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IDB supports improved e-government services in Uruguay

Program will benefit 15,000 families seeking housing and 12,000 potential exporters and importers; more on-line procedures and better public security

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved a $10.85 million loan to Uruguay to improve the quality of e-government services and simplify procedures for citizens and businesses. The goals of the E-Government Management Support Program II are to foster coordination within the Uruguayan government in developing electronic solutions and new digital public services.

Under the program, the government will establish a single window for export and import transactions of goods, centralizing procedures handled by five different agencies and benefitting some 12,000 export and import companies. Another single window will manage access to housing, which currently involves 13 programs and a minimum of five agencies, benefitting 15,000 families through the establishment of new digitalized services. In the area of public safety, all police cars in Montevideo will be equipped with mobile devices for filing reports.

Program components include support for e-government projects with high returns for residents and businesses. These projects will be financed through a competitive fund, holding at least five annual bidding processes for 12 projects each.

Support for strategic e-government projects will include financing for technical assistance for carrying out 10 key projects for developing the e-government strategy. Goals will include expanding the e-government platform, implementing electronic files, notifications, and documentation.

Other priority projects for advancing the public agenda involve governmental functions requiring services being developed by the Agency for the Development of e-Government Management and the Information and Knowledge Society (AGESIC) in technological and normative areas as well as for improving management capacity.

Another component of the operation is AGESIC’s institutional strengthening to enhance its role in fostering and providing support to encourage greater coordination among public agencies and to increase online public services.

The IDB financed a previous program that laid the foundation for increasing knowledge and use of information technology in Uruguay’s central government in order to better serve citizens and businesses. Thanks to the progress it achieved in this area, Uruguay advanced 15 places in the world ranking of e-government.

The strategy will culminate in the creation of a Citizen’s Single Window that will unify all public sector procedures.

The loan is for 25 years, with a five-year grace period and a variable interest rate based on LIBOR. Local counterpart financing will total $10 million.

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