Thanks to the introduction of more and more advanced information technologies, citizens and businesses expect the state to provide new electronic formats of public services, and no less quality than what they receive in the business sector. At the same time, this process is perceived as irreversible, since information technologies are becoming an integral part of everyday life of citizens and the norm of business functioning. Realizing this, States are undertaking appropriate reforms aimed at introducing the most successful information technologies into the work of the government, in particular, initiating e-government programs. However, e-government is now being replaced by digital government technologies.
Even the leading States in building e-government (Great Britain, Australia and the Republic of Korea) to date, we have not been able to fully digitalize government mechanisms and switch to a digital government by default, which implies a digital format for citizens and businesses to apply for public services and maximum avoidance of paper document management, production and provision of services based on information sharing infrastructure, allowing multiple use of data collected by various departments in all administrative processes.
E-government has not been able to achieve full automation of internal processes and the abolition of paper document management, duplicating the filling and movement of documents in electronic form. Moreover, administrative processes were not ready for rapid adaptation to the new generation of digital technologies. In particular, if in the framework of e-government the user had to fill out various electronic forms using an Internet browser and then personally apply to a state organization for the necessary service, in the framework of digital government the user is more focused on working with mobile devices and expects the state to receive services in digital format without having to visit a state organization, this requires a high degree of interaction and work with distributed user data from various departments. E-government remained largely digital in form, but traditional in content work of internal administrative mechanisms: instead of instant execution of the requested administrative operation to provide a public service (similar to the work of electronic resources of corporations such as Apple, Amazon, etc.), users had to wait for a response from government organizations for several hours or days.
At the same time, persistent information and digital inequality has not allowed e-government to gain a sufficiently high distribution among all population groups and to move away from traditional channels of applying for public services. As a result, the governments of many countries have become aware of the need for reforms that, on the one hand, would allow realizing the potential of e-government, on the other hand, would overcome its shortcomings at a new technological level within the framework of digital government.
The need to optimize the size and structure of the administrative apparatus as part of austerity measures is pushing many governments to introduce digital channels of interaction with consumers of public services. The cost of providing a digital service is on average 5% of the cost of providing this service over the phone, which, in turn, is three times cheaper than the cost of providing the service when the user personally applies to a state organization. As a result, within the same amount of funding, an increase in the absolute number of services provided by the state can be achieved. If e- government was primarily a political and administrative initiative of the state, then initiatives in the field of digital government follow from the requirements of the development of the modern economy and are considered as one of the key conditions for building a sovereign economy, as well as improving the country’s competitiveness in the international arena.
Building a digital government involves implementing a digital format for providing the entire range of state and municipal services by default, while maintaining the user’s ability to choose an alternative method — mail and telephone communication, as well as personal visits to a state organization. If in the framework of e-government multi-service centers providing state and municipal services took upon itself the function of providing services to certain population groups without access or without skills to operate electronic portals, digital government seeks to overcome the digital divide, covering with its services the entire population through mobile applications or by short message service. The transition to digital government means not only creating services that citizens need and want to receive through digital communication channels, but also creating conditions for digital inclusion of citizens, the ability to access services and the development of appropriate skills in using digital services.
In the framework of digital government is the principle of designing public services with a focus on the needs of the real user, not the current pattern of the administrative procedures in this connection are alpha — and beta-testing and adjustment of design decisions in accordance with the needs of real users, eliminates duplication of services at the Federal, regional and municipal levels of government to provide necessary user services. Taking into account not only the needs, but also the technical capabilities of users complements the above-described principle of digital government in the context of the growing popularity of mobile devices for working on the Internet and the development of unified portals for state and municipal services. The requirement to ensure a “seamless” user transition from one electronic computing device to another (for example, from a personal computer to a mobile phone or tablet computer) and from one operating system to another (for example, from IOS to Android) when working with these portals was the embodiment of this principle, which remained technically unrealized in the framework of e-government.
Unlike e-government, a number of services which involves applying for government services through traditional paperwork, which was complicated by the need for frequent consultation with other agencies in the course of processing the application, digital government creates fully digitized administrative process, from filing and tracking of application, constantly informing the user about the passage of important stages and ending the automated screening of applications, not only in the existing database services, but also for interagency databases. As a result, the practice of providing public services can be completely digitized, and the physical result of their provision can be replaced with a digital passport, visa, payment document, etc.
The creation of unified databases for joint use by government agencies is one of the important conditions for building a digital government. Thus, information collected by a single government Agency about individuals, businesses, real estate objects, addresses, etc. is repeatedly used throughout the public sector, not only at the Central, but also at the regional and municipal levels. Almost any information that is used in the work of government agencies and does not contain personal data, closed official information or state secrets can be published in the form of open data (for example, cartographic data, data from the financial, insurance and construction sectors of the economy, meteorological data, etc.). As a result, databases become key administrative assets rather than the functions and powers of government departments.
Digital government is moving away from the practice of developing special applications for each specific Department and offers them to use a universal government infrastructure for sharing, the capabilities of which allow you to adapt its tools to the specifics of each of the departments or management levels. In addition, the practice of using government cloud services for data storage and processing is gaining popularity these technologies allow combining departmental data centers and increasing the efficiency of their computing resources. The need to share and analyze more and more data is also related to the growing use of sensors, sensors and the data they produce, such as fire safety, video surveillance, alarm systems, lighting systems, Parking and building management, as well as their use for monitoring and managing urban infrastructure, monitoring public transport, ensuring the safety of citizens, maintaining a real estate register, monitoring the quality of work of managers and contractors with visualization on an interactive map.
The sharing infrastructure is becoming more and more relevant in the context of the development of the “Internet of things”, a computer network of physical objects connected to the Internet, and the increasing volume and quality of information exchanges between them.