A council set up to improve Cyprus’s e-government services has failed to meet its three-year targets, an audit service report said on Tuesday.
The council’s aims, drawn up in October 2015, included providing more public services online through the Ariadne platform, electronic signatures and authentication, exchange of data between different government departments, digitizing government grant schemes and moving towards a ‘paperless’ public service (eOasis).
The main reasons for the failure were the fact that the schedule was never realistic to begin with and a lack of any substantial follow up with any of the projects, the report said.
Additionally, there were never enough meetings – in two years there were seven meetings that were supposed to monitor any progress, resolve problems that may have come up in implementing them and take necessary decisions.
“In light of the above, we are of the opinion that the aims of creating the e-government council have not been successful in practise as the approval of projects and prompt examination of applications were not enough – as we have seen – to implement the project in the projected timeframes,” the report said.
The cabinet had, in May 2015, decided to replace the executive board of computerisation with the e-government council in a bid to make Cyprus’ digital improvement more efficient by taking decisions on a higher level.
Chaired by the undersecretary to the president, the council comprises the finance and transport ministers, the secretary general of the energy ministry, the information department chief and an internal audit officer as an observer. The chief of the electronic communications department became a member in March this year.
The audit service recommended that the cabinet demand progress reports at regular intervals from the council and that it should meet more frequently. Additionally, the council’s support team should monitor all the projects and keep the council up to date.