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Georgia to Sell eGovernment Innovation in 2014

Written by Mariam Papidze, The FINANCIAL

28/10/2013 00:00 (179 Day 07:38 minutes ago)


The FINANCIAL -- The idea ‘Everything in One Space’ - a public service system invented by the Ministry of Justice of Georgia, is going to be sold in 2014. Southern African and South American countries as well as Turkey and Argentina are interested in purchasing the idea, which was made in Georgia. Negotiations in this direction have already begun.


“The idea Everything in One Space has already been patented and many countries are interested in importing it,” said Nino Chichua, Executive Director of the House of Justice. The cost of the idea Everything in One Space has not yet been determined. The price will depend on the service that the particular ‘buyer’ wants to get, Chichua explains. “For example, it is possible to sell only one service and not the whole idea. It depends on what the country wants to get - whether it wants to purchase the whole idea or just a part of it,” she said.

“Botswana, Turkey, Argentina and some other countries have already expressed interest in purchasing the Georgian innovation. We have not yet signed contracts with these countries, but negotiations are already underway. The second and even third stages of negotiations have been completed. The current challenge is how to fix the procedures for exporting the idea. If the negotiations continue successfully, then Georgia will sign a contract with these countries in 2014. Georgia does not have natural resources, but Georgians know how to produce services,” said Chichua.

Georgia has hosted more than 7,000 delegates from 50 countries including Hillary Clinton, the U.S. Secretary of State, and Lord Harris of the House of Lords. “All the delegates asked us which country’s model Georgia’s Justice House was based on. Our answer is that it is Georgia’s own model, made in this very country. The idea was born in Justice House and its aim was to make all services more effective and affordable,” Chichua added.

“Because of technological development eGovernance is a journey not a destination and every state on this little blue planet is on its way. Georgia can be a guide on this journey for many countries,” said Christian Rupp, Federal Executive Secretary for eGovernance in Austria. “The idea of one public service hall concept for Georgia is brilliant: involving just getting to the operator, submitting an application and receiving all the desired documents. Public service can be so easy and simple, not only in a building format, but this is also the perfect basis for eServices and eDemocracy via the internet, which forms eGovernance,” he said.

While exporting the idea the main goal is to meet the interested side’s requests in a way that manages to stay true to Justice House’s concept at the same time. For this reason a special analytical team will be created who will work on exporting the idea together with the interested side. “The main thing is the interested country having the political will to defeat bureaucracy, corruption and nepotism. The idea of Everything in One Space is not just an idea about providing all services in the same space. It is a huge reform that involves legislative changes and the development of IT infrastructure,” said Chichua.

“To shift these activities in to the digital world you need political will, legal basis, infrastructure and eSkills in the population, change of management and capacity building programmes for the public sector, as well as standardized eGovernance architecture and eSecurity. Therefore you need a sustainable, cross-border coordination platform without administrative boundaries,” Rupp said.

Justice House is a very complex IT product, which is the best example of successful IT decisions which have been implemented in Georgia during the last 20 years, said Zurab Munjishvili, CEO at Marvel Georgia.

“Without such good IT design and infrastructure Georgia could not have achieved recognition from the world in the direction of eGovernance. While exporting the idea, it is impossible to copy it exactly as a commercial project as it depends on the political will of the buyer country and on the existing systems which those countries have. It is also impossible to create an exact analogue of the Georgian-made idea. But Georgia can adapt the idea to the buyer country’s system and then export it. Thus Georgia can share its experience and knowledge with other countries,” he added.

Everything in One Space Public Service Halls are essentially one-stop-shops delivering key services, such as public access to public records, issuing of passports and IDs and business registration. Therefore as the services are housed in one building there is no longer a need to visit different governmental offices.

Each Public Service Hall houses the functions of: the Civil Registry Agency, National Agency of Public Registry, National Archives of Georgia, National Bureau of Enforcement, and Notary Chamber of Georgia.

The first Public Service Hall in Georgia was opened at the end of May in 2011 in Batumi. Since then, Public Service Halls have opened in the main cities of Georgia. The 13th Public Service Hall will be opened in Zugdidi in 2014.

Each Service Hall includes self-service, as well as quick and long services areas. Justice House provides more than 300 services out of which the top 10 products are: ID cards, passports, birth certificates, property registration, extraction, information cards, death certificates, transferring student information to ID cards, legal entity registration and marriage certificates, according to the statistics of Justice House.

It is not only the above-mentioned services that are innovative, Justice House also offers the unprecedented services ‘Just Café’ and ‘Just Drive’. Just Drive follows a drive-through principle, that any person can get a document from Justice House without having to leave their car, and Just Café means that visitors can fill in any application form and submit it to the House of Justice while having a cup of coffee at the same time, and these are exactly the right way to do things, Rupp believes. Just Café has on average 50 customers per day. As for Just Drive, it will be opened in 2014.

The average number of customers visiting Justice House is 23,000 per day, the average waiting time is 4 minutes and service delivery time is 7 minutes. Every day Justice Houses throughout Georgia make 20-23,000 transactions. Justice House served more than 3 million customers in one year.

Georgia’s reforms to public services have gained international recognition. On 26 June, 2012, in New York, Georgia’s Ministry of Justice received a United Nations Organization award for Improvement of Public Services. Georgia is the first country not only within the region but in the whole of the post soviet space to have gained such recognition.



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