this action plan cycle, the Central State Office for Development of Digital Society plans to redesign the e-Citizen system into a more intuitive interface and also prepare an e-Citizen mobile application. 
Overall, citizen digital interaction with state services has improved significantly, especially in a time when physical contact need to be reduced due to COVID-19. However, it is unclear whether the advances in efficiency and available digital services has had more than a marginal impact on opening up government service provision.