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37th Session of the Committee on Education, Science, Culture and Sport was held

Thematic Session: ‘Digital Transformation of Montenegro’

The Education, Science, Culture and Sport Committee held today a thematic session Digital Transformation of Montenegro”.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the Parliament of Montenegro, Ministry of Public Administration, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Transport and Maritime Affairs, National Security Agency, Office of the Prime Minister, Capital City, Tax Administration, Montenegrin Chamber of Commerce, Montenegrin Post Office, Association of Montenegrin Managers, Čikom d.o.o., Amplitudo d.o.o., Montex-elektronika, Saga CG, S & T Montenegro, Digit Montenegro, Datalink, ZZI d.o.o., Deloitte doo, CEO and Visola as well as members of the Board.

Introductory presentations were held by: Radule Novović, President of the Committee for Education, Science, Culture and Sport of the Parliament of Montenegro, Branimir Gvozdenović, Vice President of the Parliament of Montenegro, Vladan Tabaš, Director of Čikom d.o.o., Milan Srzentić, State Secretary of the Ministry of Economy, Dejan Abazović, State Secretary of the Ministry of Public Administration, Stevan Ljumović, Head of the Integral Health System Department at the Ministry of Health and Nenad Novović, Executive Director of Amplitudo d.o.o.

Radule Novović, President of the Committee for Education, Science, Culture and Sports, said in his introductory speech that we live in a time when computers occupy more and more places in man’s everyday life. Therefore, the knowledge and use of information and communication technologies in the modern world is one of the basic elements of literacy and human culture. We are witnessing that the digital transformation has affected all branches of the industry – medicine, oil industry, telecommunications, finance and many others.

Some of the examples are the revolution in the world of transport – the occurance of Uber, e-books in publishing, online media, which have pushed down prints of newspapers, social networks and e-commerce platforms as well as new channels of marketing and sales, the use of 3D printers in many industries, for example, in the automobile and airplane industry, etc. Based on these facts, it can be concluded that only those who are aware of the need to respond to the constant changes in our environment and who are willing to accept the changes have a chance to survive this revolution. The digital revolution has affected all aspects of society, individuals, companies and institutions, but also the state. Networking people and things drives governments, business and civil society, as well as friends and families.

Branimir Gvozdenović, Vice President of the Parliament of Montenegro, pointed up in his introductory presentation the importance of the topic of today’s session, with the conclusion that the Parliament of Montenegro should adopt conclusions, which will be forwarded to other participants of today’s session, in order to jointly start the process of digital transformation and improve the informatic system in our country. He emphasized the willingness of the Parliament of Montenegro to adopt the best legal solutions in this area and announced a series of sessions on which the committees will conduct control and consultative hearings, intensifying the activities of all deputies in terms of sending parliamentary questions to the line ministries, which will relate to informatics solutions and digital transformation. Also, the opinion is that it is necessary to establish synergy in all developmental branches, and that this goal can be achieved, solely, by strengthening the process of digital transformation. Vice President Gvozdenović emphasized that it is necessary to strengthen the intellectual elite in this area, with significant incentives and support from the state, because there is no developed society without an engineering elite ready for IT progress. Finally, he invited all participants of today’s session, both representatives of ministries, as well as representatives of informatic-communication companies, to be open to submit to the Parliament of Montenegro concrete initiatives and prospective proposals for improvement of legal solutions in the subject area.

Vladan Tabaš, director of Čikom d.o.o. company in his introductory speech pointed out that in the last fifty years we started to use the main resource, which is the information, that represents the generator of digital transformation. He recalled the history and the very beginning of the process of digital transformation of mankind, that is, the occurrence of first computers, which marked the transition to the quantum level-industry 4.0. He emphasized that digital transformation is a long-lasting, and essentially, evolutionary process of changing the established way of life and business by using digital technologies, primarily by using software and new technology solutions based on Internet services and modern information technologies. Digital transformation is an undeniable trend in the world. It is equally applicable in economically highly developed countries, as well as in those characterized by lower or low levels of economic development. He accentuated that the economic and social gap can not be overcome, but its application can speed up its reduction. He pointed out that Montenegro must  “jump” in the last train of digital transformation by emphasizing four elements of digital transformation. The first is telecommunication and IT infrastructure in the country, which entrepreneurs are satisfied with, but believes that its availability could be better, ie the price of rental services lower. He believes that this must be done in order to use digital services. The second element is the development of electronic services of state and local government, banks, tourism and other organizations, where he believes that we are at the beginning. As a positive example, he specified eGov portal with a large number of services, whose level can be further improved. Legal legislation is the third element of digital transformation, and the fourth are human resources, or their intensive development through education. He believes that the development of IT sector in Montenegro will give impulse to the process of digital transformation. He referred to informatics literacy, as well as to the education system in Montenegro. He pointed out that it is necessary to implement a rebalance, which will aim to create a more dynamic education system, given the fact that in the education system there is insufficient study of IT subjects. In the end, he concluded that there is an IT cadre in Montenegro, but that it is necessary to work on improving the level of expertise further.

In his presentation, Milan Srzentic, State Secretary at the Ministry of Economy, pointed out that, identically, like the previous editor, he looks at the issue on which pillars the digital society needs to rely, as well as that digital society develops with their development. He briefed the audience on the current situation regarding the development of electronic communications infrastructure and electronic communications networks in Montenegro and referred to the activities initiated and intensified in the Ministry of Economy through the implementation of the Information Society Strategy this year. pointed out that Montenegro has harmonized its legislative framework with the European one, and that Chapter 10 – Information Society and Media has no open issues in the final measuring instruments regarding the communications. He emphasized that the Strategy was fully aligned with the goals of the European Digital Agenda 2020, which enabled investors to have a stable investment environment, and the citizens were able to choose operators and quality services. He informed that there are 79% of households in Montenegro that have active subscription to some broadband Internet connection, and 90% of households have the technical possibility to use the services. He also informed the attendees that, when it comes to the networks of the new generation in Montenegro, at the end of 2018, half of active users use the latest networks that are represented in the world. An example of progress in Montenegro is reflected in the fact that optical networks in 2016 were represented only with 3.6%, while today, half of the users use optical networks. He emphasized that by the end of the year, the Government will pass a legal solution on the reduced costs of setting up electronic communications networks.

Dejan Abazović, State Secretary at the Ministry of Public Administration, in his introductory speech, referred to the history of the development of the information society. He highlighted that the main disadvantage, and at the same time, issue which should be the focus of the digital transformation process – a satisfied user, that is, a citizen, who reflects satisfied economy, and that this should be paid great attention to. He pointed out that it is necessary to work on improving the promotion with the goal of developing a digital society. He emphasized that it is necessary to start with changing normative solutions and improving the applicational and system services that provide certain services to citizens. He referred to the Law on Electronic Administration, the Law on Electronic Identification, the Law on Electronic Signature, the Law on Public – Private Partnerships, the Law on VAT and the Law on Administrative Taxes, highlighting that it is necessary to work on improving the legal solutions related to the production of services. He pointed out that at the preparatory stage, a unique identification document was prepared, allowing citizens to realize many services, emphasizing that the JMB can not be publicly used, and therefore a unique identification number will be introduced.

He specified that digital transformation is a process that needs to be managed and pointed to the need for change. In the end he concluded that it is necessary to work on a new concept that will adapt to the new era, all in order to achieve satisfaction of users – citizens of Montenegro.

Stevan Ljumović, head of the Integral Health System Department at the Ministry of Health, agreed with his predecessors and stressed that digital transformation is a multidisciplinary process. He accented that it is necessary to carry out a series of transformations and changes in the field of legislation in order to carry out digital transformation, and that digital transformation is essentially a cultural phenomenon. In his presentation, he referred to the resources that the state has and pointed out that Montenegro has knowledge and young people, but that it does not sufficiently use them. It is also true that in Montenegro there are a number of laws that are applied in an insufficient rate and mentioned the Law on Electronic Identification and the Electronic Document Act as an examples. He indicated to the imperative of applying the law in practice. He talked about the importance of citizens control over their data and access to them. He also pointed to the fact that, today, many services are available to citizens, but they do not use them because they are not promoted enough, so that citizens are not sufficiently familiar with their use.

Nenad Novović, the Director of Amplitudo d.o.o company, referred to the concrete examples and challenges that we are facing today in the process of digital transformation. He emphasized that the educational system is not fully adapted to modern technologies. He stressed the importance of education in the subject area and reminded of the cooperation that the company has with the universities in the field of information technologies, believing that this is the way to prevent the key problem in Montenegro, which is an outflow of talents. He pointed out that through the mentioned cooperation students are getting more familiar with matter which they are not able to hear about in lectures. In the end, he concluded that it is necessary to invest in innovations and human resources, and reminded about one of the projects, which is being implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Science, which is to create an ecosystem for innovative startups.

At the session, the subject matter was talked about by the following: members of the Committee on Education, Science, Culture and Sports Aleksandra Vuković and Andrija Popović, Director of the Strategy and Risk Department at M:tel Aleksandra Radojević, Director of Finance Plus and a member of the Digital Transformation Board of the Association of Montenegrin Managers Dražen Raičković, Director of Montex-electonics Aleksandar Radulović, Technical Director of Čikom d.o.o. Dragoslav Kenjić and Head of the ICT Sector in the National Security Agency Dejan Tomović.

After the discussion, the President of the Committee for Education, Science, Culture and Sport Radule Novović announced the adoption of conclusions from today’s thematic session, which will, among other things, refer to: the readiness of the Parliament of Montenegro to support the latest legal solutions in the subject area; holding control and consultative hearings of representatives of individual departments with the aim of obtaining information on the way of implementing information and communication technologies in the work, as well as taking over the obligation of the Committee for Education, Science, Culture and Sports to give full contribution to the promotion of the information society.

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Andjela Radosavovic