Cyprus-The role of E-Governance in a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation

t

Cyprus, The role of E-Governance In a future Bi-communal, Bi-zonal, Federation. By Andreas Maratheftis Nueronic IT Consulting 2005

By Andreas Maratheftis, Nueronic IT Consulting

1

Cyprus-The role of E-Governance in a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation

1 Table of Contents
1 2 Table of Contents ............................................................................................................... 2 Foreword ............................................................................................................................ 4 2.1 Why did I Choose this module & Learning ObjectivesError! Bookmark not defined. 3 4 Prologue ............................................................................................................................. 5 Government and Governance ............................................................................................ 5 4.1 4.1.1 4.1.2 5 5.1 6 What is Government and e-Governance ................................................................. 5 Government ......................................................................................................... 5 E-Governance...................................................................................................... 6 Why e-Governance .................................................................................................. 7

Cyprus, the Current Situation ............................................................................................. 6

Case Studies ...................................................................................................................... 9 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Great Britain-A strategy for the wired world ............................................................. 9 Canada “Most connected Nation”? ........................................................................ 10 Hong Kong ............................................................................................................. 11 Malaysia: Vision 2020 ............................................................................................ 12 Conclusion.............................................................................................................. 12 Pre-requisites ......................................................................................................... 13 24/7 Services ..................................................................................................... 13 Usability ............................................................................................................. 13 Options ...................................................................................................... 13

7

Recommendations ........................................................................................................... 13 7.1 7.1.1 7.1.2

7.1.2.1 7.1.3 7.1.4 7.1.5 7.1.6 7.1.7 7.1.8 7.1.9 7.2 7.2.1

Online Content ................................................................................................... 13 Learning and Training ........................................................................................ 13 Security .............................................................................................................. 14 Privacy and Confidentiality ................................................................................ 14 Public Awareness .............................................................................................. 14 Paperless Office................................................................................................. 14 IT Department .................................................................................................... 14 Projects and Initiatives ........................................................................................... 15 The Web ............................................................................................................ 15 Online Forms............................................................................................. 15 Access to all .............................................................................................. 15 Empowering the people ............................................................................ 16 Customisable web sites and services ....................................................... 16

7.2.1.1 7.2.1.2 7.2.1.3 7.2.1.4 7.2.2 7.2.3

Businesses......................................................................................................... 16 Government ....................................................................................................... 16

By Andreas Maratheftis, Nueronic IT Consulting

2

Cyprus-The role of E-Governance in a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation

7.2.4 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 8 9 10 11 11.1 11.2 12 13 13.1 14

Legislation .......................................................................................................... 16 RFID Identity Cards & Smart Cards ....................................................................... 17 Health Systems ...................................................................................................... 17 Schools Online ....................................................................................................... 18 Biometric Passports ............................................................................................... 18

Deployment and Implementation challenges ................................................................... 19 Cyprus, E-Governance SWOT ......................................................................................... 20 Implementation ............................................................................................................. 22 Review and Conclusion ................................................................................................ 23 Review.................................................................................................................... 23 Conclusion.............................................................................................................. 24 Module Evaluation .......................................................... Error! Bookmark not defined. Appendix ....................................................................................................................... 25 Abstracts from the Anan Plan ................................................................................ 25 References.................................................................................................................... 27

By Andreas Maratheftis, Nueronic IT Consulting

3

Cyprus-The role of E-Governance in a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation

2 Foreword
The recent referendum in Cyprus on April 2004 brought the Cyprus problem closer to a solution than ever before since the Turkish invasion and occupation in 1974. With the advancement of technology, we have come to a point to wonder ,“What is egovernance?”, how can technology empower democracy, how can technology empower people in Government, and how can Government can utilize technology, to offer services to it’s citizens. These, am hoping to apply in a scenario of a solved Cyprus problem, based on the Secretary Generals Kofi Anan Plan (http://www.cyprus-un-plan.org/), of a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation. I had several discussions with members of the IT community in Cyprus (Cyprus Computer Society), debating why there is currently no substantial use of technology in the Cyprus Government, the reasons behind this, and any, if any, future plans in a united Cyprus. Based on my conclusions, and based on comments like “e-Governance in Cyprus is non-existent”,” talking about e-Governance in Cyprus is like talking about Cyprus in NASA space programs”, I have decided to look into the matter, why is technology not used in Cyprus?, why the vision of e-Governance is so far away, especially now that Cyprus is part of the EU? With this report am hoping to make some

By Andreas Maratheftis, Nueronic IT Consulting

4

Cyprus-The role of E-Governance in a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation

3 Prologue
The aim and objective of this report is to investigate, how technology can be used in a scenario of a solved Cyprus problem based on the context of bi-zonal, bi-communal federation in terms of the “Anan Plan”. Although this report does not have political content, it assumes that a possible future solution of Cyprus may be based upon the criteria and factors set in the UN’s Secretary General, Mr Kofi Anna plan for the unification of Cyprus. Despite the fact that the “Anan Plan” was reject by the Greek-Cypriots in April 2004, and accepted by the Turkish-Cypriots, the Cyprus problem was very close to a solution more than ever before and I believe that if eventually a solution to the problem is found it will be based on the criteria set in the UN plan. Moreover, this report will no mention or deal with the Cyprus-Greece-Turkey, history which goes back as far as 400 years ago, or the hostilities of 1963-4, or 1974.

The internet will be used extensively since the author is currently in the UK. Several attempts have been made to contact the Cyprus Government for Information but failed. Thus a big part of this report will be based on assumptions and estimations.

Through this report, I will try to examine the current technology and especially internet related technologies and recommend ways of applying these to achieve electronic service delivery in a future Cyprus Government.

4 Government and Governance
4.1 What is Government and e-Governance
4.1.1 Government
Government is the organization, which has the power to make and enforce laws and is the system that administers the community of people in a specific territory. Today’s, Governments are elected by the people through the political parties that represent them. There are several forms of Government including Democratic forms (Parliamentary system, Presidential System). (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_forms_of_government)

By Andreas Maratheftis, Nueronic IT Consulting

5

Cyprus-The role of E-Governance in a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation

4.1.2 E-Governance
“E-government is a form of e-business in governance and refers to the processes and structures needed to deliver electronic services to the public (citizens and businesses), collaborate with business partners and to conduct electronic transactions within an organisational entity.” (M, Backus,2001)

E-Governance is a concept in which Governments “decentralize responsibilities and processes and they start to use electronic means such as the Internet” to offer Government services electronically. E-Governance of course is not just a Government web site, but its dynamic in the sense that the “over the counter service” will become redundant and forms, information and other services will be provided to the citizens through electronic means 24/7. (M, Backus,2001)

5 Cyprus, the Current Situation
Currently in the Republic of Cyprus(1) we have a Presidential Democracy in which “the legislative power of the Republic is exercised by the House of Representatives in all matters” (http://www.cyprus.gov.cy/cyphome/govhome.nsf/Main?OpenFrameSet) Furthermore “ The term of office of the House of Representatives is five years. A general

election must be held on the second Sunday of the month immediately preceding the month in which the term of office of the outgoing House expires. The outgoing House continues in office until the newly elected House assumes office, but during this time the outgoing House does not have the power to make any laws or to take any decision on any matter, except in urgent and exceptional unforeseen circumstances” (http://www.cyprus.gov.cy/cyphome/govhome.nsf/Main?OpenFrameSet) “Following a constitutional amendment in 1985, the House has 80 seats - 56 for Greek Cypriot and 24 for Turkish Cypriot Deputies - with Deputies elected by universal suffrage of adults over the age of 18. Direct and secret ballots are held on the same day for both communities. However, since 1964, Turkish Cypriot members have not attended the House, and no elections have been held among the Turkish Cypriot community in accordance with the Republic's constitution. Despite this anomaly, the House has kept vacant the seats allocated to the Turkish Cypriot community. These seats remain at the disposal of Turkish Cypriot Deputies should they be elected according to the constitutional

provisions.”(http://www.cyprus.gov.cy/cyphome/govhome.nsf/Main?OpenFrameSet) Currently in Cyprus there is no substantial e-Governance infrastructure. Although Government web sites exists and are interlinked, there is no effective service delivery of services electronically, not even in the local Government level.

By Andreas Maratheftis, Nueronic IT Consulting

6

Cyprus-The role of E-Governance in a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation

Based on my research I believe there are several reasons to justify the above: The Government is still focused on meeting EU requirements, due to the recent succession of Cyprus in the European Union. A large amount of the Government budget is primarily aimed at the alignment of Cyprus with the EU and on the defence fund, due to the ongoing Turkish occupation. The technophobe culture of Cyprus citizens. Although the Cyprus Government is aiming in “promoting the establishment of high technology industry through the creation of incubators and a research and technological development centers”, based on the information found, and on the personal experience level there are no services offered electronically to citizens. (http://www.cyprus.gov.cy/cyphome/govhome.nsf/Main?OpenFrameSet).

In 2004, the UN secretary Mr Kofi Anan proposed plan for the settlement of the Cyprus Problem. Although the plan was rejected by the people, the problem was really close to being solved, thus I have decided to use the plan, as a basis for this report, and to examine in general how would the could Government Services be delivered electronically to the bicommunal community of a bi-zonal state. Notes: 1. Since the Turkish invasion in 1974 the Turkish Cypriots of the self proclaimed "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” are only recognised and supported by Turkey.

5.1 Why e-Governance
In this report e-Governance will be defined as the delivery of electronic Government services to citizens, Government parties and business using the latest technologies available as well as using technology to simplify governance in a united Cyprus. So why would Cyprus need to use e-governance? Although from a political viewpoint implementing e-Governance will take years of planning, it is vital for both communities to understand that: 1. Electronic delivery of services is part of an EU requirements

2. Using technology to deliver services can bring down the barriers of language and cultural differences 3. If used and designed correctly can be used by all people, 24/7, this will save time and decrease long queues. 4. It is fully supported by UNESCO - the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (http://portal.unesco.org/ci/en/ev.phpURL_ID=3038&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html) 5. It can connect all three parties, citizens, Government and businesses. (M, Backus,2001)

By Andreas Maratheftis, Nueronic IT Consulting

7

Cyprus-The role of E-Governance in a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation

6. It can empower people, by giving them the ability to be actively involved in Government. I t can provide information on political processes, legislation, privacy services and options.

I believe E-Governance has two tier architecture; the first tier is e-democracy and the second is e-government. The difference lies in their objectives. E-Democracy is primarily focused on: Providing correct and up to date information to the citizen Motivating the citizen to be actively involved in politics by voting Providing consultation to the citizen on matters related to services and representation. E-Government on the other hand, is focused on enhancing the interaction between Government and citizens, and between Government and Businesses using online services. Furthermore it is also aimed internally in order to simplify the administration of Government. (M, Backus,2001) This can be summarized in the model below: EXTERNAL G2C, Government to citizen Citizens E-Governance G2B, Government to Businesses Businesses

G2G, Government Central Government to

Local Government

INTERNAL

Thus the Cyprus Government can follow this model. The change can slowly begin by offering services electronically, either through local Government, or central Government. As this progresses based on the maturity model, proposed by Gartner (see appendix) the public and businesses will start asking for more and more complex services. This however does not mean that all departs of a Government have to be at the same level. The first stage is Information; the Government may use static electronic means to offer information to citizens, businesses and Government. The second phase is more interactive; citizens have a more dynamic relationship with the Government services, and interact by asking questions through e-mail, downloading forms and documents.

By Andreas Maratheftis, Nueronic IT Consulting

8

Cyprus-The role of E-Governance in a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation

The third phase the delivery of services becomes more interactive and complex, the public conducts online transactions, fills out and submits electronic forms, uses Government online applications and conducts online business. The fourth stage is the stage in which, all services are under one central location, in one repository, and would be customized and can be accessed on demand, by the users. Currently the Cyprus Government as it is, partially in stage two, where the public and business can view online information and download application forms from the internet.

6 Case Studies
In this section of the report I will try and examine how other countries deploy ICT in Government and look into ways in which these technologies can be applied in Cyprus.

6.1 Great Britain-A strategy for the wired world
Since November 1996, the United Kingdom has formed a strategy to “Modernising Government”(link book). Although the United Kingdom is a smaller island compared to other countries of the European Union and the United States, it has taken an aggressive approach to delivering information and services electronically. Like several other countries, the UK Government had to deal with the following major problems: 1. The provision of services to remote areas 2. The multilingual environment 3. The digital divide Thus the UK Government’s goal is to achieve the following: 1. Full use and application of ICT, in Government 2. Computerization of departments and automation of Government processes (e.g land registry). 3. Increase the public’s awareness of the importance of ICT. 4. Provide, electronic services better and more efficient to businesses and citizens 5. Improve the efficiency and openness of Government administration and 6. Secure substantial cost savings for the taxpayer.

Currently the UK Government offers a number of services online such as: 1. Report Crimes 2. Report Benefit Fraud 3. Voting 4. Buy TV license 5. Pay council tax online 6. Apply for planning permission By Andreas Maratheftis, Nueronic IT Consulting 9

Cyprus-The role of E-Governance in a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation

7. Pay national insurance 8. Tax self assessment (http://www.direct.gov.uk/QuickFind/DoItOnline/DoItOnlineCategory/fs/en)

Furthermore such as:

a big number of projects are developed and focused on the local government

1. E-learning 2. Bridging the Digital Divide 3. Local Authority e-business 4. Wireless internet 5. Smart Cards and 6. Biometrics (http://www.localegovnp.org/default.asp?sID=1093959843576)

6.2 Canada “Most connected Nation”?
The Canadian Government begun the approach towards “ Renewing Government Services using Information Technology” ( ref book), by creating a 29 member Information Highway Advisory Council (IHAC), consisting of business leaders and public interest representatives. The council released a report in September 1995 with 300 recommendations focused on: 1. Competitiveness and Job Creation 2. Canadian Content and Culture 3. Access and Social Impact 4. Consumer awareness and Learning 5. Research and Development (rref book) According to the report the council predicted significant cost savings, and an improvement of the quality of services the government offered, depending of how effectively Information Technology would be used. Some projects focused on e-governance are (ref book): 1. Community Access Program. CAP had a goal to establish over 10,000 public access sites in rural and urban communities in Canada. The project now is focused on providing these facilities in urban centres with more than 50,000 in population. 2. School Net. This project’s main objective was to connect all schools, public and secondary together with libraries in Canada and provide them with Internet Access. By March 1999 almost 15,000 schools and 3,300 libraries were connected. To further support this the Government offered over 250,000 computers to schools through a program titled Computers for Schools. Furthermore several online portals exists such as CyberWise (http://www.cyberwise.ca/index.htm) and Cybertrip

(http://www.cybertip.ca/en/cybertip/) to further support the role of SchooNet.

By Andreas Maratheftis, Nueronic IT Consulting

10

Cyprus-The role of E-Governance in a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation

3. Services Canada. A project in which the all government and agencies will be connected on one secure network that will deliver services electronically over the internet. Users can, file income taxes, and conduct business related transaction with the Government online through one portal 4. Electronic Service Delivery on Line Database. ESD is a portal in which in which users can find material and information on the latest research, case studies, policies and tools in electronic service delivery.

6.3 Hong Kong
Titled Digital 21, is Hong Kong’s strategy to implement Information Technology in government. The result of this initiative was the set up of the Information and Technology Broadcasting Bureau. The ITTB, in Digital 21, “have set their vision, initiatives and targets on how government, businesses, industry and academia can work together to make Hong Kong a leading digital city in a globally connected world”. Thus since October 200 ITTB rolled out a number of project to support the above mission statement: 1. Electronic service delivery. Services are delivered through the personal computer, interactive-kiosks, interactive public pay phones and through digital television. 2. Interactive Government Directory. Also focused on the provision of services. Services offered include: a. Transportation services with maps and videos b. c. Registration and renewal of motor vehicle licenses and drivers licence Financial advice

d. Employment Opportunities e. Tax payments and tax returns. Furthermore Hong Kong ensured that all this services are reliable, secure and do not compromise the citizen’s privacy and trust.

By Andreas Maratheftis, Nueronic IT Consulting

11

Cyprus-The role of E-Governance in a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation

6.4 Malaysia: Vision 2020
As with many other countries the Malaysian Government is aiming at facilitating IT in government so that the public and private sector would be able to conduct transactions with the government. Thus Vision:2020 aims at: 1. Making Malaysia a fully developed industrialised rich country by 2020 2. Balanced Growth 3. National Unity 4. Malaysia as a role model of socio-economic development. To achieve these aims the National IT Agenda (NITA) was formed. NITA outlined the following strategy: 1. Ensure widespread use of IT in all sectors. 2. Develop a National IT plan 3. Expand IT education and Training 4. Review laws related to IT development 5. Enhance IT awareness The Malaysian government has a ig number of projects and strategies already in place. Some of these are: 1. Smart schools; to promote life long learning and training through the use of ICT 2. Research 3. Portals 4. Online delivery of government services. and development centres, including multimedia Universities and enhancement of local Universities.

6.5 Conclusion
The main conclusion that can be drawn from the above case studies is that Cyprus is really behind, in terms of offering services online, to citizens and to businesses. Although an IT government services does exists it is mostly focused on providing services and applications internally. I believe that as an Information Systems designer I would recommend a roadmap base don the strategy formed in the UK. I will base that on two main reasons: 1. The Cyprus legislation is very similar and is largely based on the English Legal system (Cyprus until 1960 was under UK rule). 2. The diversity of cultural and lingual characteristics in both countries.

By Andreas Maratheftis, Nueronic IT Consulting

12

Cyprus-The role of E-Governance in a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation

7 Recommendations
Although the Anan Plan was rejected by the Greek-Cypriot site, the Anan Plan set a roadmap toward the solution of the problem. Thus based on the plan and in order to fully integrate IT into government and deliver government services electronically the following should be taken under consideration and should be regarded as pre-requisites:

7.1 Pre-requisites
7.1.1 24/7 Services
The use of IT in government and the e-delivery of services will change the systems and processes in place. Thus these have to adapt to dynamic 24/7 service model, in which citizens and employees receive an immediate response of any application send electronically. This is based on the fact that the citizens will expect more faster response times based on the changed communication medium.

7.1.2 Usability
The systems online have to give clear and concise information of how each service can be used and should give alternatives. It should take under consideration users of all ages, users speaking Greek, Turkish and English (the three most spoken languages in Cyprus), users with disabilities either mental or physical and should cater for these in full.

7.1.2.1 Options
The systems should give the users the ability to perform a task online, download a form or a document, or manually (go to the specific office) to achieve a task.

7.1.3 Online Content
The content provided on government we sites should be transformed to dynamic content and should provide the latest news, announcements and services. Content Managers should be should be responsible for the content of sites, internal (G2G) or external (G2C, G2B).

7.1.4 Learning and Training
All the government employees should be comfortable with the change. Everyone should be trained on the new systems, the new services, and the tools that will be used to make that change happen. Furthermore the government has to employee IT personnel, specialising in different fields that have the required experience to achieve the goals set.

By Andreas Maratheftis, Nueronic IT Consulting

13

Cyprus-The role of E-Governance in a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation

7.1.5 Security
Computers nowadays are very vulnerable to external and internal attacks. Moving the governments processes (information, communication and transactions) online makes matters even worse. Thus secure networks, firewalls, IT policies, e-mail filtering and anti-virus software must be enforced.

7.1.6 Privacy and Confidentiality
In the last 2 phases of the E-Governance maturity model, details and personal information of citizens and business will be held, either electronically or in paper files. Thus the integration and sharing of information between departments throughout government may result in compromising individuals or a businesses confidentiality and privacy. Thus special government sectors and legislations must be set up that enforce protocols which will safeguard and secure these processes.

7.1.7 Public Awareness
If the government is aiming at making a large investment such as this, it should promote this change not only internally but most importantly to the citizens. The web unfortunately is not enough to market this, but broadcasting it and giving special seminars to citizens may ensure that a big number of citizens make full use of the systems

7.1.8 Paperless Office
Together with the automation of processes, the government should strive to remove any unnecessary paper. This should be a parallel process with the automation of processes. In my opinion the first two major processes that the government should start with is the citizen, business, and internal government application forms, and the second one the digitisation of standard government documents.

7.1.9 IT Department
To make all these possible the IT department must be radically enhanced so that it would be able to comply with the government proposed changes. Thus a solid and ongoing investment has to be applied. The more the processes change the more vital the role of the IT department becomes; not only during implementation but also during post- implementation in order to ensure sustainable development.

By Andreas Maratheftis, Nueronic IT Consulting

14

Cyprus-The role of E-Governance in a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation

7.2 Projects and Initiatives
In this section, recommendation of how the latest technology can be used to deliver services electronically to citizens, businesses and within government.

7.2.1 The Web
The web must be utilised in full. I believe that the technology is already there, and it’s more affordable than ever before, thus it’s up to the Government to take advantage of this factor. There are numerous examples of how technology is used in government; the case studies I have looked at are just a small percentage of the overall usage of ICT. Because the web is currently growing and will keep growing constantly the government must build applications and systems that must be able to adapt and to the changing technologies and concepts.

7.2.1.1 Online Forms
One of the first steps should be the attempt to digitise a big number of applications that are currently on paper and use web forms and digital submission to replace them Of course the government should first start small, by digitising the most commonly used forms such as the tax return, building permits etc. Overall the Cyprus Government should attempt to initially offer the following services: 1. Tax returns 2. Pay taxes 3. Pay Parking Tickets 4. Pay other fines 5. Search for jobs (government sector) 6. Book Driving test 7. Renew driving licence and car registrations The more these services are used the more the citizens will expect more services to be online.

7.2.1.2

Access to all

Although Cyprus is a small island there are a big number of locations that are currently without internet connection. The government through the local councils should balance that by: 1. Making the public aware of the services offered, and give free training seminars of how these services can be used 2. Build ICT centres both in urban and rural areas 3. Offer free wireless internet in libraries and in community centres 4. Use Internet kiosks that automatically connect to the government services 5. Create schemes in which used computers from businesses are given to community centres of individuals that cannot afford the technology. By Andreas Maratheftis, Nueronic IT Consulting 15

Cyprus-The role of E-Governance in a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation

6. Make use of digital television to offer government services.

7.2.1.3

Empowering the people

The government should aim and provide the means for the citizens to be more involved in he government processes. To achieve that the government can initially use the following: 1. Online forums 2. Polls

3. Online voting 4. Online communities 5. News in RSS feeds that can be downloaded to users desktops

6. Personalised blogs

7.2.1.4

Customisable web sites and services

Based on the fourth phase of the e-governance maturity model, the next stage would be the full customisation of each web site so that users would be able to log in into a customised space and fully take advantage of the services offered to them.

7.2.2 Businesses
The web can be used by business to interact with the government in the following ways: 1. Business registration guidelines online 2. Online registration 3. Online patent submission 4. Permits 5. Payment of taxes The services will be offered online, but of course the users will have the choice to do it manually.

7.2.3 Government
The web can and must be used internally. These can be achieved trough the following services: 1. Government central network, in which local councils and government departments will be interconnected. 2. 3. Interactive Knowledge databases Inter-governmental transactions.

7.2.4 Legislation
In the future government both the Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot sections must vote and create legislations that ensures : 1. The citizens privacy

By Andreas Maratheftis, Nueronic IT Consulting

16

Cyprus-The role of E-Governance in a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation

2. The businesses confidentiality 3. Intellectual Copyrights 4. No benefit frauds take place 5. All transactions are secure 6. All applications, systems and web sites are accessible for all 7. All electronic means of feedback to the citizens, including receipts of transactions are official government documents and are valid throughout the Cyprus government. 8. No Cyber-crime takes place 9. Systems, applications and services are inline with the federal constitution and inline with the European Union.

7.3 RFID Identity Cards & Smart Cards
Identity cards are a requirement for every citizen in Cyprus (both for Greek Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots) this I believe will continue in the new state. Having said that the government would probably create new identity cards that would reflect the new state. Thus in the new identity cards the government could embed Radio frequency identification (RFID) tags. RFID is a method of remotely storing and retrieving information and data using RFID tags/transporters. (or other chip technologies) Thus the data and information that could be stored in an RFID identity card could be: 1. National Identity information 2. Personal Information 3. Health information (e.g. blood type, or allergies) 4. Driver licence 5. Can be used as an immigration document to travel from one zone to the other 6. Can be used as a travel card and can be used in public transport. The uses of a smart card are numerous and can adapt to every citizen or governmental requirement.

7.4 Health Systems
A national health database and health management systems could largely benefit both the citizens and the health authorities. Thus the health authorities can create the following: 1. A national databse system, that would function as a knowledge base and health related issues repository. 2. A secure network in which hospitals, clinics, Gp’s and specialist are interconnected. This will ease the communication and organisation of referred patients 3. A blood bank management system All these projects can fully uplift the health services in Cyprus. The possibilities are immense, e.g. doctors may be able to remotely diagnose a patients illness, doctors can refer patients to specialist in their area more easily, doctors can find illness information and related health

By Andreas Maratheftis, Nueronic IT Consulting

17

Cyprus-The role of E-Governance in a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation

issues together with videos or pictures through a national health databse, or can at no time retrieve information on available blood types and refer the patients to the nearest blood clinics.

7.5 Schools Online
Currently, there is no significant use of technology in schools. The education and technologies being used are of limited value and small in scale. The government should create a network in which all schools are connected. This way a knowledge repository can be created that would benefit, students, schools and staff. Furthermore, school labs should be open outside school times in order for students to be able to practise what they learn at schools with the use of technology. Furthermore the ministry of Education should build portals for students and staff and should promote e-learning and motivate learning with the use of technology. Also the government should radically enforce the use of technology in the way modules are taught and the way students learn. Furthermore, schools should lease or under special schemes provide computers to low income students and or provide internet access freely at schools and through wireless hotspots.

7.6 Biometric Passports
“Biometrics is the science and technology of authentication (i.e. establishing the identity of an individual) by measuring the person's physiological or behavioral features. The term is derived from the Greek words "bios" for life and "metron" for measure.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biometrics) Thus an emerging technology such as this could be used in a number of ways. Last year the Green line borders (Dead Zone- Further Reading http://kypros.org/Lefkosia/line.htm and http://www.worldpress.org/Europe/1124.cfm) in a number of places in Cyprus have opened up giving a hope of unification in the island. This however had a number of drawbacks, such as identity theft, false identity representation and false immigration and identity documents. Thus the Cyprus government in order to prevent that form happening in the future could invest in this new technology in which biometric photographs can be used to identify each individual. Although no standards are currently in place, according to some circles and experts biometrics could be a technology that will soon take over the digital world. (http://www.ukpa.gov.uk/identity.asp)

By Andreas Maratheftis, Nueronic IT Consulting

18

Cyprus-The role of E-Governance in a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation

8 Deployment and Implementation challenges
Based on he above, I believe that based on the current situation, there are a number of challenges that the new Government, will be faced with when planning for e-governance This are focused on the range of: 1. Social 2. Economic 3. Political 4. Technological To better identify these, a SWOT analysis follows.

By Andreas Maratheftis, Nueronic IT Consulting

19

Cyprus-The role of E-Governance in a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation

9 Cyprus, E-Governance SWOT
Strengths Political
1. 2. 3. Inline with EU Modern Government Image Better Government organisation and easier management

Weaknesses
1. Budget 2. No internet legislation available 3. IT skills currently from missing Government

Opportunities
1. External funding from EU 2. Get citizens more involved 3. Automation 4. Smoother of decision making processes government

Threats
1. Misuse technology 2. Large of parties number political from of

planning and monitoring

both sites may not agree

Social

1. Promote e-learning 2. Increase Public awareness of IT 3. Increase in knowledge and skills 4. Make citizen-government interaction simpler

1. More training needed 2. Technophobe culture 3. Bi-lingual barriers 4. Cultural diversity 5. Skill shortage 6. Competition private sector with and religion

1. Increased employment 2. Life long learning of internet

1. Greek

and

Turkish conflict history 2. Social resistance 3. Privacy and

3. Promotion services 4. Better standards

education

confidentiality issues. 1. Increase in revenue 2. Cost efficiency 1. Benefit fraud 2. Corruption

Economic

1. External Funding 2. Coalition with private sector 3. Private funding

1. Limited budget (initially) 2. Private competition sector

3. Increase in government and interaction businesses

By Andreas Maratheftis, Nueronic IT Consulting

20

Cyprus-The role of E-Governance in a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation

Technological

1. Internet, motivating factor 2. Numerous projects 3. New business creation 4. Creation of Knowledge bases

1. Shortage personnel 2. High 3. Shortage standards

of

skilled

1. Use of hardware donated from the private sector

1. Constant changing of

costs of

of IT

2. 3.

Coalition countries Investment sector

with of

EU private in

technology 2. Constant changing standards 3. Constant changing government and citizen of of

technology

technology

4. Cost of internet

government

requirements

By Andreas Maratheftis, Nueronic IT Consulting

21

Cyprus-The role of E-Governance in a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation

10 Implementation
Thus, form the above we can see the threats and weaknesses that the new government could expect when attempting to implement an e-governance. Having said that, I believe that if the government decides eventually to implement e-governance schemes; it has to do so based on a strategy and a framework of action. This report however will not deal in detail of how each section of e-governance will be implemented, due to the fact that this report is based on future conditions that in case may never take place. Thus I will recommend a strategy that is not solely based on the Ana Plan but can also be used in other more general situations. However it is important that every government in this case a bi-zonal federation, focuses on a set of goals or “success factors” that will help the transformation process to run smoothly. These are: 1. Political solidity and constitutional awareness 2. 3. Citizen to Government trust Cultural identity, one united Cyprus or a different zonal identities, Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots, or just Cypriots? 4. Economic stability and level of education and public skill sets Thus the central government has to initially build the foundation of e-governance, and steadily implement the e-governance maturity model. This can be achieved by first setting an overall goal, and then build the tasks that are needed to achieving that task. In detail the government has to determine: 1. The projects that when combined can lead to the final objective. 2. Costs and benefits 3. Plans 4. Boundaries 5. Constraints In real time conditions I believe that the central government should follow the following strategy: 1. Set and goals and create projects in local councils of each zone 2. Combine projects of each local council in each zone to achieve the zone objective 3. Combine the zone’s projects to achieve the overall government e-governance vision. This can be summarised in the model below:

Council 1

Council 3

Council 1

Council 3

Council 2

Council 4 Federation E-Governance Objectives

Council 2

Council 4

Greek-Cypriot Zone Projects

Turkish-Cypriot Zone Projects

By Andreas Maratheftis, Nueronic IT Consulting

22

Cyprus-The role of E-Governance in a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation

11 Review and Conclusion

11.1 Review
If the final solution of Cyprus is indeed a bi-zonal and bi-communal federation then I believe that the recommendations found in this report would benefit both parties. Although, a project such as this could not be confined in a 4000 word essay, but it would rather need years and years of study and trial and error, it is a start that would give readers an overall idea of the current affairs in Cyprus in terms of technology in government. A bi-zonal or bi-communal country does not mean that a wall will be build between the two communities, but rather the two communities will be working towards a common goal. Thus is I think, my implementation recommendation could be easily applied. Local councils of each zone should work for the goal of each zone and each zone should work to achieve the overall government objectives. Thus based on the maturity model (see appendix) both communities can initially start small, the first steps would be making their web sites more dynamic and begin offering services preferably in the local government sector first and the progress to the zone sector and lastly on the main government sector. The tools and technology are there, and more affordable than ever before, there is a large number of IT specialist currently in Cyprus, and this were perhaps the government will face problems, the competition with the private sector, in terms of skillsets. The government though should take advantage of the private sector. It should create initiatives in which businesses in the private sector are actively involved and aid the government in achieving its objectives. People in Cyprus, at least middle aged adults and or pensioners are technophobes and a big number of that population especially in rural areas, does not own and cannot use a computer. Thus evidence of digital divide are very clear in these areas. This were both zones should strive to break that gap by raising the public’s awareness on technology and the electronic delivery of services and ensure that all citizens clearly understand the benefits ICT can offer. There are a numbers of ways to integrate technology in government; and the case studies I have looked at are just a small “piece of the pie”. Although Cyprus is really behind in this sector, that is not necessarily bad. Because the government could benefit from the projects of other countries, seek advice and see paradigms of the technologies in use, and most importantly learn from other peoples mistakes. There’s no reason for the government to “reinvent the wheel”, countries in the EU and other countries have used the technology before, the costs are there, the studies both technological and social exist, thus, I think the Cyprus government should make full use of these and adapt them to bi-communal, bi-zonal state.

By Andreas Maratheftis, Nueronic IT Consulting

23

Cyprus-The role of E-Governance in a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation

11.2 Conclusion
This report’s main objective was to examine, ways in which a future united Cyprus government based on a bi-zonal, bi-communal plan, could offer government services electronically, to citizens, to business, and internally to government. This was based on Gartner’s e-governance four phase maturity model. Through several considerations I came to the conclusion that Cyprus, the Greek-Cypriot part, is still in phase one of the model, as for the Turkish-Cypriot part, its more or less in the same level. Thus, this would be a difficult change, and considering the number of barriers, already present, as shown in the SWOT analysis, this may even take up to ten years or more to be implemented. I have suggested a number of ways in which e-governance could be implemented in Cyprus, but the main recommendation would be to start small, preferably on the web and slowly progress into larger and larger projects.

By Andreas Maratheftis, Nueronic IT Consulting

24

Cyprus-The role of E-Governance in a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation

12 Appendix

12.1 Abstracts from the Anan Plan
Article 2 The United Cyprus Republic, its federal government, and its constituent states: 1. The status and relationship of the United Cyprus Republic, its federal government, and its constituent states, is modeled on the status and relationship of Switzerland, its federal government, and its cantons. Accordingly: a. The United Cyprus Republic is an independent state in the form of an indissoluble partnership, with a federal government and two equal constituent states, the Greek Cypriot State and the Turkish Cypriot State. Cyprus is a member of the United Nations and has a single international legal personality and sovereignty. The United Cyprus Republic is organised under its Constitution in accordance with the basic principles of rule of law, democracy, representative republican government, political equality, bi-zonality, and the equal status of the constituent states. b. The federal government sovereignly exercises the powers specified in the Constitution, which shall ensure that Cyprus can speak and act with one voice internationally and in the European Union, fulfill its

By Andreas Maratheftis, Nueronic IT Consulting

25

Cyprus-The role of E-Governance in a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation

8 obligations as a European Union member state, and protect its integrity, borders, resources and ancient heritage. c. The constituent states are of equal status. Within the limits of the Constitution, they sovereignly exercise all powers not vested by the Constitution in the federal government, organizing themselves freely under their own Constitutions. 2. The constituent states shall cooperate and coordinate with each other and with the federal government, including through Cooperation Agreements, as well as through Constitutional Laws approved by the federal Parliament and both constituent state legislatures. In particular, the constituent states shall participate in the formulation and implementation of policy in external relations and European Union relations on matters within their sphere of competence, in accordance with Cooperation Agreements modeled on the Belgian example. The constituent states may have commercial and cultural relations with the outside world in conformity with the Constitution. 3. The federal government and the constituent states shall fully respect and not infringe upon the powers and functions of each other. There shall be no hierarchy between federal and constituent state laws. Any act in contravention of the Constitution shall be null and void. 4. The Constitution of the United Cyprus Republic may be amended by separate majority of the voters of each constituent state in accordance with the specific provisions of the Constitution.

Further reading: http://www.cyprus-un-plan.org/

By Andreas Maratheftis, Nueronic IT Consulting

26

Cyprus-The role of E-Governance in a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation

13 References
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. Michiel Backus April 2001, E-governance http://www.ftpiicd.org/files/research/reports/report3.pdf http://www.cyprus-un-plan.org/), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_forms_of_government http://www.cyprus.gov.cy/cyphome/govhome.nsf/Main?OpenFrameSet http://portal.unesco.org/ci/en/ev.phpURL_ID=3038&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html) http://www.direct.gov.uk/QuickFind/DoItOnline/DoItOnlineCategory/fs/en http://www.cyberwise.ca/index.htm http://www.cybertip.ca/en/cybertip/) http://kypros.org/Lefkosia/line.htm http://www.worldpress.org/Europe/1124.cfm

By Andreas Maratheftis, Nueronic IT Consulting

27

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Special offer for students: Only $4.99/month.

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Cancel anytime.