Successful development of electronic services in Azerbaijan attracts the interest of other countries, Deputy Minister of Communications and Information Technologies Elmir Velizade said on July 12 prior to a public hearing on the draft state program on the development of e-services and e-government in 2013-2015.
"The process of e-government formation is continuing in the country and progress has been made. Moreover, this attracts interest from abroad. Specifically, a broad delegation from Afghanistan which visited Azerbaijan recently took an active interest in Azerbaijan's experience in this area," Velizade said.
According to him, the Azerbaijani government pays much attention to the development of e-services provided by government agencies.
2013 was declared the Year of ICT in Azerbaijan.
"Over 50,000 people a month enjoy services offered on the e-government website. Of the 417 services from the list approved by Azerbaijan's Cabinet of Ministers, 225 have already been integrated into the portals of the e-government and relevant state bodies," Velizade said.
The ten government agencies whose services lead in popularity among users have been announced.
"The greatest interest for citizens is attracted by the services provided by the ICT Ministry, the State Fund of Social Protection, the Interior Ministry, the Ministries of Justice, Taxes, Education, Labor and Social Protection, and Health, the State Customs Committee, as well as the Public Service Commission under the President of Azerbaijan," Velizade said.
According to the deputy minister, the application of the State Program on the development of e-government and e-services in 2013-2015, discussed during the public hearings, will allow to achieve significant results in this area.
"The state program will cover three years and we expect that it will give a significant impetus to the development of e-services in Azerbaijan, and citizens will be able and will use them more actively," Velizade said.
According to him, the drafting of the state program involved two specially created working groups of the ICT Ministry and the State Agency for Public Service and Social Innovations under the President of Azerbaijan.
The draft state program involves 83 events by 43 state bodies, which will focus on developing and expanding the coverage of e-services, electronification of the existing processes in government agencies, and the development of mobile e-signatures. More than a third of these activities focus on the development and application of solutions in the field of e-government.
According to the Head of the State Agency for Public Services and Social Innovations under the President of Azerbaijan, Inam Karimov, the development of e-services in Azerbaijan qualitatively changed the approach to the relations between citizens and state bodies.
"Previously, citizens applied to various entities with requests to provide them with a certain service or document, but now the state itself offers citizens a variety of modern and simple ways by which they can receive the needed services," Karimov said at the public hearings.
According to him, efforts aimed at the development of this field have been made consistently in recent years.
"One of the most important of these measures was the order of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on the establishment of ASAN Service. The work of ASAN Service allows significantly improving the transparency and reducing negative instances such as corruption. It is a well-known fact that the best way to fight corruption is to eliminate the enabling environment in which it occurs," Karimov said.
The first ASAN service center, which started its activity from January, provides services to the residents of Narimanov, Nasimi and Binagadi districts of the capital Baku, while the second center renders services to the residents of Nizami, Khatai and Surakhani districts. Moreover, the ASAN service center in Sumgayit, along with locals, also serves the residents of nearby regions.
Three more ASAN centers are to open this year in the Yasamal and Sabunchi districts of the capital and in the country's second largest city, Ganja.