Bulgarian Think-Tank Stresses e-Government as Anti-Crisis Measure

Business | March 26, 2010, Friday // 15:03

Bulgaria must speed up the introduction of e-government services in order to reduce the spending on its cumbersome bureaucracy, according to the Sofia-based Institute for Market Economy (IME).

The IME says in a statement Friday that Bulgaria’s budget difficulties have made the optimization and increasing the efficiency of the state administration an absolute priority.

It cites a survey of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development of 16 of its members which included the introduction of e-government in their anti-crisis programs.

The IME points to a number of domestic and international analyses showing that the administrative services in Bulgaria are low-quality, and that they present substantial obstacles for doing business and for fueling corruption, partly thanks to the low level of transparency.

The Institute emphasizes the fact the use of electronic signatures by the state administration when dealing with citizens and businesses would reduce significantly the scope of these issues.

The statement declares that despite all government programs and initiatives, Bulgaria still does not have a full-fledged and fully operational electronic government.

It identifies the following problems: Bulgaria’s e-government systems is currently functioning in patches and does not adhere to the respective legal provisions; the Bulgarian institutions do not have an operational infrastructure for communicating among themselves; most of them do not offer e-government services; the state institutions “do not (wish to) use electronic signatures”; there is a shortage of information about the benefits of e-government.

The IME is insisting on a boost of e-government in Bulgaria following the principle, “free e-government services – double-priced services at the counter”; it also says that the institutions which do not use electronic signatures must face severe sanctions.

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Tags: IME, Institute for Market Economy, e-government, anti-crisis measure
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