Only one in 10 citizens prefer the counter over the eGovernment, with a large survey on the local development of eServices underway

Almost two-thirds - 58% of Serbian citizens who tried to complete an administrative procedure via the Internet, saw that it was an easier way, while only 9% would rather return to the traditional counter. Insufficient information shows as a key obstacle that clouds the benefits of electronic services, as evidenced by NALED’s research suggests. Six out of 10 citizens still do not have an account on the eGovernment portal, while almost 60% have never requested a document, permit, or solution electronically.

With counters in cities and municipalities, being the first contact place for citizens when it comes to administration, NALED, with the support of the European Union, initiated the development of the Local e-Government Index (LEI), an innovative tool that will monitor the progress of digitalization in real-time. The first step will be a large measurement of the scope, type, and quality of electronic services of local self-governments, starting from today and continuing until March 31.

Technical equipment, human resources, representation and quality of electronic services, as well as education and involvement of citizens in the work of local governments through digital technologies are four key groups of indicators that LEI will measure in cities and municipalities.

- By creating the LEI index, we want to encourage the modernization of public administration and motivate citizens to get involved in this process. Through the questionnaires we send to local governments today, we want to find out first hand, how old the computers they use are, whether we can pay for their services online or how much money cities and municipalities allocate for eGovernment development. We will also monitor the level of training of officials for the provision of eServices, as well as information literacy of citizens - said Ana Ilić, Director of the Department of Good Governance at NALED and on this occasion called on city and municipal administrations to further reform this area.

The final product will be a graphical presentation of the results through an interactive map of Serbia, which will be available on the website where the public will be able to have an insight into the level of development of e-government for each local government individually. - Citizens will have the opportunity to evaluate the quality of electronic services and give suggestions for their improvement. Our goal is to empower the local population in the reform process so that even after the completion of our project, citizens can still monitor and shape the eGovernment. We also believe that ranking will encourage local administrations to improve services and improve their placement on the LEI index - adds Ilić. Training in the areas of e-government, personal data protection, and information security will be organized for cities and municipalities where additional work is needed to improve the capacity and popularize eServices, with a guide of best practices in the planning. The development of the LEI index was supported by the Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government, and in addition to local self-governments, the Republic Bureau of Statistics, the Regulatory Agency for Electronic Communications and Postal Services (RATEL), the Office for IT and eGovernment and the Republic Geodetic Authority also participated in the survey.

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