Friday, January 6, 2012

3 Estonian IT innovations from December

E-services are among the most important sources of economical efficiency. In Estonia 3 small, but innovative e-steps were taken in December. Here is a small summary of them.

Firstly of course the population and housing census! The census will take place between 31.12.2011-31.03.2012 and hopefully all the inhabitants and housing of Estonia will be counted. During January it is possible to participate on the E-census and "count" your family and household through the Internet. This is of course much more efficient than having the interviewer visiting your home. By now over 190 000 people have been enumerated. That is approximately 13,5% of the population. The goal is to count more than half of the population over internet. One can follow the status of the census (and count yourself if you are an inhabitant of Estonia) here http://www.stat.ee/phc2011.
I participated on the e-census and it worked fine. Although there were a lot of questions, I was happy that I could answer them over the Internet and did not have to find a suitable time for the interviewer to visit us and spend over 30 minutes interviewing us.

The second interesting e-innovation whose pilot started in December was the installation of payment terminals to police vehicles. So now if you get cought braking the trafic rules you can pay the fine at the police car. Well I do hope that you or I will never have to use that service, but still it is better to suffer your punishment without too much hassle. (Just as a remark for foreign readers - you cannot pay in cash to the police and the Estonian police really don't take bribes. It is better not to offer.)

Thirdly, the Estonian Forestry sector took a major step towards bigger efficiency and the active use of e-waybill system started. We at Elion are operating the service and the last months have been really busy with the integrations and contracts. Now the system is in use and hopefully will bring efficiency to the transportation of wood by making information available for the transport and timber companies.