Economy, Domestic Economy

Call for E-Gov't Development Plan

Call for E-Gov't Development Plan
Call for E-Gov't Development Plan

President Hassan Rouhani, who also heads the IT Supreme Council, announced Wednesday the technical and administrative criteria on the electronic government development program.

During the sixth meeting of the council, the president said all government agencies are instructed to formulate and implement their information and communication activities in line with the "resistance economy"-- a set of guidelines, introduced by Iran's Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, which mainly urge the government to reduce reliance on oil revenues and go towards knowledge-based sciences.

Also, a commission on e-government development will be formed in the IT Supreme Council in order to ensure technical and administrative coordination among government agencies.

The commission's board would consist of 18 members, with the vice president for human resources management as chief, and the head of Information Technology Organization of Iran as deputy chief. Other board members include vice president for strategic planning and supervision; cooperation and supervision deputy of first vice president; representatives from the ministry of intelligence and national security, ministry of economic affairs and finance, ministry of interior, ministry of justice, State Organization for Registration of Deeds and Properties, National Organization for Civil registration, Iran Post Company, Central Bank of Iran; Secretary of the State Policy Council on Electronic Certificates; heads of 14 working groups of service clusters; head of government services counter offices;  two technology experts; and a guild representative.

The roadmap for development of e-government in Iran was handed down to the government agencies in the form of two coordinated resolutions. The first resolution is a charter for the development of e-services, approved by the Supreme Administrative Council, and is mostly focused on administrative affairs. The second charter has to do with technical administrative criteria, and is approved by the IT council. The two charters form the framework for e-government development, FNA reported Wednesday.

The roadmap allows government agencies to annually allocate one percent of their budget to information and communication technology (ICT) services. This is beyond the annual credits the agencies receive for the same purpose.

According to the charter, all government agencies are ordered to form working groups in order to coordinate the planning, implementation, and development of electronic service projects and supervise the procedure.

*A Solution to Administrative Corruption

On Tuesday, Nasrollah Jahangard, deputy minister of communications and IT, said information technology (IT) development is the single best solution toward combating administrative corruption.

"The e-government development program will require each citizen to be allocated a unique identity for accessing the National Information Network," he said during a preliminary, specialist e-government session on Tuesday.

Jahangard set out the details of the roadmap for e-government development. The plan includes measures to improve technical criteria and to approve an IT senior council, protocols and procedures.

Commenting on the program he stated, "This is the first resolution where two supreme councils have joined forces and have taken concrete steps toward e-government development within existing resources."

The deputy minister believes better transparency through the e-government initiative is the single most effective means for combating administrative corruption.  Anywhere, he added, "where there is increased atomization, there is a visible decrease in corruption."

"Our main focus is not IT and communications rather, the government and its procedures are the heart of the matter," Jahangard added.  "E-government development will target all systems and services provided to the public, and that by the use of IT our aim is to create the underpinnings of an efficient and proactive government."

"Administrative departments have not evolved very much in recent years and continue to exist in silos," he continued.  "We are hoping that by taking the necessary steps, we will put in place the frameworks for improvement of our administrative processes. And with more effective interactions between different administrative systems, we will graduate from being organization orientated to service orientated."

With reference to current state of IT in the various administrative departments, the deputy minister stated, "We have areas with portals that are very outdated and others which are highly mechanized and current.  We must therefore, work to fill the gaps and balance out our systems and processes in order to provide better services and improved interaction different parts of the system."

"There are approximately 1,400 services, which have in the first round been divided into 14 groups," the official asserted.

He said the ministry's aim is not to develop 10 different identity (ID) cards, "rather our aim is for all services to be accessed via a single ID card."

Jahangard stated that "every citizen should be able to access the National Information Network via a unique identifier".

"All administrative areas should provide a report on the current state of their IT to the IT Supreme Council in order to be included as part of the National Information Network," he added.