The report also says that in November 2008 the Agency for Information Society Services (ASSI) published its eGovernment strategy, which aims to improve the performance of the public administration at the service of citizens.
This is complemented by several initiatives: recently, the e- Romania Portal was launched, offering online administrative services for citizens and companies. It aims, among other things, to cut administrative costs between 30 percent and 70 percent by the end of 2009.
‘Secondly, there is the eStore Portal for the promotion of electronic commerce and the business networks.
And finally, initiatives were started aiming at enhancing digital inclusion to reduce the rural-urban digital divide, stimulate the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in schools as well as facilitating the interaction between citizens and administration,’ reads the report.
‘Low connectivity is reflected in rates of internet usage. Despite a gradual increase over the past few years, Romania records the lowest rates of regular and frequent Internet use in the EU.
In addition, a majority of Romanian citizens (64 percent) have never used the Internet. On the whole, most Internet services are used to a significantly lesser degree than on average in the EU. Similar conclusions can be drawn for eGovernment. Take-up by citizens and enterprises is one of the weakest in Europe.
Having said this, availability of online public services for enterprises exceeds the EU27 average, as does use of e-procurement.’
The European Commission concludes that the ICT industry is important for the Romanian economy and it is highly prioritised by the Government: although it contributes little to total Gross Domestic Product (3.6 percent) and employment (1.5 percent), it is responsible for 5.3 percent of total exports.