More Public Services to be Provided Electronically

Feb 28. MFA

More Public Services to be Provided ElectronicallyOn Feb.28, a Government session reviewed the progress in execution of the tasks set by President Nursultan Nazarbayev in his state-of the-nation address.

At the session, Prime Minister Karim Massimov said the number of employees in public agencies will not be increased in the near future. He said the measure was in line with the President’s instructions and is aimed at increasing the effectiveness of governmental bodies.

Askar Zhumagaliyev, Minister of Transport and Communications, reported on the optimisation and automation of socially important public services whose improvement was identified by the President as one of the priorities of the national policy.

Zhumagaliyev told the session about plans to set up specialised centres of public services (CPS) which would deal with vehicle registration and issuing driving licenses. According to Zhumagaliyev, it will take only one day and an ID card to obtain a driving license at such a centre.

According to the minister, 15 percent of socially important services became electronic in 2011. These include assignment of benefits for child birth and care, registration of birth, putting pre-school children on a waiting list and others.

Zhumagaliyev noted the ministry is planning to digitise another 15 socially important services. Such services as registering and deregistering citizens by place of residence, issuing of passports, identity cards, driving licenses will become electronic. In addition, the list will include state registration of rights (encumbrances) for real estate, provision of land inventory information, and other socially important public services.

“By the end of 2012 we will complete the tasks set by the President, i.e. 60 percent of socially important services will be digitised, all licenses will become electronic, Centres for vehicle registration and issuing driving licenses will be created, computer literacy will be increased by 50 percent,” the Minister said.

Summing up the session, Prime Minister Massimov gave further instructions on optimization and automation of socially important public services. The Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, in cooperation with Ministry of Transport and Communication, the Customs Committee and other concerned agencies, have been instructed to update the license database and ensure its renewal on a regular basis until March 20. Starting from April 1, 2012, licenses are to be issued electronically only. Different ministries and agencies have also been tasked to start issuing 80 types of permits electronically.

The Prime Minister also instructed the Ministry of Internal Affairs to create a centralised vehicle and driving licenses database and to further integrate it with the e-government system. He also instructed the Interior Ministry and the Customs Committee to ensure uninterrupted operation of specialised centres of public services.

“All agencies must develop and take measures to improve the legal framework for e-services,” Massimov said.

Zhumagaliyev also reported on other services that will be improved. For instance, registering an entrepreneur or a company online takes from five to thirty days and 5 different documents. By yearend this service will be provided within 15 minutes and will only require a digital signature. The minister also noted that the process of assigning child birth and care benefits requires seven documents and almost a month’s time. By the end of 2012, this process will only take seven days.

Car owners will also be able to choose registration plates they like from the electronic database. They will be able to pick “cool” plates paying a special extra rate to the government. This novelty will entail certain changes to the Tax Code. Zhumagaliyev said rates will have to be set for “cool” plates, as is the practice in other countries.

The minister also highlighted an increase from 65 to 76 percent in the level of satisfaction with services provided by CPSs. The increase, according to Zhumagaliyev, has been the result of monitoring held by the financial police and the Nur Otan party. A special call-centre has helped too – people can call and obtain necessary information or inform about problems which happen while obtaining public services.

Zhumagaliyev said the e-government system provided 8.3 million e-services, issued 917 digital signatures and 3,500 e-licenses in 2011.

“In the future 228 CPSs across the country will be modernised. We are planning to increase the level of satisfaction to 85 percent. Today in order to obtain 7 million public services people have to present about 70 million papers to CPS. We are determined to cut the number of papers, reduce the waiting time and increase the level of satisfaction with services provided by CPSs,” the minister said.

According to Alina Khamatdinova, executive director of the “Civil Alliance of Kazakhstan” (CAK), a poll conducted by the Alliance revealed that over the past 1.5 years services offered by CPS have significantly improved and CPS employees have become more polite.

“The overall evaluation is positive, the level of satisfaction varies from 63 to 91 percent. People are satisfied with the work of the employees and the infrastructure (waiting rooms, parking spaces, etc). About 76 percent of respondents said they obtained services in less than 40 minutes,” Khamatdinova said.

Among things people were least satisfied with were the amount of documents they had to fill in and the services provided by public agencies other than CPSs, for instance by local authorities.