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Microsoft unveiled its vision of e-government in Russia

02/07/2010

At the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg, Microsoft introduced the vision of electronic government. Solution designed to provide citizens with an opportunity to receive public services online through various channels of access (web-cites of public services, info-boxex, etc.).

The presented solution allows you to make a citizen’s burden for the collection of documents from various departments and transfer it to their own departments, which will become possible with the adoption of several laws, notably the «law of public services.»

For example, if a child is born, he or she can be registered in the register office via the Internet in a simple and convenient form, the same arrange the insurance certificate or to register in the clinic.

The first Microsoft solution in this class was developed in 2001. And later — introduced in several countries, for example, in the UK (2004), where its base running site  directgov.co.uk. At  St. Petersburgs Forum Microsoft unveiled a prototype implementation of e-government for the citizens of Russia, taking into account existing and discussion of legislation.

In early 2010, Microsoft initiated the program «Your Course» designed to «increase the level of computer literacy in Russia. Under this program before the end of the year is scheduled to open at least 100 centers across the country and train them in the order of 1 million people. A significant part of the training given to training in the use of Windows and Office Suite MS Office.

Interview with Linda Zekker (Microsoft vice president for government and community organizations) on the interaction of Microsoft’s public sector

— In your opinion what are speciallities in the Russian market of information in the public sector compared with other countries?

I believe that Russia is in the same situation as other countries. Areas that have to pay a little more attention include the sector of information, as well as the formation of highly skilled professionals, educated in the field of IT. Russia also pays much attention to the spread of the Internet, how to ensure greater access to computer technology to reach more people.

Which countries spend the largest  amounts for informatization of the public sector? What place in this list is Russia?

— These figures can be seen, for example, based on the percentage of GDP, or age of the population, as well as many other unknowns. The specific amounts it’s difficult to say. Compared to a percentage of GDP, which in Russia today is spent on information and computer technology, it is quite comparable with the similar percentage in developed countries. Perhaps it is not so high as in Singapore or Australia, but is comparable with European countries such as France or Germany. Another important aspect in this regard is the history of investment in this sector, and in this case is an excellent example of Singapore. They have launched the first program for the development of information technology in 1980  and  they have been investing in this area for 30 years

— What are the projects that Microsoft implemented over the past few years in Russia’s public sector that could be an example for other countries?

— Now in Russia there is active development of information society. The largest contribution of   this process made all the projects related to the computerization of public services and the creation of electronic government. Special platform has been developed  by Microsoft called «Electronic city / region». On this platform, we propose the creation of portals for the public, online application forms for services to be filled and submitted via the Internet, call centers and much more. In Russia, an excellent example may be the Rostov region, which was implemented electronic «single window» for the provision of housing services, which increased the number of processed applications of citizens for more than a thousand a month. And  there are a lot of such examples in Russia.

How would you describe the cooperation of Microsoft with state authorities in Russia and are you satisfied with how everything is happening in our country?

Very satisfied. We have a very strong partnership, and we are seeing their significant development. It may be noted the increased cooperation and increased work with universities, as well as in secondary education. The fact that we do not just focus on sales in the public sector, as well as build partnerships in the field of information technology security, education, medicine, charity programs, programs to improve computer literacy. Thus, the range of activities within our partnerships with the public sector in Russia is very wide.

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