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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Wednesday, 22.05.2019, 10:07

Estonia to direct additional EUR 117.5 mln to development of e-state

BC, Tallinn, 17.04.2018.Print version
As a result of the state budget strategy negotiations, altogether 117.5 million additional euros will be directed to developing Estonia's e-state over the next four years, while the salaries of the state's information and communications technology (ICT) specialists will be raised by 20%, reports LETA/BNS.

"Estonia's e-state development has for years depended on one-off money injections of European Union assets. However, finding money for further information system maintenance and development has not been deemed important so far," Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology Urve Palo said in a press release.

Of the additional funding, 112.5 million euros will be used predominantly to develop e-services and increase cyber security. Five million euros will be utilized to update the information systems of the Estonian public broadcaster ERR so that the meet modern cyber security requirements.

"Neglecting modernization has resulted in people sometimes finding it uncomfortable to use the e-services offered by the state. On the other hand, a problem that has piled up over time is more difficult to solve and by tidying up information systems retrospectively we are in short spending more money than when maintaining them consistently," the minister said.

"By bringing additional money of 117.5 million euros to the ICT field, we will be able to significantly modernize the e-state solutions and ensure that our e-state is standing on strong legs. Increasing cyber security in the entire sector goes hand in hand with modernization," the minister said.

In addition, the government complied with the proposal to increase the salaries of the state's ICT specialists by 20%. The salary levels of the private sector have so far been significantly more competitive than in state institutions, the latter finding it difficult to find specialists of the field. This is why the wish is to bring the salaries of the state's ICT specialists to the level of the sector's median value. The salaries of the digital field are to be raised from next year in the divisions of the ministry that deal with creating, maintaining and developing national e-systems.

"Our e-state persists and develops only thanks to the skills of our people. This is why in addition to words we must also show with actions that Estonia is prioritizing the ICT field and contributing to maintaining and motivating the people working there," Palo said.

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