E-state helps save a mountain-worth of paper equal in height to the Eiffel Tower. The digital signature system helps save 2% of GDP every year, such benefits from digitization of state services are mentioned by CEO of e-Estonia Showroom @ Enterprise Estonia Anna Piperala.
Here are some of the main benefits provided by electronic management of state services:
A high degree of efficiency and substantial saving of state funds
With initial investments into formation of networks, developed digital services and residents properly educated in the use of the electronic environment can provide unbelievable efficiency and saving of finances in a long-term perspective, Piperala emphasizes. In Estonia, where 99% of state and municipal services are available digitally, IT maintenance costs 40 times less in comparison with Finland and 400 times less in comparison with the UK.
Latvia has been developing its own e-services sector over the past seven years. Major initiatives have been carried out in every industry over the course of this period of time, explains head of Environmental Protection and Regional Development Ministry’s Electronic Services Office Gatis Ozols.
Lower administrative burden and more time and money-saving for people
More than half of 300 different state services available in Latvia are currently electronically available to the population. It has allowed the state to reduce the administrative burden, increase the work efficiency of the state administration and secure data access to factually-based decision-making processes.
It was concluded after the first year that the automatic acquisition of necessary information regarding tax debts, previous penalties and insolvency has allowed the state to save more than EUR 1.1 million in procurements. Electronic tax book has also provided a tangible positive effect on expenses and time spent on tax administration. Accessibility of territorial plans in the electronic environment has enhanced overall transparency.
More satisfied clients and more accessible services
In general, nearly one third of service demand is received electronically and e-services leave people more satisfied than they are with service use in person, explains Ozols.
Digitally organized services do not mean all of them are received electronically. This basically means it is necessary to secure information exchange within the electronic environment, emphasizes Piperala.
Experts from Latvia and Estonia emphasize that a unified customer service centre plays a major role.
More universal and safer user authentication
As it turns out, one of Latvia’s stories of success is ‘universal login’ or authentication for public services provided by latvija.lv and 30 other public management portals and information systems.
«It is a solution for which other European Union member states envy us. It also helps us make the introduction process of a cross-border electronic identification system that much easier. According to the eIDAS directive of the European Union, EU residents will have access to electronic services provided by other EU member states,» – admits Ozols.