e-Governmental Portal Awareness and Mobile Application (RS0008)
The use of ICT in the public administration system is directly related to improvement of the efficiency and effectiveness of the system. Specifically, ICT provides development of all segments of the public administration, their interconnection and cooperation and the fulfillment of the objectives related to access and availability of information of public interest.
Greater use of e-Government portal by the interested public shall contribute to more efficient and transparent work of state administration and also other parts of public administration. To have an effective portal it is necessary to continuously train civil servants and employees in other areas of public administration to use it to its full capacity. Also, it is necessary to promote functionality and services that portal can provide to citizens and businesses, as well as to employees in public administration.
IRM End of Term Status Summary
Commitment 8. E-government portal awareness and mobile application
1. Raising awareness and knowledge regarding the operation and use of eGovernment portal:
a. training for all categories of portal users (processors, persons which generate services, users from technical inspection, driving schools that use the system, appointed individuals from public authorities that sets public hearings, etc ...).
b. General training of civil servants on e-government and e-Government portal.
c. Implementation of promotional activities and campaigns regarding the eGovernment portal.
2. Improving eGovernment Portal to enable the use by mobile phones and other mobile devices:
a. development of applications for mobile phones by which it will be possible to access and use the portal through a mobile phone
Responsible Institution(s): Ministry of E-Government
Supporting Institution(s): Human Resources Management Office; CSOs
Start Date: Ongoing End Date: Ongoing
This commitment intended to increase the number of stakeholders using the Serbian public administration system’s online public services, the e-government portal.
One of the activities this commitment proposed, trainings for portal users and civil servants, was completed substantially in the first year. However, awareness-raising through promotional activities and campaigns led to a lack of specificity in the commitment as well as the inability to assess the impact of these activities in the short term. Mobile phone applications were not developed due to budgetary constraints, and it was unclear whether they would be developed in the upcoming period. For more information, see the 2014-2015 Serbian midterm IRM report.
End of term: Substantial
With regards to raising awareness, progress was found in the second year in terms of implementing promotional activities and campaigns. Namely, an analysis of the media coverage of the portal reveals that the portal’s use increased extensively in the past year. This is best demonstrated by the portal’s two-millionth citizen service request in March 2016.[Note 34: “Na Portal eUprava Stigao Dvomilioniti Zahtev [E-Government Portal Receives Two-Millionth Request],” B92, 18 March 2016, http://bit.ly/2fRLDuD] Additionally, for example, from October 2015 to March 2016, the number of registered users increased by almost 12 percent.[Note 35: “Na Portal eUprava Stigao Dvomilioniti Zahtev [E-Government Portal Receives Two-Millionth Request],” http://bit.ly/2fRLDuD] Mobile applications were not developed according to the second milestone. The IRM researchers tried using the portal on both Android and iOS devices and found that, on mobile phones and similar devices, the portal is not user-friendly, is a time-consuming, and is a demanding process. Significant progress could have been made if the e-government portal had been optimized for mobile use; however, given that the e-government portal cannot be accessed easily by mobile phones or other mobile devices,[Note 36: E-Government Portal, Republic of Serbia, http://www.euprava.gov.rs/. ] the overall completion level of this commitment is substantial rather than fully completed.
Did it open government?
Access to information: Major
Civic participation: Marginal
Increasing the use of online public services on the e-government portal in Serbia is a necessary step for removing excessive burdens on citizens, businesses, and civil servants and for enabling more transparent public services. While the completion of the awareness-raising activities created a major boost in the awareness of the portal, as demonstrated through the increased number of users and public service requests on the portal, users cannot access the online services on their mobile devices. However, an ICT expert who has worked with a number of ministries indicated that the application would not necessarily be a successful and cost-efficient strategy because it may not significantly improve accessibility to the online public services or increase the number of citizens using these services.
With regards to the portal, civil society representatives reported different experiences that ranged from successful access to services to failed attempts of using the available services. Failed attempts ended up requiring more of citizens’ time because civil servants in the public administration did not take into account the results of online services (e.g. scheduling a meeting) and required citizens to repeat the process online.[Note 37: These experiences came out of interviews and consultations the IRM researchers had with civil society representatives, entrepreneurs, and citizens, and appear to be more prevalent on the local level, although this was not assessed quantitatively but solely qualitatively.] However, there is a trend of successful services. For example, the service of signing up children for kindergarten in Belgrade[Note 38: “New electronic service - Online Applications for Kindergarten in Belgrade Available from 9 May,” E-Government Portal, 4 May 2016, [Serbian] http://bit.ly/2gaPa8v] was one of the most commended by the media. The service allowed parents to go through the process in one electronic form and without financial costs, which was not the case in previous years where multiple forms needed to be collected and submitted in person.[Note 39: M. Simić Miladinovic, “Onlajn Upis u Vrtiće [Online Applications for Kindergarten],” Politika, 4 May 2016, [Serbian] http://bit.ly/2gyutqA] The way the portal placed emphasis on services more widely used or needed by citizens demonstrates a positive, although marginal, effect on civil participation.
Overall, even with the partial implementation of this commitment, it produced a fairly extensive effect on civic participation and majorly affected access to information, given that the number of awareness-raising promotional activities and trainings significantly affected the level of knowledge and awareness of the online public services available through the e-government portal.
The commitment was not carried forward, nor are other commitments directly related to the e-government portal included in the 2016-2018 action plan, although the e-Government Directorate is in charge of commitment 8, which aims at developing a central Open Data Portal.
Develop a model of job description or part of job description of an officer responsible for cooperation with civil society in local administration
RS0014, 2016, Capacity Building
Organise trainings for public administration officers in connection with the application of the Guidelines on Inclusion of Civil Society Organisations in the Process of Passing Regulations
RS0015, 2016, Capacity Building
Organise trainings for CSO in connection with application of the Guidelines on Inclusion of Civil Society Organisations in the Process of Passing Regulations
RS0016, 2016, Capacity Building
Improve the system for collecting initiatives from citizens and businesses
RS0017, 2016, Capacity Building
Introducing standards for civic participation in the public policy management system
RS0018, 2016, Capacity Building
Improving proactive transparency – Information Booklet
RS0019, 2016, Capacity Building
Amendments to the Law on Free Access to Information of Public Importance
RS0020, 2016, Legislation & Regulation
Development of an Open Data Portal
RS0021, 2016, Capacity Building
Draft a bylaw based on the Guidelines for Evaluation of Websites
RS0022, 2016, Capacity Building
Improve the institute of public hearing in the drafting of laws
RS0023, 2016, Legislation & Regulation
Development of a uniform methodology for planning, monitoring and performance evaluation of programmes and projects implemented by civil society organisations and monitoring the spending of allocated funds
RS0024, 2016, Capacity Building
Amend the Regulation on Funds to Support Programmes or Missing Amount of Funds for Programmes of Public Interest implemented by Associations
RS0025, 2016, Capacity Building
Enactment of a Law on Electronic Documents, Electronic Identification and Trusted Services in Electronic Business
RS0026, 2016, Capacity Building
Establish a single public register of administrative procedures and other conditions for pursuing a business activity
RS0027, 2016, Capacity Building
Transparency in Monitoring Budget Expenditures
RS0001, 2014, Capacity Building
Law on Financing Political Activities
RS0002, 2014, Legislation & Regulation
Transparent Public Procurement Procedures
RS0003, 2014, Open Contracting and Procurement
Transparent Financing of Civil Society Organizations
RS0004, 2014, Civic Space
Extending and Clarifying Responsibilities of the Anti-Corruption Agency
RS0005, 2014, Anti-Corruption Institutions
Whistleblower Protection Trainings and Campaigns
RS0006, 2014, Legislation & Regulation
Draft Law Regulating Inspections in Public Administration
RS0007, 2014, Audits and Controls
e-Governmental Portal Awareness and Mobile Application
RS0008, 2014, E-Government
Public Administration Website Harmonization and Amendments to the Law on Free Access to Information of Public Importance
RS0009, 2014, E-Government
New Technologies to Improve Citizen Services
RS0010, 2014, E-Government
Cooperation with Civil Society Organizations in Public Policymaking
RS0011, 2014, Civic Space
Citizen Participation in Local Government Affairs
RS0012, 2014, Public Participation
Civil Society Participation in Monitoring the Public Administration (PAR) Strategy
RS0013, 2014, Audits and Controls