Foreign Ministry, Diplomatic Corps Discuss Kazakh E-Government

roundtableASTANA – A round-table discussion of Kazakhstan’s e-government system and of plans to hold a major international conference on e-government development globally in the fall was held in Astana on June 27 with the participation of Minister of Foreign Affairs Erlan Idrissov, Chairman of the Agency for Communications and Information Askar Zhumagaliyev and local diplomatic corps.

The electronic government web portal, www.egov.kz, is intended to provide a new format for dialogue between the government and citizens. The portal allows visitors to obtain and submit different documents and pay fines and taxes, as well as directly address state agencies and leave suggestions and comments on bills and public service projects around the country.

The index of the e-government development consists of indicators on human capital, telecommunications infrastructure and online services. Today, the computer literacy of Kazakhstan’s population is 63.2 percent, while broadband Internet is available to 67.6 percent of the country. As it exists today, Kazakhstan’s e-government allows citizens to access 570 services through the e-government portal. The portal provided 38 million services in 2013; so far this year, 22.8 million services have been provided. The portal is visited on average by 43,000 users daily.

“Experience from around the world has demonstrated both the great importance and the real benefits of sharing information and promoting interaction between citizens and government. Today, a high quality info communication sector is no longer an impressive add-on to government services – it has become a critical component of effective government and the way we do business,” said Foreign Minister Idrissov in his opening speech.

Zhumagaliyev announced, “We plan to advance mobile government that is aimed at providing services using mobile devices. By the end of this year, more than 50 services will be available through mobile applications.”

During the conference, Idrissov noted that besides making people’s lives easier by reducing bureaucracy, e-government also aims to fight the corruption. In his words, more and more services are being introduced in order to decrease the level of corruption in Kazakhstan.

“I am proud to say we have made significant progress. Our country has continued to improve in recent years, rising to 28 out of 193 countries in the UN’s e-government development indicators,” said Idrissov. “The e-government system in Kazakhstan is not different from global e-government; it shares the same purposes,” he added

During the discussion, Korean Ambassador to Kazakhstan Baik Joo-hyeon stressed the importance of holding the third Global E-Government Forum in Astana on October 6-7, and congratulated Kazakhstan on the upcoming event. According to UN e-government evaluations announced on June 24, Korea’s e-government system has now topped the list of global e-government systems for three years in a row.

During the discussion, Deputy Chairman of the Zerde Joint Stock Company Bikesh Kurmangaliyeva mentioned that e-government in Kazakhstan creates easier ways of developing local businesses. Idrissov also reminded participants about the recently announced visa-free regime for 10 countries with which Kazakhstan has close economic ties.

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