Estonia is probably the only country in the world where 99% of the public services are available online 24/7. E-services are only impossible for marriages, divorces and real-estate transactions, you still have to get out of the house for those.
The population of Estonia is 1.3 million & Australia has around 25 million, the United States 326 million, and China 1.38 billion (ZDNet). Estonia is not a developing country, either, with IT accounting for 7% of its GDP and agriculture less than 1%. Although it is a young country.
Estonia has been a pioneer in converting public services into flexible e-solutions for its citizens. The implementation of the Government Cloud solution provides an excellent platform for public e-services.This makes Estonia the most digital country in the world.
How did Estonia do it?
The Estonian Government Cloud has lead to the modernization of existing information systems. Estonia has embraced the opportunities offered by cloud technology to allow more agility in provision of e-services by the government agencies and critical service providers to residents and e-residents.
Government digitisation started in the ’90s, and by the year 2000, its first digital service was set up.
Estonia first introduced e-tax declaration, offering an innovative way of doing taxes that the citizens were keen to adopt. And that was the idea: Introducing a better way of performing something that was hectic, rather than digital for digital’s sake.
It only takes three minutes to do taxes in Estonia. The country is now moving to full automation, where companies don’t actually need to declare tax at all, as the information such as, salary payments is automatically sent to the government.
Since the concept was introduced in 2002, 98% of Estonians own an ID card, which is the key to using all the digital services. In Estonia, when a person is born, they’re assigned a personal ID code, it’s mandatory to have one.
There is no data kept on the Estonian ID card. It’s a PKI system, where users authenticate themselves with PIN one and seal the deal with PIN two. There’s a public key and a private key on the microchip, but no data.
This is how citizens access all of the services.
Learn from Ingmar Vali, eGovernment Expert Centre Of Registrars & Information Systems, ESTONIAN GOVERNMENT at the Public Sector Digital Transformation Conference, 19th & 20th February 2019, Canberra.
Watch Ingmar Vali at the ECRF Gibraltar 2018, Don’t miss him in Canberra.