E-state or e-society? In what sphere we are mainly lagging behind Europe?
The country is changing. More and more and more information and services are accessible to citizens in electronic format
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Over the past two years in the rankings of e-governance, made by the United Nations, Ukraine has risen by 25 rungs, from 87th to 62nd place.
It should be noted that the state implemented a provision of new electronic services that citizens of Ukraine began to actively use; this enabled Ukraine to improve its place in the ranking of e-activities (e-participation) - from 77th to 32th.
The country is changing. More and more and more information and services are accessible to citizens in electronic format. Of course, the greatest success of this process we call the creation of an electronic system of public procurement ProZorro.
In 2015 Department of Justice launched a cabinet of electronic services. Since 2016 the electronic office of the taxpayer is operating in Ukraine. You can compose e-petitions on the websites of presidential administration, the Cabinet and Verkhovna Rada. State structures are also preparing to launch e-declaration. Undoubtedly, we could see the progress.
However, despite a massive introduction of electronic services there are some general issues that require our attention. As the state is being transformed and begins to provide more and more services in electronic format, authorities should also increase the popularity and confidence in electronic systems of society, which is one of the least computerized in Europe.
Expanding access to the Internet
According to Google company, only slightly more than 60% of Ukrainian people are using the Internet. This is relatively low compared to other developed countries. In neighboring Poland the figure is almost 80%, Mexico - 77%, Malaysia - 76%.
Thus, Ukraine is at the end of the list of European countries by the availability of the network. In Estonia, which is the regional leader in e-governance, citizens are able to vote in elections using the Internet, today 81% of Estonian population uses the Internet, and 71% of people do it every day.
In the past five years the number of Internet users in Ukraine increased by almost half, from 31% to 52% in 2016. Part of the population that uses the Internet on a daily basis is growing, but still, this percentage is one of the lowest among European countries.
For comparison, in Poland currently 63% of the population uses the Internet daily, in Germany - 68%, and Finland - 77%. By the way, in Warsaw, for the promotion of e-government and informatization in 2011 was established the digital ministry, which is responsible for developing and implementing programs and policies at the national level, including increasing access to the network in the regions.
According to the State Statistics Service and the National Commission on communication, on average, 34% of people in Ukraine have access to the Internet. The lower figure compared to the Google data related to the fact that often one contract used within the same household.
However, it can be concluded that there is a significant difference between the percentages of Internet users in different regions of Ukraine, in less developed regions there are fewer such users respectively. Government should support the development of less developed areas of computerizayion, namely: Chernivtsi, Zakarpattia, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kirovohrad, Sumy, Kherson and Khmelnitsky.
It is necessary to promote e-life and the use of modern technology
An interesting example is the analysis of the use of credit and payment cards by Ukrainian population. As of mid-2016 the number of cards in circulation, according to the National Bank of Poland (hereinafter - NBP) was 35.3 million. According to the National Bank of Ukraine, the circulation was 30.9 million of active cards (used during the last 3 months) and 57.5 million of issued bank cards, the validity of which has not expired.
The difference in the number of active users in the two countries is negligible, but in Ukraine almost half of the issued cards are not used.
In 2015, the Poles, compared to Ukrainian spent 8 times more money during the payments using electronic money. According to the Polish Central Bank, in the country nearly 80% of all payments were done via cards. The fact that the Ukrainians prefer cash, demonstrates greater number of ATMs (by almost 50%) compared with Poland.
An additional factor confirming that the population prefers cash is that in Ukraine there is three times less number of terminals for payment cards in comparison with neighboring Poland.
So, with the development of e-government in Ukraine we need to develop access to the network, especially outside the regional centers. It will allow firstly to accelerate business development, at least by means of free access to electronic banking and the possibility of non-cash transfers, as well as through the creation and use of websites that are often still unexplored territory for the local producers.
Secondly, the informatization will allow to effectively fighting corruption through transparent monitoring of transfers. In May 2016 the European Central Bank (EU) said that it suspends the issue of bank notes of 500 Euros, because they are very rarely used in everyday life and often are subject to irregular payments.
Third, the expanded access to the network will allow more Ukrainians, especially from distant areas of the country, to use government services in electronic format. According to the Polish statistical office already in 2014 over 92% of enterprises used the electronic system of e-administration, without spending time to visit government agencies, and every fifth company made orders through the network.
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