Radically Improving Macedonia's Job Application System for Civil Servants: Introducing e-Gov applications to serve all

The introduction and deployment of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the Government of Macedonia (GOM) is radically changing the way citizens and GOM agencies interact with each other. The Macedonian Government successfully launched the Apply Online System for Employments in State Employment in Administration in late December 2005, which was developed through the e-Gov Project (www.e-Gov.org.mk), a USAID-funded initiative implemented by Internews/dot-Gov (www.internews.org).

Only two weeks after the online application system was initiated, the number of applications doubled doubled as to the paper applications that typically would have been received. Within two weeks, 14 different vacancies had been published by the Agency over the system. Out of 619 applications, 502 (74 percent) had been submitted on-line, which exceeded all expectations.

Most importantly, the Apply Online application is reaching potential candidates in cities and communities all over Macedonia, such as the city of Bitola, where over 200 residents holding a university diploma have now used the Apply Online system for positions in the GOM public administration. The new on-line employment is becoming a part of our daily business, which means it will continue in the future, said Petar Vojnovski, the Head of the Working Club of the Employment Agency in Bitola.

Macedonian citizens applying for governments jobs online. -- Applicants were amazed with the speed a
The rapid rate of adoption is significant for a country with a relatively low internet penetration rate such as Macedonia. A concerted public information dissemination strategy was developed by the e-Gov project in coordination with the Civil Servants Agency (CSA). Either because of the greater ease of filling out the application form or the wider availability of the application process, Macedonians are eager to trust the on-line system with the personal information required for a job application. While much remains to be learned, this initial experience speaks to the potential demand by Macedonians for on-line services from the government.

The e-Gov Project in collaboration with the Government of Macedonia (GOM) focused on finding ways around the low internet penetration rate and developed the software to allow online applications from any Internet Café in the country (http://prijava.ads.gov.mk). In addition, the entire process was simplified and made less expensive in order to increase interest in applying for civil service jobs.

Long lines to get forms, fee payments of approximately USD100, the added burden of getting a non-criminal-act history certificate and health certificate (both verified by a notary) are now a thing of the past. With the new system candidates can, without paying anything, fill out the form on line, click “submit” and the application is filed and ready for consideration. In addition to a successful transparent tendering process to create the on-line application system, the Project was successful in getting the Civil Servants Agency to require special documentation and payment described above only of the top five candidates.

e-Gov applications like the Apply Online system are making a difference in the way services by government are presented to citizens, the way government institutions operate, and the way people perceive government. Utilizing an online service to find the best candidates to fill a government position goes beyond fulfilling this primary purpose. Because of the online environment, the job application process is much more efficient, faster, transparent and cheaper for both citizens and the Government.

Since it was launched, the system has also radically reduced the administrative burden for the Civil Service Agency. Instead of spending a vast amount of man-hours on checking applications and written tests they are now able to concentrate on efforts that will increase the efficiency of state administration.

The Apply Online system is only one of the several diverse e-Gov Project assisted applications to help the GOM increase transparency of public sector management as well as open new channels for doing business and interacting with citizens. For further information on these projects, please visit http://www.e- Gov.org.mk .

For More Information, Contact:
R. Jerker Torngren
Chief-of-Party, e-Government project
Internews Network

Sarah Tisch, Ph.D.
Chief-of-Party, dot-GOV
Internews Network
Tel: 202 833-5740 x 203

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