Macedonia Takes Initiative With New e-Government Strategy

Adapting government processes to the ICT revolution is more than the systematic incorporation of ICT. The emphasis on developmental objectives and inclusiveness is what distinguishes “e- government” from “enterprise architecture.” The decision to adopt an e-government strategy marks a major shift in how a government will operate, interact with citizens, as well as how a government will conduct business with non-governmental entities.

E-government is the systematic incorporation and use of ICT in central and local government to promote improved efficiency and effectiveness, increasing transparency and responsiveness, and improving the delivery of government services to citizens, business and other stakeholders. Transformation of government practices is a process that must be lead with a clear strategy that reflects the real existing ICT capacity, human and financial resources.

Panelists are March 15-16 eGovernment Strategy Workshop in Skopje, Macedonia Bringing in Expert to Support the Process
In 2003 the Macedonian government developed an e-government vision that builds on the confidence and trust of its citizens. A key step forward in refining the e-government strategy was the convening of a workshop on e-government strategies. The workshop, sponsored by the USAID/Macedonia, with the Macedonian Commission for Information Technology (CIT) and the Ministry of Innovation and Technology of the Government of Italy (I-MIT), took place on 15-16 March 2004 in Skopje, Macedonia. Co-chairing the workshop were Jani Makraduli, CIT President; Claudia Oglialoro, Director Multilateral Affairs and Digital Divide, I- MIT; and Edward Malloy of the IT Team in the USAID/EGAT Bureau. About sixty representatives of the Macedonian public and private sectors participated in the workshop.

Among the foreign experts making presentations were two other I-MIT officials: Michele Morciano and Roberto Pizziocannella as well as three experts provided by the dot-GOV Program: Ari Schwartz of the Center for Democracy and Technology; John Adams of Booz, Allen and Hamilton; and Jerker Torngren, of dot-GOV Romania. The agenda, and PowerPoint presentations and a list of participants are available on the CIT website. The dot-GOV presentations and reports are also available in library of the dot-com-alliance website (see links at the bottom of this page).

Objectives and Results
The purpose of the workshop was to produce recommendations for introducing e-government in Macedonia in a way that is systematic, interoperable, secure, efficient, EU- and WTO-compatible, and of benefit to all Macedonian stakeholders.

At the workshop, the Macedonian government demonstrated its experience in deploying ICT in government ministries. The workshop and follow-on consultations with specific government offices resulted in recommendations including:
  • Inclusion of stakeholders in a consultative process for an e-government for development program.

  • Creation of a national strategic plan for implementing e-government at the central and local levels, referring to good practices identified by the EU and neighboring countries, with leadership from an interministerial committee coordinated by the Prime Minister’s office.

  • Identification and progressive elimination of policy, legal and regulatory barriers inhibiting e-commerce and e-government transactions.

  • Establishment of an interministerial fund to support cross-ministerial activities and provide incentives for ministries to use their own funds to support e-government.

  • Sponsorship of professional courses and study tours for middle and senior government managers on specific e-government topics.

  • Streamlining of procedures and the bid process in e-procurement by establishing a national web- based clearinghouse.

  • Cyber crime prevention by reviewing laws protecting privacy of personal data, implementing the e-signature law to use best practices in e-authentication, and harmonize the legal framework and implement the Council of Europe cyber crime Convention.

  • Improved donor coordination on the development of the national e-government strategy and specific e-government projects.

  • Promotion of telecommunications deregulation to be managed and implemented to promote rapid availability of high quality and affordable telecommunications capacity.

  • Government information available freely on-line through the Official Gazette; local information centers for business and employment data, market research and updates; and a central portal and data warehouse for one-stop shopping by business and citizens.

  • Multiple opportunities for citizen participation through Internet kiosks, privately owned Internet cafes, computer/Internet centers at school and libraries, and the mobile phone market to provide government information and services.

Following the workshop, USAID/Macedonia decided to fund several projects, including a five-year project “Improved Fiscal Management through e-government,” which incorporates many of these recommendations.

This activity is field support to the USAID/Macedonia Missions through the "Digital Opportunity through Technology: Government" or "dot-GOV" Leader with Associates Cooperative Agreement awarded to Internews Network on September 21 2001, with funding through USAID/EGAT (Cooperative Agreement No. GDG-A-00-01-00009-00).

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

USAID: Edward Malloy
Telecommunications Advisor, EGAT/EIT/IT
United States Agency for International Development
Tel: 202 712 1579

USAID: Jeff Minott
CTO, USAID/Macedonia
United States Agency for International Development

Related Links
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