NALED: Only 10% of municipalities in Serbia are fully digitized

The development of the e-Government and the COVID websites have greatly popularized the “one-click” administrative procedures, however, the full picture of the state of digital services in Serbia is available by analyzing local data.

Serbian towns and municipalities have so far managed to digitize 20% of procedures that come under their jurisdiction, but when we exclude a small number of particularly successful local authorities from this data, the average number of those municipalities which offer fully digitized services drops to only 5%. That is why it is not surprising that 95% of requests and applications by citizens and businesses have been submitted on paper or at the municipal counters, according to NALED.

A new NALED survey, conducted with the support of the European Union, under the auspices of the Local e-Government Index (LEI) project, confirmed that there is a great need for stronger support for cities and municipalities in the development of electronic services and protection of personal data, building personnel capacities and developing infrastructure for electronic business.

“Only 14% of cities and municipalities think strategically about the development of e-services, which can be seen from fact that municipalities allocate only EUR 40,000 annually on average for the development of e-government services. If we exclude the most successful ones municipalities from the data, the average budget drops to EUR 8,500. When these basic prerequisites for development are absent as well, it becomes clear why we are in a situation where only 10% of cities and municipalities in Serbia have digitized over 90% of their procedures. The research data will help us to rank local governments by the level of development of e-government services by the end of the summer, and the LEI index thus obtained will serve to promote good examples, but also to support those municipalities that recorded weaker results, through training and the creation of a Best Practices Guide,” says Željko Tomić, president of the Alliance for e-Government in NALED and director of OSA computer engineering.

According to him, the state of the infrastructure is such that the majority of the computers used for conducting procedures are between five and eight years old, whereas only a fifth of the municipalities have newer hardware. The security of the data stored in their databases is also questionable, since only half of the cities and municipalities have licenses for all the computer programmes they use. It is also interesting to note that 14% of them do not have a license for any of the computer programs they use.

(eKapija, 31.07.2022)

This post is also available in: Italiano

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