Slovenia on path to totally digitalise its public services

The package proposed this week by the Strategic Council for Digitalisation, a government advisory body, covers public administration, healthcare, education, and economic policy. [Shutterstock/PopTika]

Slovenia is planning a wide-ranging digitalisation of public services in a bid to improve the efficiency of public administration and boot-strap technological development in line with the EU’s digital agenda objectives.

The package proposed this week by the Strategic Council for Digitalisation, a government advisory body, covers public administration, healthcare, education, and economic policy.

The solutions include an e-construction permit, an e-ID card and abolishing the hard copy version of the car registration certificate. The proposals include the expansion of telemedicine services to 5,000 high-risk elderly patients, as well as a mobile app for easy access to medical records, doctor’s certificates and prescriptions.

New services geared towards business would include e-notary services and a one-stop solution for companies reporting to the state. The council also suggested abolishing all administrative procedures related to remote working and incentives for investments in startups.

Slovenia would open a representative office in Silicon Valley and an international centre for applied artificial intelligence. The country already hosts a UNESCO-backed International Research Centre on Artificial Intelligence. The formation of a special unit of the army reserve dedicated to cybersecurity has been proposed as well.

With regards to education, the council proposed a digital voucher for e-skills and making computer science an obligatory subject in primary and secondary schools.

The government has recently endorsed the proposed package and is now likely to start drafting legislation on it.

“These are 40 solutions for the fourth decade of Slovenia, which will undoubtedly be a digital decade,” said the council’s head, Mark Boris Andrijanič.

It remains to be seen, however, how many of the proposals will actually see the light of day. Though Slovenia’s e-administration ambitions were set off to a good start in the early 2000s, it has fallen behind digital leaders such as Estonia in recent years.

As a commentator for the business daily Finance has put it, many of the ideas are sensible and some are not, while “most are unlikely ever to be put into practice.”

Under the national recovery and resilience plan, Slovenia plans to invest more than €500 million euro in improving digital services, mostly in the public sector.

(Sebastijan R. Maček | STA)

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