Cross-border municipal archives in Estonia and Russia will digitalize inquiries
The project „Increasing capacity of local authorities in providing e-services in Ida-Virumaa – Leningrad oblast cross-border area” has developed prototypes of two cross-border electronic services for municipal border town archives of Narva, Slantsy and Kingisepp. The e-services provide information on burials and records of employment on the other side of the border.
“Such documents are mostly often claimed by citizens living on both sides of the border, but the process of providing the requested information requires a large investment of time and money – the border is either crossed in person by the archivist for document delivery or the information is sent over as a registered letter”, said Andres Kustola, Director of Narva City Archive.
The project experts have studied in detail the overall state of provision of public and municipal e-services and explored various possibilities of e-documents exchange between the cross-border city archives in terms of technical feasibility. “The main obstacle of cross-border exchange of e-documents lies in the contradictions of the legal frameworks of the two countries. At the moment, ambiguities in the laws do not provide sufficient basis for mutual recognition of the legitimacy of electronic signatures issued in another country,” explained Dmitri Trutnev, Deputy Director of the e-Governance Centre of ITMO University. “Nevertheless, there are fresh precedents of international exchange of e-documents, for example, between the Russian and Estonian Pension funds. Within the project framework we have developed and described schemes for electronic cross-border interaction, which, in our opinion, do not breach the Russian or Estonian legislation. In order to reach a final decision, we made an inquiry to the competent authorities and are currently waiting for their clarification. Meanwhile, we are preparing a draft agreement between the municipalities and partner archives on the exchange of e-documents“, Mr. Trutnev added.
According to the project participants it is possible to establish electronic document exchange between the border cities’ archives based on a trust relationship between them and in compliance with the legislation in force. In the framework of this project, all 16 archivists from the three pilot archives were given personalized test ID cards with real certificates for digital use together with ID-card readers, issued by the Estonian Certification Centre (associate partner of the project) and Trueb Baltic.
The project „Increasing capacity of local authorities in providing e-services in Ida-Virumaa – Leningrad oblast cross-border area” aimed at the elaboration and pilot implementation of procedures to deliver two socially important municipal services via electronic channels. These services are delivered by the municipal archives, working in the border towns of Narva, Kingisepp, Slantsy, located in the North-East of Estonia and the Leningrad region of the Russian Federation.
This project is founded by Estonia-Latvia-Russia cross border cooperation Programme within European Neighbourhood and Partnership instrument 2007-2013.
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