On September 27th, 2019, the 5th Forum for IT directors of the Ukrainian Public Sector, “Trust in Digital Society”, took place in Kyiv. More than 300 attendees participated in discussions on issues of electronic governance development in Ukraine and the related necessity for a system that would protect privacy and ensure the secure exchange of data.
The forum was organized by the EGOV4UKRAINE project (part of the U-LEAD with Europe program) and the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine.
“Trust is mandatory,” stressed the forum’s keynote speaker, Member of European Parliament, Andrus Ansip (Estonia). “People will never start using electronic services as long as they feel that their data is insufficiently protected.”
Andrus Ansip, former Vice President of the European Commission, Commissioner for the Digital Single Market, and Prime Minister of Estonia, also stressed the importance of the digital transformation to society and to each citizen.
“We did not carry out our structural reforms for Brussels or for anyone else – we did it for ourselves,” he said of Estonia’s path to the European Union.
Mykhailo Fedorov, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine and Minister of Digital Transformation also spoke of the Estonian experience in the field of electronic governance reform, and of the necessity to apply this experience in Ukraine. In particular, this includes political support on all levels of government, the introduction of electronic identification (Smart-ID), a single online portal to serve citizens, and the aim to design government services in a way that would make them non-intrusive and automatic for citizens.
Mykhailo Fedorov also discussed the plans of the newly created Ministry of Digital Transformation and presented the ДІЯ (Government and me) brand – a set of activities aiming to facilitate the interaction between the government and its citizens through the development of online services.
“Data protection belongs to the category of human rights,” noted Krisztina Rozgonyi from the University of Vienna. She works as a senior consultant on media, telecommunication and legal policy. “The government must make data and privacy protection its daily business, like in the European Union. That is the key to building trust.”
Trust-building in the provision of electronic services was also addressed by Leader of the EGOV4UKRAINE project, Mari Pedak, and Advisor to the Minister of Digital Information, Lyudmila Rabchinskaya.
“The data exchange system ‘Trembita’ is key to the mass development of electronic services, while the information system ‘Vulyk’ of the ASC supports the provision of public services,” said Mari Pedak. “However, digital identification is also necessary. That is the next step in building trust.”
Lyudmila Rabchinskaya noted that government services must be available for everyone in Ukraine. For this reason, the Ministry of Digital Transformation and various donors are developing Administrative Services Centers, and simultaneously implementing the ‘State in Smartphone’ initiative.
The forum also included two separate seminars on the implementation of the data exchange system ‘Trembita’ and the information system ‘Vulyk’.
In particular, the senior expert of the EGOV4UKRAINE project Yurii Kopytin, who is in charge of developing ‘Trembita’, explained the technical details of connecting executive bodies and their registries to the system, as well as ways of ensuring the security of data exchanged through the system.
Nadiia Melnyk from the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine reported that agreements on connection to the system have currently been signed with 34 executive bodies, seven of which have already been connected, and two – the National Health Service of Ukraine and the State Service for Medication and Drug Control – are already working together. This cooperation enables the efficient implementation of the ‘Accessible Medication’ program.
Andrii Piskun, who manages the implementation of ‘Vulyk’ under EGOV4UKRAINE, noted the benefits that the information system provides to the ASC.
“‘Vulyk’ meets the basic needs of the centers,” said the expert. “As a subsystem of the electronic interaction system for executive bodies, it enables the faster provision of services. A very important function is the interaction of ‘Vulyk’ with the ‘Trembita’ system. In addition, ‘Vulyk’ is easy to use, free and allows for its functionality to be expanded.”
Volodymyr Brusilovskyi from the Ministry of Digital Transformation discussed the specifics of connecting administrative services centers to ‘Vulyk’. He stressed that the procedure remains unchanged even as the custody of the system is formally moved from the State Agency for E-Governance to the Ministry of Digital Transformation.
Additional information on the forum and on issues of the development of electronic governance in Ukraine is available here:
The Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine was established in September of 2019. It is responsible for the development and implementation of government policy in the field of digitalization, open data, national electronic information resources and interoperability, implementation of electronic services and similar issues.
The project EGOV4UKRAINE is part of the program ‘U-LEAD with Europe’, which has a budget of over 100 million Euros and is financed by the European Union and its member states: Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Poland and Sweden. The project aims to develop electronic governance in Ukraine and to improve administrative service provision on the level of towns and communities through the development and implementation of the government data exchange system ‘Trembita’ and the information system ‘Vulyk’.