• The wide objective of e-Russia.
  • The e-Government
  • Advantages and Possibilities of the e-Russia
  • From ODL to e-Learning.
  • E-russia: Programme for the Innovation in Government

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    E-Russia: Programme for the Innovation in Government

    Chkoliar N.A.

    During the last years, the great demand of all type of services through Internet has represented, a strong worldwide tendency. Many people, who can access to Internet, not only can buy and sale, same of them can’t work and live without using this global electronic net. The private sector is focused faster towards the e-Commerce. The development of Internet each day giving the new and new citizens more possibilities to fined the baste life, struggle to his rights, made the movement to e-Society. At the same time, the public sector has begun to experience a similar transformation called e-Government.

    The digital revolution is one of the cause of fast process of globalization that produced in the markets. This process showed the need of the government’s restructuring in the way of rise capacity of governmental answer when facing the increasing citizen demands. The government will face new forms of public participation in the decision-making. In the situation than information technologies (IT) possibilities allow each citizen to participate actively in the definition of public policy, the relation between government and citizens will be direct. The governments will have to find new ways to complete his function, to interact with the citizens and produce the innovation in public management.
    We can observe that this tendencies involve the private sector, society and government in the electronic world fest of all in international organization and high developed countries. For example, in the United States it is anticipated to have all the federal governmental services on line for the year 2003. At that time, some of developing countries also showed very interesting activities in this way. For example, in Mexico “to start the e-Mexico System in order that the telecommunications and computer science revolution have a truly national character and available for all people”1. In Singapore a national initiative already work to directly give interactive multimedia services to homes, schools and businesses, with the idea during 15 years to develop the maximum level the quality of life in home, work and entertainment2.
    As other countries Russian government developed and started the national programs with the aim to improve the information technologies in the government management. However, in spite of that most of Ministries and governmental institutions are developing their activity in Internet, but only in that year the government began to the solution of the problem. In the beginning of the 2001 the Russian government had made decision to elaborate the Federal program “The Electronic Russia 2002 – 2010”.
    In this article we try analyze not only content and problems of this governmental program, but express our vision of eGoverment model. We hope that the opportunity to participate in 10-th NISPAcee Annual Conference help us in understanding of applying the eGovernment framework in transitional country.
    The wide objective of e-Russia.
    Federal program “e-Russia 2002-2010” – is special attempt to enter in the “digital future” which for the developed countries became the present. The program doesn’t oriented on immediately economic results. The success of the problem mean that government administration of all levels become more accessible for citizens, and their activity will be more transparent and efficacy. The transparent achieves by oblige e-publication and creation bases of dates of all documents which are not confidant. The efficacy is expletive to be reached by transition in the e-form biggest part of document.

    There are some of main objectives of the program The Electronic Russia 2002 – 2010:

    • Growth of the efficient of the function of the economy, state and local management through the improvement and muss dissemination of the information and telecommunication technology,

    • Founding of the technological bases for the development of the civil society through the possibility to the free access to the information

    • Widening of the training of the specialists in information technologies and skilled users.

    According the wide objective this program has strategically view for Russian transition economy. The program consists form three stages: I stage - 2002 ; II stage - 2003-2004; III stage - 2005-2010. Total volume of the financing of the program is $2,5 billions.3
    The Russia Federal Ministry of Communications and Information is the coordinator of that elaboration. There are also 3 Ministry and 3 Federal Agency, who is the Statement customer. In spite of that objectives are determined by the government, in this topic we will find new points of view about the content of program.
    The program will permit to increase the access to the Internet the people. Is planning to organize the training of specialists in the information technology sphere. First of all state organizations will need such specialists.

    The list of the main:

    1. modernization of legislation and of system of economical regulation in the field of IT;

    2. conditions for effective interaction between the government and citizens on the base of wise using of IT;

    3. modernization of state power organ’s activity and local self-managing by entering the IT;

    4. providing of efficacy of budget expenses in the sphere of informatization;

    5. increase into real sector the efficacy inculcation of IT;

    6. development of the training system for specialists in information technology sphere and qualify users.

    The e-Russia may integrates four interconnected subsystems: Administration and management, Technology and interconnection, Contents and programs, Legal frame. In the end of the Program the Government expect such results:

      • raise of budget and private economic sectors efficacy starting use IT;

      • creation the conditions for development of the production goods and services in It’s sector;

      • pries reduction for work with net resources;

      • draw in new groups if people in IT;

      • raise of accessible information about state government and local self-managing organs for public;

      • efficacy raise of interaction of the government with people and raising serves quality;

      • raising of middle, high and professional education by wise using of IT;

      • development of independent information services.

    In our opinion, in first stage of the e-Russia Program the efforts of several public and private initiatives should be integrated to develop services and contents on line of e-Government, e-Learning, e-Health, e-Economy. Let's try to form a number of supposition for first tow of that subsystems.

    The e-Government:
    The e-Government involves a transformation of the governmental role introducing new values of communication, cooperation and interactive participation for the governmental decision-making (G2C: government-citizen relations). Likewise, the strategies of transparency, performance and reporting within the government itself will be modified (G2C: government-government relations) so that this one acts more efficiently in the benefit of the services and the information management, reinforcing its leadership in the society, finally, the government-companies relations (G2B government-business) also will be redesigned looking for the active and engaged participation of the private sector in the governmental modernization process. For the subsystems e-Government we offer a following number of trends:

    • Electronic vote.

    • Payment of services.

    • Traffic control.

    • E-taxation.

    • Diffusion of the public expenditure and execution of the budget.

    • Public security.

    • Mailbox for complains.

    • Public biddings.

    • Proceedings for renovation of permissions and licenses.

    • Information on services of the public administration.

    • Guide of proceedings.

    • Employment agency.

    • Registries of requests of diverse social benefits.

    • Services for young ones, women, retired.

    • Registry of agenda and events.

    Now some of that trends are actively develop in Russia, but other part not yet included in the program.

    Advantages and Possibilities of the e-Russia

    The realizing of that program will open the perspectives for the different sectors of economy, society, and will stimulate the innovational possibilities of private sector. There are several benefits derived from the e-Russia: the customizing of the services, the reduction of the distances and the time, the productivity and the efficiency, the decentralization, the transparency, the supply and provisions of integrated services, the best administration of the budget, among others. The challenge of the e-Government offers two great opportunities for the entrepreneurs:

    • As suppliers, because they have the know-how and the products, which will allow the governments to reach its objectives.

    • As consumers, the same as all the citizens, because they will benefit from the improvement of the government services.

    However, the enormous digital gap that exists in countries as ours, between the inhabitants that have and those that do not have access to Internet, generates enormous challenges for a successful beginning of the electronic government.

    At a basic level, we will need computers in all the schools and libraries, as well as in all the government offices. We will have to generate information systems about the governmental activity, proceedings and communication with the citizenship.

    At an intermediate level, computers in all public places will have to exist. All the internal systems of government and the proceedings for the obtaining of public services will have to be available in Internet and all the governmental levels should be integrated.

    What economic effect, the active using Internet can bring to the system of state management? For example, in the 2001 ear in Russia in all levels of the government was made 420.000 purchases for state needs, general suppliers number is 852.000. Common value of contracts is more then 230 billion rubles. Inculcation of e-trade systems for state purchases gives 10% economy.

    So, in 2001 Russian budget could economize 23 billion rubles ($1billion). Economy on the e-trade achieves by the possibility to buy goods and machines by wholesale price. The difference between the wholesale and simple price consist 10-30%. Joining small orders from schools and local administrations state customers can get highest wholesale discounts.

    But the possibility to economy state money for development B2G (business-to-government) segment it’s not enough. Leaders of the powerful structure should have a desire to control budget flows and dispose them for public interest. If the leader of administration wants to manage the expenditure, e-trade pleases will exist. Otherwise administrate leaders will саботировать all the beginnings in that sphere.

    By the observations, firs e-system of state purchases in RF can be in some cities or areas only then on the federal level. The leaders of the Cheliabinsk, Tomsk and Surgut regions show the interest to technological solutions, but working B2G places in Russia do not exist yet. However, a part from financial there are organizational and legislation problems. For example, it’s necessary to create general реестр of all goods and services consumed by budget structures. The creation of that реестр for 2003 ear includes in the program E-Russia. All the process of making the purchases for state needs is time limited in the legislative sphere, the changing in the form and structure of holding trade need correction of all lows. E-system of state purchase should work on all levels by the program E-Russia.
    From ODL to e-Learning.
    The Program not only suggests the solution current problems, but it makes number of new. Some of them can’t be solved in the brackets of “E-Russia 2002-2010”. For example, to approach Russian educational system to standards of developed countries by informational technologies, the program “Development of unique educational informational sphere for 2002-2006”.

    During the last decade world economy was undergone fundamental changes. Globalization and Its development have changed working conditions of many managers and executives from not only commerce corporations but also from state enterprises. Efficient management of business, enterprise, sector, country depend mainly upon executive personnel that constantly get in-service training. This task can be solved via application of computer networks of open and distance learning (ODL).

    ODL has turned of late into advanced technology products of scientific and technical revolution, including computer and Internet technologies of teaching. This process to a considerable degree is identified by the rate of IT and ICT development, but to our understanding, determining factor is the role of political decisions related to ODL development that are made up on different levels: federal (the Ministry of education, regional departments of education), corporative (universities and enterprises managers), international (foundations and programmes that finance ODL, organizations that disseminate “know-how”.

    Russia doesn’t remain aloof from world progress in this field. Nevertheless deficit of state and corporative resources resulted from transition period mostly is restricting factor for ODL system establishment.

    Rate of changes in the world of information as well as expansion of Internet application and spreading of new technologies and techniques ask for a quick reaction from the part of the state in the field of education. No sooner the state policy in the field of distance learning has been formed than a necessity arose for decision making on open learning (OL). In this direction the Ministry of Education has made up a number of timely decisions, such as: establishment of the Russian State Institute of Open Learning, support to establishment of International Academy of Distance Learning, adoption of scientific-technical programme “Establishment of open learning system» for the period of 2001-2002. 4 This programme consists of 5 sub-programmes. The main sub-programme “Establishment of federal (national, inter-regional and municipal) infrastructure for open learning” is now under implementation. The Ministry of Education of the RF gives strategy orientation toward OL development and supports DL projects. This justifies synergetic approach toward a new concept of the Russian state policy of “open and distance learning – ODL” that has been formed and confirmed already in European countries.

    Strategic directions of the state ODL policy in the RF were defined in long-term Programme of the Government of Russia.5 In accordance with the Programme, “transfer to open learning” becomes one of the basic conditions for effective modernization of education as a whole. To upgrade the content of general secondary education first of al it is necessary to implement open learning model in general teaching\/learning process. This model assumes:

    • «Setting up infrastructure of technical means that could be constantly available to all participants of teaching process (work station at school library, at disabled child’s home etc.);

    • Corresponding soft wear including virtual environments for teaching activities, information and references resources;

    • Organizational infrastructure, including regional centers of open learning, Internet centers at universities, structures for methodological support, personnel training and in-service training”.6

    The Government’s programme for distance learning gives a special role to restructuring of rural comprehensive schools. It is “development of distance learning (including education via Internet) and corresponding network of distance learning centers” that are planned to be one of the tools for rural schools restructuring.

    It should be emphasized that during the last decade in Russian educational environment there is a considerable growth of public and private initiatives in the field of ODL. ODL concept and political decisions are being actively discussed and elaborated. Universities, associations, centers and some experts try to present their understanding of ODL and processes connected with it. Variety of views is reflected in many approaches toward understanding and awareness of open and distance learning.

    That’s why we can state that setting up ODL policy is going on not just behind the doors of office – rooms but mostly at conferences, workshops. Leading Russian experts annually take part in conferences organized by such international structures as European Association of Distance Learning or International Council on Distance Learning. Foe example, representatives of Tacis DELPHI Project Component IV took active part in different international for a dedicated to ODL issues (participation in EDEN conference that took part in October 1999 in MSU; Congress “Internet in education, economy and art” organized by UNESCO, Gete Institute and RUDN in 2000; “Telematika” in St. Petersburg, 2000; Conference “Attractiveness of projects in the field of open and distance learning in Russia for investments” organized by National Training Foundation in Moscow in March, 2000; Conference “Norm and legal provision of open learning” in MECI, 2001 etc.)

    Majority of experts believe that perspectives of ODL development in Russia are connected with equipping general secondary schools and vocational schools with computers and Internet connections. Recto of Higher School of Economics Mr. Kuzminov believes that transfer to open learning has to become the base for education restructuring since it makes possible for children to select their own learning path and to study advanced learning of subjects for future occupation still at school. As for the issue of computers provision the state has mainly concentrated on rural and small towns schools. In 2001 Federal Programme for Development of Education allocated 1 billion rubles (35 million dollars) for computers procurement. But even though this is the biggest sum allocated during the last 10 users, it is too small to solve strategic tasks of computerization, that’s why simultaneously the scheme is introduces for local fund-raising. Regional schools will get these funds only under condition of parity financing with local authorities. But even if the sum of 2 billion rubles will be gathered somehow it is hardly enough for purchase of two computers for one out of 40 thousand schools located in small towns and rural areas.

    One of the main restrictions of ODL development via Internet is the problem of getting attached to Network of educational institutions. In Russia provision of educational service via Internet can have only dotted geography. Geographical dissemination of ODL is directly connected with geography of Russian speaking zone of world network. At present in Russia there is very high degree of concentration of Internet users. In accordance with the data of ВЦИОМ 27% of population have never heard of Internet.7 One third of all population of Russia lives in 75 largest cities with more than 250 thousand inhabitants and they make 95% of Internet audience. Increase of network users is carried out due to private companies and not at the expense of the state and non-profit structures. As for amount and density of Internet audience Moscow occupies the leading position. About 8% of Muscovites enter Internet at least once a week. St. Petersburg occupies the second position as for amount of Internet users that is bigger than amount of users from Ekaterinburg, Novosibirsk and Krasnodar all together. As for medium and small towns the most advanced in this field are “scientific” cities from Moscow oblast – Obninsk, Troitsk, Chernogolovka and Dubna. Also one should note advanced position in use of Internet of Petrozavodsk, Surgut, Tomsk, and Juzhno-Sakhalinsk.
    Russian regions with the largest Internet audience 8



    Internet audience, thousand people per week

    % of general number of Russian users

    Moscow and Moscow oblast



    St. Petersburg and Leningrad oblast



    Novosibirsk oblast



    Sverdlovsk oblast



    Krasnodarskiy kraj



    Samara oblast



    Primorsky kraj



    Cheljabinsk oblast



    Irkutsk oblast



    Rostov oblast



    Nizhegorodsky oblast



    Permj oblast



    Krasnoyarsky kraj



    Chanty Mansi AD



    Voronezh oblast



    At present out of 67 thousand schools only less than 3 thousand have an access to Internet. For example, in Barnaul out of 101 schools only 4 ones got connection to the network. 9 In the Programme of strategic development of Russia for the period of 2001-2010 in the section related to education, the Government gives a promise to provide not less than 60% of general schools with computer classes and access to Internet before 2005. It is planned to equip at least one computer class at every school with average number of work places as 15. If to take into consideration that one work place with taking into account provider’s and operator’s wages per year costs about one thousand dollars it means that all in all accomplishment of the task will ask not less than one billion dollars. Allocation of these funds from the state budget that makes 40 billion dollars seems rather problematic. It is more realistic to assume that complete computerization of schools in Russia will be possible in 4-5 years

    In accordance with experts’ forecasts in order to set up open computer classes at every professional educational institution (about 4 thousand higher and technical schools) it is necessary to invest about one billion dollars during 3-4 years. This tack is planned to be financed at the expense of funds accumulated in so-called development budget. These are funds targeted exclusively for equipment strengthening including purchase of computers and Internet connection. The state acts as general customer while budget for education becomes investment budget. But funds from federal budget are not sufficient, that’s why activities are planned to support companies interested in upbringing of heir products customers and personnel prepared for work under conditions of new economy.

    Development of methodology for distance learning in the Russian federation is under influence of educational institutions’ traditions. The institutions possess different technical, personnel and finance base as well as approved forms of teaching process organization. In this field lack of coordination in understanding of ODL essence and models is obvious most of all. Almost every educational institution presses towards development of its own methods of distance learning (that can be based upon application of new IT or just be a sort of modernization of regular learning by correspondence) and is not really willing to accept other methods even if they are the most advanced. In order to provide methodological support to ODL development in Russia the Ministry of Education established Inter-institutional Center of Distance Learning. The following structures also deal with the issues of methods: Scientific- Research institute of Distance Learning, Uchkom, Distance Learning Laboratory (the town of Perejaslavl-Zalesski) Redline Russian Educational Tele-communication Network and some other.

    Finally, to achieve an advanced e-Russia we will have to make a reality that each family has computer with access to Internet, that complete and intricate systems of work exist in the web, that monetary transactions could be done on line, that integration with other sectors of the society and their systems is obtained, and that the democracy on line becomes part of the citizen dynamics.

    The governmental program based upon the information technologies constitutes a long-term objective that could only be covered successfully if strategic alliances with the private sector for the provision of technological products at accessible prices are obtained for all Russians.

    Nevertheless, the success is not guaranteed absolutely. Nothing assures that the government will have the capacity to answer to all the numerous citizen demands that will arrive through the web. Who can assure us, the citizens, that the governmental electronic system will not fail? Who will respond for the violations in the privacy of the information provided by the competent one to solve the irregularities in the electronic provision of goods and services?

    These questions and some others are to be solved until the governmental macro-project is implemented. The citizens will be expectant, searching for, meanwhile, new and useful applications for the technologies in the web. On the other hand, the innovation of the government means not only new technology and efficient processes but to break paradigms and to create innovating schemes.

    1 Margain y Compean J.C. e-Mexico System: Tecnological Convergence with Eqity.//El Mercado de Valores. 2001. #3. p.6.

    2 www.s-one.gov.sg

    3 www.e-russia.ru

    4 Order of the Ministry of Education of the RF # 2925, dated 16.10.2000.

    5 www.akm.ru/rus/gosinfo/progr_gov/stm

    6 www.akm.ru/rus/gosinfo/progr_gov/stm

    7 Internet – tasks for tomorrow. Expert, #11, 19.03.2001.

    8 Expert, January 22, 2001.

    9 Expert, October 16, 2000.

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    E-russia: Programme for the Innovation in Government

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