Estonian e-annual reporting voted best e-government solution of the world
The e-annual reporting environment, created by the Estonian Centre of Registers and Information Systems for entrepreneurs to enable filing annual reports electronicaly, was voted the best solution of e-government category from among more than 460 projects at the global e-content World Summit Award 2011.
The winners were announced on 16 June 2011."All in all, we can say that the Estonian e-star shines brightly on the international stage," said Katri Ristal, a representative for the World Summit Award in Estonia and a member of the WSA Grand Jury 2011. "Today, innovations such as the online tax agency and the e-elections are highly usual to us. Thus Estonia clearly remains a leading edge world ICT pioneer in both its development and implementation," Ristal adds.
Mehis Sihvart, the director of the Estonian Centre for Registers and Information Systems that had created the e-annual reporting environment, says that the prized system had enabled compiling reports and presenting them to the register for more than 120 thousand entrepreneurs.Mehis Sihvart: “E-reporting reduces mistakes in the reports presented to the register and simultaneously reduces bureaucracy and the administrative burden on the state. The double request for data has also been reduced and the presented information is immediately accessible to all and can also be processed better.”
According to Kristen Michal, the Estonian Minister of Justice, the e-annual reporting environment was created to facilitate business. E-reporting has increased the active presentation of annual reports – compulsory for entrepreneurs – and made it easier, because reports have been increasingly sent in earlier during the last years.
“If in 2009, about a third of all entrepreneurs presented their annual report within three last days before the deadline, this year the initial assessments predict that such number will drop below one quarter and this shows that the e-annual reporting environment allows the entrepreneurs to focus more on their business and to file reports more easily,” added the minister.
Mehis Sihvart says that the user feedback for the e-annual reporting environment has thus far been positive and the Centre for Registers and Information Systems team wishes to thank all entrepreneurs and accountants for accepting the new solution. “This is certainly one of the most successful e-reporting projects in the world and the success comes primarily from the good computer skills and widespread internet use of the system users, and also from the ingenuity of the IT experts,” noted Sihvart.
Sihvart believed Estonia also won attention and praise for implementing the e-annual reporting environment quickly and completely, without making exceptions even for the usability requirements meant for people with special needs.
Since the company registration portal accepts not just the Estonian, but also the Portuguese, Belgian and Finnish ID cards, and also the Lithuanian mobile ID solution, the portal can also be used by citizens of other countries.
A total of 160 countries participated in the WSA competition and over 460 e-solution projects were submitted. Winners were selected in eight categories.
In the e-culture category one of the finalist was the Estonian history website Histrodamus. "This [website] combines space and time, connects and compares various eras, events and geographic maps, and explains the causes for events and the ties between them," said Ristal. "Histrodamus has made a gigantic step for introducing Estonia's complicated history, making a dry history lesson interactive and visually attractive."
A third finalist was in the e-business category - social banking platform isePankur.ee. Ristal said judges were split on this application. "Some international experts saw the website, which facilitates loans between individuals and companies, as a significant motivator for entrepreneurship," said Ristal. "Others, however, were extremely skeptical of sustainability of such a business model."
WSA was initiated by Austria in 2003 in the framework of the United Nations' World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and is organised by a global partner network, coordinated by the International Center for New Media. WSA partners come from governments, private sector and civil society in over 160 UN member states.
The WSA’s goal is to select and promote the world's best e-Content and most innovative ICT applications. It offers a worldwide platform for all who value the creative use of ICTs and who are committed to making today’s information society more user-friendly and accessible.
The e-annual reporting project was completed thanks to the support from the European Union Structural Assistance program. Read more about e-annual reporting project www.egov-estonia.eu/xbrl.