Ukrainian administration aims to move online to “become a service, not a scary monster”

Following a presidential decree signed in July, the newly-formed Ministry of Digital Transformation has launched an ambitious plan to make all public services available online in a mere few years. A unified e-government portal, christened ‘Diia,’ is scheduled for launch in February 2020 with a first set of online services.

The project — formally headed by Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky — aims to “digitize the state” and “make it transparent” while serving each citizen individually.

“For years, public services were synonymous with long lines, humiliation, and opacity to Ukrainians. Visitors had no chance to influence the process, and officials didn’t have the opportunity to improve it. It helped neither regulation of the government processes, nor trust of people to the state, but only contributed to the flourishing of corruption,” the authorities say in a project presentation.

“The state should be a service, not a scary monster. It should help its citizens get services quickly and its officials — do their job fairly. That is why we’re launching the Digital State project, which will unite all departments into a single convenient and efficient online tool in future.”

Diia will make everything “fast, clear and easy to understand” so that “everyone can get a service when and where they need it.”

Photo credit: Kyiv Post

A few dozens of services will be available in February 2020 as a first step. “Then, we gradually and unceasingly will be adding new services, until we digitalize all of them,” the authorities promise — admitting, though, that “the process may take several years.”

“For example, to digitalize one service, first we need to digitalize and set data exchange of different registers, and to digitalize another service, we need to implement changes in the law that will allow completing everything online. Therefore, transferring all services online will happen little by little, but persistently.”

Thus, the authorities promise to make “all public services available online” by 2024.

“Not the digitalization of chaos”

The project encompasses a variety of procedures, including citizens’ personal accounts and digital certificates, an ID card with e-signature, tax identification number automation, banking accounts for online businesses, electronic population count, e-voting, an “eBaby” procedure and much more.

However, the authorities seek to avoid the “digitalization of [the existing bureaucratic] chaos:” Instead, they intend to “completely reinterpret [procedures] to make each one logical, convenient, and clear, and get rid of all the unnecessary ones. For example, right now we’re working on cancellation of the certificate of family composition, residence certificate and tax identification number.”

As reported by Kyiv Post, the ministry has hired the local marketing agency Fedoriv and design bureau Spiilka to develop the style, including fonts, colors, logos, mottos and a detailed strategy.

“This is the first time when people from business like us were given access to a usually highly political project,” Maksym Iliukhin, a strategist at Fedoriv, told Kyiv Post.

Topics: E-government, News, Policy making
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