Average effort of service providers in putting basic information on offered services online

The monitoring shows that availability of easily accessible basic information on services is still far from what might be expected.

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Although there are advanced service providers who are taking a lead in informing the users on services on their official websites, there is an overall lack of user friendliness of information, open data practice, while e-services are largely absent. 

The website analysis was done for a sample of five services: 1) property registration, 2) company (business) registration, 3) vehicle registration, 4) issuing passports and ID cards, and 5) paying value added tax (VAT) for companies. Information analysed for each of the services included clear contact information, basic procedural info to obtain them, rights and obligations of users, prices (of the in-person and e-services), citizen friendly guidance for accessing services, and open data availability. Moreover, the attention was paid to online accessibility of these information i.e. whether they can be found not more than three clicks from the homepage.

Regionally, the average score clearly denotes there is still a considerable room for improvement. And not only in making data available in open formats, which is missing in all countries, but in making several basic yet undoubtedly significant information easily available and accessible. All countries score well when it comes to publishing contact information for the provision of services, as on average only one service per country was lacking this information. Nevertheless, the countries fare worse when it comes to basic procedural information on how to obtain services. Namely, even though most of the websites contain description of the service and information on providers’ physical location or on procedure for obtaining e-service, necessary administrative forms are often not attached for download.

What is quite interesting is that apart from Macedonia, which is a frontrunner together with Albania, none of the other countries have available downloadable forms for vehicle registration, a service that usually provided by the ministries in charge for internal affairs and that is amongst the most frequent ones. As the good practice, ADISA agency in Albania produces informational cards on all services with all the necessary information in one place, which is regarded as citizen-friendly, although it does not contain audio-visual elements.

Apart from regionally unevenly distributed global scores, when it comes citizen friendly material for service seekers almost all countries score well for a specific service - VAT for companies, as tax administrations in Albania, BiH, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia offer guidance with audio-visual elements, with only exception of Macedonia as none of its service providers offer this type of guidance on services under analysis.

Albania, Macedonia and Serbia rank best in terms of informing users on their rights and obligations, having it clearly outlined on the website of all the service providers. Again, tax administrations in WB stand out as this information is provided across all countries.

Although majority of service providers publish information on the price of in-person services, scores are significantly lower when it comes to the prices of e-services, mainly because there is no such possibility and in cases where prices are published they do not differentiate between electronic and in-person services. Once more, tax administration websites are an exception as only e-services related to paying VAT for companies are fully available across all countries (however, for Bosnia it is only available at the entity level of FBIH). This e-service is free of charge in Albania, BiH, Kosovo, Macedonia and Serbia. In Montenegro, even though the e-portal is advertised for this service, it fails to mention the requirement to obtain a digital certificate at a significant price for its basic package.

See the results by country here.