NEWS

Greek e-governance fragmented and chaotic, says report

EVA KARAMANOLI

TAGS: Technology

Hundreds of inactive webpages of state entities and electronic systems which, due to delays in their use, become outdated are some of the findings of a report on Greek public administration for the first quarter of 2018, conducted by the Athens-based think tank To Diktio, and presented exclusively by Kathimerini.

The report, which will be presented on Monday to political party leaders, relevant bodies and published on the think tank’s website (www.todiktio.eu), reveals a chaotic public administration, plagued by a lack of coordination of government work, while the online presence of the civil service remains fragmented and uneven.

The frequent changes in ministries' structures and names, the changes in local government, and the need to promote specific projects, are some of the reasons that have resulted in a slew of active and inactive public sector websites.

One of the examples mentioned is the widely touted “Citizen's Card,” which was supposed to allow citizens to use a digital signature. According to the report, the procedure on the website of the Civil Service Certification Authority is too complicated.

“The difficulties that someone encounters in trying to follow the instructions to get a digital signature are dissuasive, forcing many people to give up,” to Diktio said.

Apart from the complexity of the process, the report also identified technical difficulties on the website. 

If someone uses Internet Explorer 11, they have to uninstall it from their computer and install an older version, such as Internet Explorer 8-10. Also, if the operating system is Windows 8.1. or later, then the process will have to be done on another computer with an older operating system, the report says.

At the same time, millions of euros have been lost on systems that, due to state negligence, have been implemented with long delays, making them obsolete, without the possibility of upgrading them.

Some online systems did function satisfactorily (such as the HERMES portal), but were then devalued because of the lack of resources needed to update the data they published.

The aim of the report, which will be quarterly and annual, is to record the problems in the public sector so they can be fixed. For this purpose, Diktio established the group “Think Digitally.”

"Our objective is not to be the opposition to the government, but to identify the problems in order to improve them,” the coordinator of “Think Digitally” Notis Paraskevopoulos told Kathimerini.

“Starting from the current situation, our experienced partners as well as citizens will help to highlight good practices and delays,” he added.

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