BY 2020, Cyprus wants to have the digital world become integral in the public’s use of government services making more available to citizens online.
A move by the Cabinet earlier this week approving dozens of services to be used online means by 2017, residents in Cyprus will have a total of 87 services available to them digitally without the need to stand in long queue, reducing red tape.
So far, the public has 41 of these services available to them. These include, renewing road tax licences, paying social insurance contributions and school/university fees.
The idea is to have a central portal where one can handle all their payments rather than trawl through various government sites to pay for all the various dues.
Services also include booking a driving test but are not all payment affiliated. The Department of Civil Registry and Migration for instance can notify people via text message when their ID and passport will expire and can also remind them to vote informing them where they can do so.
The plan, which has been a long time in the works, has seen Cyprus police launching an app in October 2013 informing citizens if they have any outstanding fines or warrants.
The idea is slowly catching on. While for instance last week there were inevitably long queues at the tax department where the forms had to be handed in before the deadline, scores of people opted for the easy way out and submitted everything online.
Although the exact number of people that went through the digital route was not immediately available the notion is becoming more popular and those that choose to do everything in person are largely older people that are more accustomed to the pen and paper method.
Another app available through the system, called Ariadni, is one that shows the real time update of fuel prices.
People can also apply to register a trademark however this is only available in Greek and the Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver need to approve it – in person.
Registering for the online services still requires a trip to the Citizens Service to fill in a form.
Once that is done, the public can begin using the portal.
There is a €0.50 cost per transaction to use the government e-services. One transaction may include more than one e-service.