I. BRIEF HISTORY OF THE PUBLIC SECTOR IN TAJIKISTAN
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the ensuing civil war (1992-93) the country extension services are being provided today by a range of service providers: the public sector represented by the State extension officers, who are attached to the Ministry of Agriculture or to the regional or provincial governments; the private sector through private advisory services run by both international and domestic non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and private companies; Internal advice within collective Dehkon (Farmer) farms and non-privatized enterprises; and local forms of knowledge exchange and mutual consultation inside the Mahalla (Village) (Mandler, 2010).
Sustainable development involves ensuring the sustainability of economic growth, social development and environmental security. The Concept of Transition of the Republic of Tajikistan to Sustainable Development 1, adopted in 2007, identifies six main tasks: reducing poverty, ensuring energy security, ensuring food security, achieving social security, ensuring environmental sustainability, and achieving effective governance.
The main strategic document is the National Development Strategy of the Republic of Tajikistan (NDS), initiated in 2005 as a long-term socio-economic program.2 The NDS defines priorities and directions of state policy aimed at achieving sustainable economic growth, facilitating access to basic social services for the population and reducing poverty. All the existing state and sectoral and regional concepts, strategies, programs and plans for the development of the country, as well as the activities of government bodies, are based on the NDS. As part of the implementation of this document, in 2011, economic reform was completed, and a number of measures were implemented to improve the social sectors.
In 2011, by the Decree of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan, according to Article 6 of the Law of the Republic of Tajikistan “On State Forecasts, Concepts, Strategies and Programs of Social and Economic Development of the Republic of Tajikistan”, the “Concept of the formation of e-government in the Republic of Tajikistan” was approved.
II. REPUBLIC OF TAJIKISTAN’S LEGISLATION IN THE FIELD OF E-GOVERNMENT
The task of transition to electronic governance (or, otherwise, the electronic government) has been put before the authorities of the Republic of Tajikistan for more than 15 years. During this time, a number of conceptual and program documents were adopted, among which the following should be noted:
– The Concept of the formation of the e-Government in the Republic of Tajikistan (2012 – 2020) approved by the Decree of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan of December 30, 2011 N 643.
– Decree of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan of November 5, 2003, No. 1174 “On state strategy of information and communication technologies for the development of the Republic of Tajikistan”
– Decree of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan of 30 June 2004, No. 290 “On the Program for Ensuring Information Security of the Republic of Tajikistan”
– Decree of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan on November 7, 2003 No. 1175 “On the concept of information security of the Republic of Tajikistan”
– The order of uniform requirements for sites and local-computer networks of government agencies (Decree of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan of April 1, 2011, No. 166)
– The State Program for the Development and Implementation of Information and Communication Technologies in the Republic of Tajikistan for 2014-2017 (Decree of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan of July 3, 2014, No. 428)
III. THE MAIN OBJECTIVES OF THE FORMATION OF E-GOVERNMENT IN THE REPUBLIC OF TAJIKISTAN
– Increase of efficiency of activity of executive bodies of the government and management due to wide use of ICT;
– improving the quality and accessibility of public services provided to citizens and organizations;
– simplification of procedures and reduction of the time of provision of public services, as well as reduction of administrative costs associated with the provision of these services;
– increasing the availability of information on the activities of executive bodies of the government;
– formation of a unified system of information exchange using electronic information resources and constant communication with the system and a limited network of accounting for all users;
– formation of a unified system of information exchange, using electronic information resources and constant communication with system and a limited network of accounting for all users;
– Economic stimulation of the use of the Internet and modern information technologies.
IV. THE FULFILLMENT OF THE TASKS OF E-GOVERNMENT WILL CONTRIBUTE TO THE FOLLOWING TASKS
– development and implementation of functional information and analytical systems (IAS) which supports the process of making managerial decisions within the individual executive bodies of state power;
– automation of interdepartmental interaction in the process of making managerial decisions;
– automation of procedures for the provision of public services;
– increasing the transparency of information on the activities of the executive bodies of state power, expanding the access and direct participation of citizens, organizations and institutions of civil society in the procedures for forming and examining decisions taken at all levels of government;
– improving the quality of administrative and management processes;
– ensuring the efficiency and control of the performance of executive bodies of state power;
– ensuring the required level of information security of e-government in its operation;
– development and wide application, in the activities of the executive bodies of state power, of means of providing remote access for citizens and organizations to information on the activities of executive bodies of state power;
– elimination of the “digital inequality” (inequality among citizens in the use of information and telecommunication technologies, determined by socio-economic differences and geographical location), which is one of the central tasks of ensuring the effectiveness of e-government and which is implemented through the development of ICT infrastructure (territorial development of communication networks, improvement of communications quality, computerization of the population, development of the Internet in the territory of the country).
V. SUMMARY OF THE CONCEPT OF THE FORMATION OF THE E-GOVERNMENT IN THE REPUBLIC OF TAJIKISTAN
The Concept of the formation of e-government in the Republic of Tajikistan (hereinafter the “Concept”) was developed in order to implement the State Strategy of Information and Communication Technologies for the Development of the Republic of Tajikistan, approved by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan of November 5, 2003, No. 1174, State Program on the development and implementation of information and communication technologies in the Republic of Tajikistan, approved by the Decree of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan of December 3, 2004, No. 468, the Concept of the State Information Policy of the Republic of Tajikistan, approved by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan of April 30, 2008, No. 451 and the Strategy for Reforming the Public Administration System of the Republic of Tajikistan approved by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan March 15, 2006, No. 1713.
VI. THE SOLUTION OF THE TASKS WILL BE CARRIED OUT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOLLOWING MAIN DIRECTIONS AND MECHANISMS FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CONCEPT
– creation of the necessary regulatory legal framework for the formation of e-government, including the creation of a unified infrastructure to ensure legally significant electronic interaction;
– the formation of the basic components of the e-government infrastructure;
– formation and development of electronic services of executive bodies of state power;
– creation and development of interdepartmental and standard departmental information systems;
– creation and development of information resources and systems of executive bodies of local government;
– development of citizens’ access to information systems;
– development of the portal and gateways of e-government;
– creation of the state automated system of resource management;
– protection of information infrastructure;
– improving the staffing of e-government;
– Development of architecture, the formation and development of the standards base in the field of ICT.
VII. STAGES OF IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CONCEPT
The implementation of the concept of the formation of e-government in the Republic of Tajikistan is planned to be provided in three stages.
a) At the first stage (2012-2013)
– A unified network of information technologies is being put into operation, which unites 48 ministries and departments of the Republic of Tajikistan, which is a key element of e-government in the Republic of Tajikistan;
– within the framework of this network, an automated register of civil servants will be developed and improved, the server of which is located in the UGS;
– including, within the framework of this network, broad access to the legal database “ADLIA” will be provided and provided;
b) as well as all public authorities:
– Create local computer networks and sectoral, departmental informatization programs for the introduction of ICT in the field of its activities, as well as its own websites (pages) on the Internet;
– a common information environment that ensures the presence in it of all structures and regions and their electronic interaction;
– Ensure the development of a project for the creation of a government portal;
– Widely and effectively use existing information technology networks between government bodies;
– Carry out activities to ensure access to electronic services.
At this stage, it is also necessary to develop standard departmental technological solutions to support the provision of public services and provide access to information on the activities of public authorities based on ICT. At the same time, it is expected to complete the design and creation of existing inter-departmental components of the electronic government: a single system of information and reference support for citizens, an infrastructure for inter-agency electronic interaction with a secure system of interdepartmental electronic document management.
At the second stage (2013-2015), it is ensured that the activities of state authorities are implemented in practice through departmental technological solutions, i.e.:
– Improvement of legal, organizational and technical conditions for the creation of e-government;
– formation of mechanisms for two – and multi-lateral communication, for the introduction of a single electronic document flow;
-extension of departmental and interdepartmental electronic information resources;
– Elimination of digital inequality in the territory of the republic;
– Creation of inter-departmental e-government systems in the structure of executive authorities.
The third stage (2015-2020) of e-government development covers the automation of the process of providing public services to the population and organizations, as well as receiving services from organizations for state needs. At the same time, the development of e-government services, such as a government portal and an electronic government gateway, is envisaged (an information system designed to integrate information systems in the implementation of electronic services).
VIII. ANALYSIS & SOLUTION
Strategic goals and objectives
From the Concept implementation stages, a series of goals are outlined. Due to the lack of support these goals were never or partially fulfilled. The resulting lack of support regarding implementation of the Concept stages has resulted in the delay of the launch of the governmental portal and even absence of some executive Ministries’ websites. However, it is possible to examine operational process in terms of achievements of the Concepts priorities that were created:
– The policy of the formation and development of e-government in Tajikistan should be based on the principles of subordination of the informatization process to the priority tasks of the system of public administration and socio-economic development of the Republic of Tajikistan, consistency and balance of the pace and direction of informatization of individual executive bodies of state power and standardization of informatization processes of executive bodies of the government of the Republic of Tajikistan
– As part of improving the regulatory framework, it is necessary to ensure the preparation of a system of legal acts regulating the issues of information interaction of public authorities in the process of fulfilling the functions assigned to them, identification of participants in electronic interaction, the activities of authorized state bodies in electronic information exchange
– Improvement of the regulatory and legal framework on e-government issues provides for the introduction of the necessary changes and additions to the existing regulatory legal acts of the republic, as well as the development of new regulatory legal acts. This will eliminate the backlog of legislation in this area from the needs of society and the nature of social relations, as well as create an integral legal system and harmonize the legislation of the Republic of Tajikistan with universally recognized norms and principles of international law
– Assist in attracting citizens to use domestic materials on the Internet and improving the TJ domain and other everyday issues related to the implementation of e-government
– It is necessary to develop and improve the existing information technology networks among government bodies, take measures to increase the efficiency of their use and ensure electronic information rotation, including information databases
– In the regions, it is necessary to develop informatization programs that meet the requirements of a unified e-government architecture and are coordinated with the authorized body in the field of information and communication
– Since the provision of electronic services by local executive bodies is related to the level of development of departmental information systems, regulations for the interaction of information systems of local executive bodies with departmental information systems should be developed
– In order to improve the efficiency of public administration, it is required to complete the work on the creation and implementation of a secure technological system for interdepartmental electronic document management, which provides prompt information and documentary exchange between the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan, executive authorities and other agencies
In order to expand the possibility of citizens’ access to information on the activities of state bodies on the basis of the use of modern Information and Switching Technologies, it is necessary to create conditions for:
– the widespread development of the Internet, improving access to it;
– Creation of websites of the Government and all ministries and departments of the country on the Internet;
– development of departmental Internet sites that ensure the completeness and timeliness of the placement of relevant information on them;
– creation of internal computer networks of ministries and departments, further consolidating them into a single network for the phased introduction of interdepartmental electronic (paperless) workflow;
– the formation of public access infrastructure to the information posted on the Internet about the activities of public authorities and the provision of public services to citizens and organizations;
– Creation of a unified system of information and reference support for citizens on the provision of public services and interaction of citizens with government agencies.
First of all, it is necessary to recognize that the creation of e-government in the country is the most important task. Raising the level of education in the field of information and communication technologies is the most important task for the creation of e-government.
E-government has every chance of mass introduction in the future. With the development of social networking, the opportunities for communication will expand and new forms of interaction will emerge between the three branches of e-government – government, business and citizens. E-government as a set of practical tools for improving the quality of governance will undoubtedly become a catalyst for the transformation of the public sector.
Obviously, e-government can be one of the effective tools for accelerating political and administrative reforms. The introduction of e-government will help to efficiently manage public resources, improve the quality of public services, and strengthen citizens’ trust in power.