On January 9, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev held a meeting to discuss ways to improve the the efficiency of public services.
From the first days in office as President, Shavkat Mirziyoyev put forward the idea, in accordance with which “not the people should serve the state, but government bodies should serve the people”, designed to ease the concerns of citizens and deliver comfortable life for them.
To save time and money of the population addressing government agencies on diverse issues, as well as to prevent corruption, an integrated, modern and reliable system of public services was launched.
In this respect, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev signed a decree defining measures to fundamentally reform the national system of rendering public services to the population, on 12 December 2017. In accordance with the document, the Agency for Public Services under the Ministry of Justice was set up.
Today, the Agency’s Public Service Centers operate throughout the country. Services for individuals and corporate entities are provided in more than 80 innovative visitor-friendly buildings, and 94 more are currently under construction.
In addition, services in a convenient and transparent way are provided with travel to remote areas (mobile public services).
At present, over 130 types of services are provided through Public Service Centers on a one-stop basis. Back in 2017, public services were rendered to the population 12 thousand times, exceeding 13 million in 2019.
Over the past two years, 86 Public Service Centers have been opened in the field. The list of documents required to obtain 36 types of the most popular services was reduced from 112 to 52, the term for the provision of services has been cut from 280 to 126 days.
For example, for replacing a driver’s license to a new one, it used to require for the applicant to produce a passport, a medical certificate, an examination sheet, the old license, a photograph, and also pay a fee of 70 percent of the minimum wage. And now, it’s enough to provide an old driver’s license as well as pay a fee of 70 percent of the base estimate.
Starting from June 1 last year, the provision of public services on an extraterritorial basis, i.e. through any Public Services Center, was established regardless of the permanent residence of individuals and legal address of organizations. This novelty has provided great expediency to citizens and put an end to red tape.
Thus, an applicant from Nukus had to spend at least 2 million soums to submit documents for admission to a university in Tashkent. Today, it suffices to contact any Center without leaving one’s locality.
The head of state noted that this is only the first stage, and conveniences to the population should expand.
In order for the “single window” principle to work to its fullest, it is essential first of all to transfer all public services to electronic form and digitalize the data, it was indicated at the meeting.
Currently, out of 80 government agencies providing public services, only 27 have integrated their databases with the Agency for Public Services, and in 53 organizations the data is still not digitized. For example, there is no electronic database for the provision of public services in healthcare, ecology, construction, and archives. Due to the lack of such data exchange in 2019, services related to the construction, supply of gas, hot and drinking water were rendered out of time.
In this regard, the Ministry of Development of Information Technologies and Communications and the Ministry of Justice were instructed to develop a target program for the creation of information systems in every government department and databases regarding public services.
The goal is to increase the number of users of electronic public services at least fivefold before the end of this year, and completely switch to electronic services by 2025.
Given that 75 percent of the population uses the internet on mobile devices, the importance was stressed of launching a mobile version of the Single Portal of Interactive Government Services. The President instructed to expedite the organization of more than 50 branches of Public Service Centers for the convenience of residents of remote settlements.
Using the foreign experience, it was noted, it is possible to provide a whole range of services to citizens on the basis of a single application or to offer a citizen the services without necessarily an application from them.
For example, when a child is born, it will be much more convenient for parents to receive several services at the same time, including birth registration, assignment of benefits, residence registration, list at a medical institution, queuing up for kindergarten and others.
The President urged to test this system in the city of Tashkent and to gradually introduce it in other regions.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev pointed out that the requirement of an electronic digital signature (EDS), the availability of which is mandatory for access to many services, creates inconvenience for the wider public, complicating especially the activities of entrepreneurs.
Electronic digital signature can only be used from a personal computer. To register a business, an entrepreneur ought to obtain an EDS key at the tax office, a separate key at the customs department, and another bank key for working with the account. You have to visit each department separately, and after a certain time, the keys must be updated. All this requires additional costs.
The President instructed the Ministry of Development of Information Technologies and Communications to implement, together with interested organizations, alternative, safe and simple ways of verifying identity when using services that require electronic digital signature. The task was set to develop a single digital signature for all public services by July 1 this year.
Concrete measures were identified on the issues discussed at the meeting.