In April, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic for Investments and Informatization launched checks of authorities in order to review compliance with Act on e-Government. Results of the review clearly indicated where authorities need to “speed up”.
“Electronic communication of the government to citizens and businesses came into force almost three years ago but, even despite that, there are still authorities that prefer using regular mail or the delivering is not done correctly. We have been notified by citizens in regions, we receive filing to the office”, said Richard Raši, Deputy Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic for Investments and Informatization, and stressed that the purpose of reviews is not to punish authorities but help that to put delivering of official documents in line with applicable legislation as soon as possible (Note.*).
“In our reviews, we focused on municipalities, district office, i.e. those institutions that communicate with a large number of citizens on daily basis in matters that to close to people, such as building permit procedure, determining of the real property tax, fee for the household waste collection, decisions on primary school admission, etc.”, Jaroslav Kmeť, Director General of the IT Section at the ODPMII said on performed reviews and added that almost the same shortcomings occurred in all reviewed authorities.
“We have come across cases that authorities made official decisions, printed them out, signed by hand, scanned them and sent to citizens. To authorise official documents, they use neither the mandate certificate not the electronic seal. And that is not electronic communication of the government with citizens”, Kmeť explained one of frequent violations.
The most frequent violations of the Act on e-Government thus concern authorisation of official documents; authorities do not use the mandate certificate or the electronic seal to sign electronic documents, they do not use the time seal, they do not prepare documents in the format of electronic forms, they do not check if citizens have their electronic inboxes activated, they do not prepare paper counterparts of official documents for persons who do not have their electronic inboxes activated and another frequent shortcoming is the failure to publish documents on the central official electronic board (CUET).
Instructions for public administration authorities for electronic delivering are published on website slovensko.sk, section Agenda, Citizens and the state, Public Authorities (https://www.slovensko.sk/sk/agendy/agenda/_usmernenie-k-zakladnym-povinno). Equally, public administration authorities can make use of free trainings provided by the National Agency for Network and Electronic Services (NASES).
And, alternatively, citizens who have come across violations of the Act on e-Government who still receive documents from authorities by regular mail can report it at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Office of the Deputy Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic for Investments and Informatization will continue in reviews in order to further explain where authorities make mistakes and show them that the electronic communication provides benefits not only to citizens but it also simplifies the work for office employees too”, Deputy Prime Minister Raši added at the end.