BAKU, Azerbaijan, May 15Trend: Azerbaijan is ahead of many countries in the creation and development of digital government services.
Fariz Jafarov, director of the Center for the Development of Electronic Government of Azerbaijan, said this in an interview with Trend.
He recalled that in connection with the spread of coronavirus infection in 2020, the Center for the Development of the Electronic Government of Azerbaijan has developed a number of projects, both at the state level and projects of the state-business (G2B) and state-citizen (G2C) segments.
Jafarov noted that in 2020 the “SMS Permission System” and the icaze.e-gov.az portal were developed, which allowed all business sectors to provide their employees with special permits. In addition, by sending an SMS message to the short number 8103, citizens could obtain permits to leave their homes for certain purposes.
“During the period of the pandemic, the citizens of Azerbaijan sent 112 million SMS messages to number 8103. According to rough estimates, about seven million Azerbaijani citizens have used the services of this system, ”he added.
Another strategic project of the state level, according to him, is a project that allows to manage the country’s water resources: “In order to calculate the balance of incoming and outgoing water from the country, as well as used by various industries, an information system of electronic water management has been created.”
In addition, the Center developed the Cimerlik.az project, through which citizens could register to visit the beach, he said.
Jafarov said that during the war and post-war period of the Patriotic War, a unified register system was developed for the property of Azerbaijani citizens destroyed by Armenian military formations.
“At the end of 2020, an electronic document management project was developed for all government agencies. All state structures through a single system can use the state document flow. Hundreds of government structures have been integrated into the e-Gov portal as part of e-government, ”he said.
Jafarov said that the Center provides communication between various state bodies in the process of digital transformation, the development of certain portals, education of citizens, and various events: “In this direction, through the Digital Journalism program, the citizens of Azerbaijan and at the same time, journalists were provided with information about state projects and the possibilities of their application ”.
In the field of ensuring cybersecurity, according to the director of the Center, it is worth considering both the protection of physical state information systems and the safety of the population using the digital services of the government: “In the field of ensuring the protection of citizens, we launched the ASAN Login project for authorization on the government portals of Azerbaijan. This unified system was developed for government and business structures of our country and provides authorization of citizens on the portals of various institutions. “
Jafarov stressed that earlier citizens were required to register separately on each portal, but with the introduction of a single ASAN Login system, authorization on state portals does not require additional registrations.
Along with this, he said, the protection of state systems is provided by the data center created by AzInTelecom LLC under the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies of Azerbaijan: “This is the first data center in the South Caucasus that meets TIER III and ISO security standards 27001. In this center, various procedures are carried out to ensure the physical security of information and network infrastructure, as well as in a number of other areas in accordance with international standards. “
The director of the Center noted that according to world practice, potential threats come from the organization itself, that is, the human factor plays a key role.
“We have created special standards for employees, the rights and responsibilities of which regulate their activities in a particular information environment. Along with this, we have developed a national system for the secure exchange of information between organizations – ASAN Bridge. This system allows the exchange of information between government agencies through a single gateway, moreover, the transfer of information is encrypted, which nullifies the possibility of third-party use of this data, ”he added.
In addition, within the framework of the ASAN Bridge project, it is planned to complete the integration of all state structures into a single system, which will simplify the process of providing services to the population. Thus, citizens will not be required to provide additional documents from various structures.
He stressed that the Center ensures the security of the information system at every stage.
“As part of the G2B partnership, we send information from citizens, with their consent, to banks, non-bank credit organizations and financial institutions. When applying for a loan, a citizen only needs to provide a personal identification number of an identity card (FIN) and sign an application for authorization. There is no need to provide documents. This process is carried out directly by us, ”said the director of the Center.
According to him, in accordance with the European standards (the General Data Protection Regulation – GDPR), each citizen in his personal account on myGov is notified of the request for his personal information by some structure: can file a complaint and get more information about their data views. “
Speaking about the audience of the Center for the Development of the Electronic Government of Azerbaijan, Jafarov said that it can be divided into several groups: services for the state, business, various structures and the population: “1.3 million people are registered on the eGov portal, on the myGov portal, where citizens are provided with over 710 services – more than 525 thousand users.
In addition, about 20 systems are integrated into myGov, and this portal provides proactive services to citizens. According to our concept, reactive services are services that are provided to citizens upon their request, and with regard to proactive ones, the state warns citizens what service they need to receive in the first place, and this allows us to increase the audience of our portals. “
Jafarov also noted that about two million citizens are registered in the single ASAN Login authorization system: “The ASAN Login system was commissioned in 2019 and has a huge audience that is growing rapidly.”
He stressed that in Azerbaijan, as in the rest of the world, users of public services are divided into certain categories: “There are approximately two million users of social networks in the country. In other words, in Azerbaijan, as in the rest of the world, the use of digital services does not cover all citizens of the country. “
He added that the day before, the Center developed a project for regional digital executive power, which means that the services of over 79 local executive bodies will be provided online.
“At the first stage of launching the portal, we continue to study the requirements of our citizens, the services they need, and we will develop the project in accordance with them,” Jafarov added.
He also recalled that 15 ASAN services are currently operating in the regions of Azerbaijan: “This means that citizens can use the services of our government not only in the online format, but also have the opportunity to visit the centers of ASAN services and receive services physically.”
He said that the Center’s approach to meeting the needs of the country’s citizens is to apply innovative solutions and flexible management models.
“The Center’s specialists monitor the requirements of the citizens of Azerbaijan, as well as monitor innovations and digitalization for their further implementation in the state projects of the Center. With the development of technologies, such as the provision of services through fingerprints, biometric data, the requirements of the population are also evolving. Today, our citizens not only want to receive services through these technologies, but also want to do it completely remotely, without visiting service centers, ”Jafarov added.
He stressed that the introduction of personal data of Azerbaijani citizens into state information systems in the future may require citizens to refuse from physical identity cards.
“Taking into account all these desires and realities of the modern world, we monitor the most advanced solutions based on blockchain technologies, the development of services through cloud technologies, the introduction of artificial intelligence, augmented reality and a number of others,” said the director of the Center.
In addition, in 2020, a separate department was created at the Center, called the Data Lab: “Within this department, we have applied artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data engineering in our projects. These innovations serve different functions in different directions. For example, through the ASAN Visa project, we interview tourists who have used the services of this project, and machine learning evaluates the survey results. We have taught machines to evaluate positive and negative reviews, and in the subsequent stages there is no need to read hundreds of thousands of reviews. The model groups the reviews of tourists and gives us data in connection with their complaints. We use the final results in the process of making the appropriate decision ”.
In addition, according to the director of the Center, due to the use of artificial intelligence in myGov projects, it became possible to predict the needs of citizens: “We can make predictions in what period any public service will be needed for an individual citizen. Tracking global trends, as well as the development of social networks, allows us to implement the simplicity and familiar functions of social networks in the state projects of our Center. “
Jafarov also reported on the application of the experience of the Center for the Development of Electronic Government of Azerbaijan in a number of foreign countries.
“The development of the Center’s projects is divided into several directions. The main strategy for the development of services for 2022–2025 is not only the creation of digital projects for the public and private sectors, but also the export of these services abroad, ”Jafarov added.
He recalled that the ASAN service model is currently used in Afghanistan and a number of other countries, in addition, the ASAN Association has been created, which includes Morocco, Montenegro, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Afghanistan and some other countries: “A number of countries are already using the project ASAN Visa. The permitting system developed last year has been used in Kazakhstan. We also share our developments, experience and knowledge with the UN and study the experience of other states. We are ahead of many countries in terms of the services we have created and the solutions we offer. ”
Jafarov said that in the next few years, the Center for the Development of Electronic Government of Azerbaijan plans to expand the area of construction of electronic government.
“In these areas, it is necessary to form a legal basis, involve the citizens of Azerbaijan in the digitalization process, develop new services, expand the innovative knowledge of the population and a number of other aspects. Also, our development strategy includes strengthening information security, protecting identity, expanding capabilities for managing data centers, ”he said.
The Director of the Center stressed that the main idea of development is the provision of continuous e-government services: “In this regard, it is planned to expand the services of portals, pay great attention to the digitalization of projects, simplify the processes of using services, reduce paperwork to zero, as well as increase the export potential of Azerbaijani products” …
Another goal of developing the services of the Center, according to the director, is to spread the use of artificial intelligence, machine learning, accelerate and automate a number of services.
“In the direction of cybersecurity, we plan to increase the basic knowledge of citizens and conduct qualifications for employees of government agencies working with digital projects, and during this year it is planned to continue work on the project of a regional executive power center and digitalize about 40 services for citizens living in regions of Azerbaijan,” – he noted.
Recall that the Center for the Development of the Electronic Government of Azerbaijan was founded in 2018 by the order of the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and operates under the State Agency for Citizens Service and Innovation under the President of Azerbaijan (ASAN Service).
(Author: Sadraddin Agdjaev. Editor: Nadir Nasirov)