Rhetoric or reality? E-Government and the reconceptualisation of service delivery in Montenegro

In Montenegro, the citizens’ right to good administration is jeopardized due to overly complex administrative procedures and the lack of possibilities to use services in the most cost-effective manner – electronically.

Although the eGovernment portal was created in 2011 and the Law on Electronic Government was adopted in 2014, there are numerous problems in the implementation of the electronic systems of service delivery. Civil servants sometimes do not accept changes in the workflow and refuse to start using the electronic systems of service delivery while many public authorities are not interested in setting up services on the eGovernment portal. Additionally, weak coordination mechanisms result in authorities’ failure to respect prescribed deadlines under the Law on Electronic Government.

Whereas the budget for IT equipment and incentives for IT staff are meagre. Finally, e-services for businesses are more developed than those for citizens. The majority of e-services for citizens offer only general information and forms which can be downloaded while the digital certificate needed for completing electronic services requests is too costly for the Montenegrin living standard.

This policy brief has been prepared in the framework of the TRAIN Programme 2016 (Think Tanks Providing Research and Advice through Interaction and Networking), which is supported by the German Federal Foreign Office (Stability Pact for South East Europe) and implemented by the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP).

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