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e-Governance: the idea and its realization in Poland

Piotr Szymaniec & Lukasz Mikowski

Angelus Silesius State School of Higher Vocational Education in Wałbrzych

An intensive process of changes being particularly evident today in the field of new technologies has an impact on the functioning of modern public administration and presents a major challenge for both the administrating and the administered. The technological progress requires the adjustment of the current activities within the public administration itself, as well as external relations of that administration. Hence, the broadly understood electronic public administration (e-government) provides an opportunity to use the modern technologies in the relationships within the organizational structure of public administration (between public administration organs), but above all in contacts of different subjects with the public administration (between the public administration organ and an individual).

Taking into account the occurring technological changes, the implementation and further development of the idea of e-government cannot take place without an appropriate legal framework. In Poland, a fundamental step to improve the functioning of the public administration was the Act of February 17, 2005, on the computerization of the subjects performing public tasks (consolidated text: the Journal of Laws [Dziennik Ustaw], 2014, item 1114). The main aim of the act was to introduce changes in the functioning of public administration within the electronic communications [1]. It introduced several amendments to other legal acts, above all to the Act of June 14, 1960 – the Administrative Code consolidated text: the Journal of Laws [Dziennik Ustaw], 2013, item 267, with further amendments) and to the Act of September 18, 2001, on the electronic signature (consolidated text: the Journal of Laws [Dziennik Ustaw], 2013, item 262, with further amendments). There is no doubt that the administrative procedure – being a procedure with which the individuals meet almost every day, and defining the way of their contact with the public administration – must primarily take into account the occurring technological changes [2].

It should be noted that the computerization of the state includes also the computerization of society. Therefore, the society which is not prepared for e-government does not use its advantages [1]. Moreover, we must also remember that “public administration has no competitor and an individual cannot choose an administrative organ which will settle her cases” [3]. Thus, considering the issue of e-government, we must take into account that the individual is always, by definition, subordinated to the administrative organ. The obstacles to the full implementation of e-government in Poland are the following: the procedure of obtaining an electronic signature itself, the lack of the adequate training of public administration employees, and in many cases an inappropriate organizational culture within the administration.


C. Martysz, G. Szpor, K. Wojsyk. Ustawa o informatyzacji działalności podmiotów realizujących zadania publiczne. Komentarz [‘The act on the computerization of the subjects performing public tasks. The commentary’]. Warszawa 2007: ABC.
A. Skóra. ‘Zastosowanie podpisu elektronicznego w postępowaniu administracyjnym w świetle prawa obywatela do dobrej administracji’ (‘The use of electronic signatures in administrative proceedings in light of the right of a citizen to good administration’), in Z. Niewiadomski, Z. Cieślak (eds.) Prawo do dobrej administracji (‘The right to good administration’). Warszawa 2003, p. 119..
Z. Leonski. Nauka administracji ['The research in administration']. Warszawa 1999, p. 48.