Gov­ern­ments look for new ways to de­liver pub­lic ser­vices

China Daily (USA) - - WORLD INTERNET CONFERENCE - By ZHANG YANGFEI in Wuzhen, Zhe­jiang zhangyangfei@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

Ex­perts an­tic­i­pate a fu­ture where pub­lic ser­vices are run on­line un­der one in­te­grated um­brella, and where big data and ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence tech­nolo­gies are used to de­liver per­son­al­ized, ef­fi­cient ser­vices, ac­cord­ing to a fo­rum held Thurs­day dur­ing the Fifth World In­ter­net Con­fer­ence in Wuzhen, Zhe­jiang prov­ince.

The dis­cus­sion saw guests from around the world ex­plore how to make dig­i­tal gov­er­nance and pub­lic ser­vices more ef­fec­tive and in­no­va­tive.

“The in­ter­net has pen­e­trated into var­i­ous as­pects of life rapidly and had a pro­found im­pact on the econ­omy, so­ci­ety, peo­ples’ lives and pro­duc­tion,” said Ren Zhiwu, deputy sec­re­tary gen­eral of the Na­tional De­vel­op­ment and Re­form Com­mis­sion.

“How to use the in­ter­net to im­prove the ef­fi­ciency of gov­ern­ment ser­vices and fur­ther stim­u­late in­no­va­tion have be­come top­ics of con­cern in all coun­tries,” he said.

China is just one coun­try look­ing to uti­lize in­ter­net tech­nol­ogy across pub­lic ser­vices, but it is also the big­gest. In re­cent years, pol­i­cy­mak­ers have looked at ways to make ac­cess to pub­lic ser­vices more con­ve­nient, trans­par­ent and ef­fi­cient, for the na­tion’s more than 802 mil­lion in­ter­net users.

A guide­line is­sued by the State Coun­cil, the cen­tral gov­ern­ment, in July said the coun­try aims to link all gov­ern­ment on­line ser­vices into one sin­gle net­work by the end of 2022.

Ac­cord­ing to Ren, a to­tal of 71 cen­tral gov­ern­ment bod­ies and 31 cities and re­gions had al­ready been in­cor­po­rated into the net­work by the end Oc­to­ber. More than 1,000 data-shar­ing in­ter­faces are now in op­er­a­tion.

China will con­tinue to pro- mote the open­ness of data shar­ing, firmly im­ple­ment the in­no­va­tion-driven strat­egy, and strengthen co­op­er­a­tion be­tween gov­ern­ment and pri­vate sec­tors, said Ren.

“I also hope coun­tries will con­tin­u­ously en­hance mu­tual trust, build a co­op­er­a­tive mech­a­nism and share de­vel­op­ment ex­pe­ri­ences,” he said.

“We are in the mid­dle of an in­for­ma­tion revo­lu­tion, which has brought a rare op­por­tu­nity for both China and the world,” said Qin Hai, in­spec­tor and deputy di­rec­tor of the in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy de­vel­op­ment bureau at the Cy­berspace Ad­min­is­tra­tion of China.

The of­fi­cial stressed the im­por­tance of in­no­va­tion and new tech­nolo­gies such as cloud com­put­ing, big data and ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence, which he said are a po­tent source of power to lead fu­ture so­cial de­vel­op­ment.

Qin pointed to how China is im­prov­ing ef­fi­ciency through its in­te­grated in­for­ma­tion sys­tem, and how by work­ing with data, dig­i­tal plat­forms can help make up for the gaps in re­sources.

He said that the tech­nol­ogy can be ef­fec­tively ap­plied in a num­ber of ar­eas, in­clud­ing mar­ket su­per­vi­sion, so­cial man­age­ment, en­vi­ron­ment mon­i­tor­ing, and help­ing the gov­ern­ment to de­liver bet­ter pub­lic ser­vices.

He said, “We hope all coun­tries will tighten co­op­er­a­tion and con­nec­tiv­ity to create pros­per­ity and make the in­ter­net more ben­e­fi­cial to the peo­ple of the world.”

Other ex­perts, com­pa­nies and gov­ern­ment lead­ers from other coun­tries have also shared their ex­pe­ri­ences in build­ing up an e-gov­er­nance plat­form and pre­sented ex­am­ples of their prac­tices.

Gabriel Lim, per­ma­nent sec­re­tary of the Min­istry of Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and In­for­ma­tion of Sin­ga­pore, said they have shifted from an “e-gov­ern­ment” to a “d-gov­ern­ment”, that is dig­i­tal, and es­tab­lished an all-in-one dig­i­tal plat­form for cit­i­zens to run around key mo­ments of life, such as get­ting mar­ried, go­ing to school and reg­is­ter­ing busi­nesses.

He said peo­ple and cul­ture are the keys to suc­cess, and coun­tries should be open to more tal­ents, and ad­vised giv­ing them flour­ish.

Wu Man­qing, pres­i­dent of China Elec­tron­ics Tech­nol­ogy Group Corp and an aca­demic at the Chi­nese Acad­emy of En­gi­neer­ing, said that as the num­ber of ur­ban dwellers grows rapidly, so does the need for bet­ter pub­lic ser­vices.

He sug­gested an in­for­ma­tion en­vi­ron­ment should be set up that cov­ers and con­nects things, data and peo­ple with a new gen­er­a­tion of in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy in­fra­struc­ture that de­liv­ers dat­a­cen­tered gov­ern­ment ser­vices.

Ac­cord­ing to the 2018 E-gov­ern­ment Sur­vey, re­leased by United Na­tion’s de­part­ment of eco­nomic and so­cial af­fairs in July, more and more gov­ern­ments are turn­ing to the in­ter­net to de­liver ser­vices.

The sur­vey found that all 193 mem­ber states of the UN had some form of na­tional por­tal or back-end sys­tem to au­to­mate core ad­min­is­tra­tive tasks.

In all, 140 coun­tries had an on­line ser­vice for pay­ing util­ity bills, 139 for sub­mit­ting in­come taxes and 126 a dig­i­tal por­tal for reg­is­ter­ing a new busi­ness. enough room to

the num­ber of China’s in­ter­net users

ZHU XINGXIN / CHINA DAILY

Visi­tors learn about city pub­lic ser­vices at the booth of Ant Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Group at the Fifth World In­ter­net Con­fer­ence in Wuzhen, Zhe­jiang prov­ince.

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