18 Apr 2016
A few weeks ago, we announced that Avansi (subsidiary company of Viavansi in Dominican Republic) will participate in the integration of digital signatures in the Attorney General of the Dominican Republic. That is why we have decided to dedicate this post to do research on the evolution of e-government in the Dominican Republic. Let’s start.
Public authorities focus more on offering services in electronic form lately, by using the Technology of Information and Communication (TIC). This electronic government or e-government (e-Gov) shortens the distance between citizens, businesses and administration. The evolution of e-government in the Dominican Republic is a classic example of how TIC´s have transformed and shifted the traditional ways, by pushing new electronic ways within the framework of the Society of Information and Knowledge (SIC).
The start of e-Gov in the Dominican Republic dates back to 1996, when the PLD group started talking about the need and benefits of implementing an electronic government. However, it was not until 2004, with the return of the power of PLD, when these ideas became more tangible: the public administration of the Dominican Republic introduced the formulation of a strategy for e-Gov with the creation of an specific institution for it, OPTIC . They used this strategy when they began to implement electronic public services throughout the country, although there was still a long way to go.
In 2011, the government of the Dominican Republic became part of the initiative for Open Government (Open Government Partnership), whose primary objective is focused on promoting the e-Gov transparency and participation through an international platform. This attachment to the international initiative, encouraged further development of eGovernment in the Dominican Republic. Important is that electronic government and open government are two different concepts but are also related. If you have a look at the link, you can find more information about Open Government.
In 2015 OPTIC organized the First International Congress of Electronic Government in the Dominican Republic, where three central axes of discussion were: the citizen service, efficiency of public institutions and transparency. This conference highlights the constant and continuing interest of the Dominican Republic to improve and consolidate e-Gov.
In fact, in the beginning of 2016 OPTIC director, Armando Garcia, said that the process of implementing e-government in the Dominican Republic stands at 70% over the entire intended goal to move towards open government.
The evolution of e-Gov in the Dominican Republic can be seen in the electronic government worldwide ranking that UN presents biannually, the Development Index Electronic Government (EGDI), which evaluates 193 countries. To measure the progress of the e-Gov, the EGDI uses measurements such as the state of development of telecommunications (TII), the scope and quality of online services (OSI) or the inherent of the capital of the human (HCI). The e-Gov in the Dominican Republic stood at number 107 in 2014, occupying the number eight position in ICT in the Caribbean, and in Central America eleven. With the new ranking for this year, they expect to be above 50% of all countries worldwide and on the first or second position in Central America.
Under the SIC, the e-Gov provides a new form of interaction, relationship or contact between governments and citizens. Which makes it available to use the services, facilities and information, which leads to a settlement between the government and the citizenship.
Another advantage by the electronic government is e-participation, savings in time, money and resources and better systematization of productivity in the processes of public organizations. In short, with e-Gov quality and efficiency of public administrations are improved, which means: public services, political and democratic processes.
Evolution of Electronic Government: The electronic signature in Dominican Republic
The implementation of advanced electronic signature or digital certificates systems play an essential role in the development of e-government and e-administration. This is because they are the tools to enable citizens to identify themselves electronically with public entities and to interact with them with the same force as they would as a procedure done in person.
In case of the Dominican Republic, Law 126-02 on Electronic Commerce, Digital Documents and Signatures, dated September 29, 2002. This law precisely regulates the electronic documents, digital data messages, electronic signatures and as well all the structured business relations from them. In addition, the Dominican Telecommunications Institute (INDOTEL) is configured as an authority.
As explained a few months ago in the post about the development of electronic signatures in LATAM, not all countries signed the same validity. In the case of the Dominican Republic Article 31 of the Act, it is written that ‘’The use of a digital signature shall have the same force and effect as the use of a handwritten signature, if it incorporates the following attributes;
- It is unique to the person who use it;
- It can be verified;
- It is under the exclusive control of the person using it;
- It is linked to information, digital document or message to which it is associated, so that if they are changed, the digital signature is invalidated, and
- It is subject to the regulations adopted by the Executive Branch’’.
Therefore, the electronic signature is the digital equivalent of a handwritten signature, having become a legal concept key to access e-government elements. A clear example of this is the Attorney General’s Office who is developing with Avansi, our subsidiary in the Dominican Republic and leader- Certification Authority, implementing a digital signature system in administrative procedures.
Through digital signature, both natural and legal persons have access to procedures, services and information of the state through ICT, which reorganizes all bureaucratic processes.
Having an electronic signature acts to perform various services offered by the e-Gov (in the case of the Dominican Republic there are about 1400 online services), any day of the week at any time, without rendering transportation costs and avoiding you wait in the halls of public services citizen services. These benefits, along with the previously argued, make electronic or digital signatures an absolutely necessary tool in the context of e-Gov, so the acquisition of the same is configured as a growing trend in the Dominican Republic, down the path and evolution of e-Gov.
Therefore, the electronic signature can be seen as the backbone between people and the e-Gov, in the ICT context. This is precisely what Dominican Republic is doing with its investments in the structures of e-Gov with inherent objective of promoting a more open, inclusive and productive through innovation, transparency and accountability in the public sector. The e-Gov in the Dominican Republic has established itself as an instrument and alliance facilitator for economic and social transformation of the emergence of new models and structures in the SIC framework.
See you next week!