On 19 April 2019, the Innovation and Best Practices Unit of the Directorate-General for Public Organizations of the Ministry of Administrative Reconstruction organized the “Secure Digital Government Conference”, with the view to improving digital governance policies to further achieve digital transformation, by taking into account issues such as opportunities and challenges of digital technologies, as well as their risks and limitations.
At the conference, hosted at Seraphio of the City of Athens, experts from the European Commission, the Estonian government, officers responsible for digital governance issues of the Greek Public Administration and CISCO executives, experts in cybersecurity issues, addressed more than 80 senior Greek executives of public agencies who represented more than 30 organizations in the Greek Public Sector, critical to digital governance.
At the beginning of the conference, foreshadowing the following topics presented, and with the use of the interactive tool “slido”, the public was “sensitized” to the content of the presentations. By means of a targeted question, survey results that triggered further discussion, were collected.
The question of whether new technologies (Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Robotics, Increased and Virtual Reality, Internet of Things) mainly create risks or opportunities, the survey results turned, by large deviation, to a more “optimistic” role of new technologies, leaving room for thought that cyber-security policies can, through continuous monitoring, review and improvement of practices, outline the positive effects of new technologies.
The opening of the conference was welcomed by the Head of General Directorate of Public Organizations of the Ministry of Administrative Reconstruction, Mr. Nikos Michalopoulos who made an introduction to Digital Governance in Greece.
Speeches followed, on behalf of Mr Emanuele Baldacci, Director of Digital Services at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Informatics, who outlined the European Commission’s policies and strategies for good Digital Governance in Europe.
Moreover, Mr. Raul Rikk, National Cyber Security Policy Director in the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications of the Republic of Estonia developed the innovative Digital Governance model of his country.
The conference was developed in two parts: presentations and discussion panels. Key questions were answered, such as:
How can a vision of strategy and actions make good use of New Technologies dynamics?
How do “invisible” – innovative digital services lead to the abolition of bureaucracy and upgrading of service provision and therefore to the quality of citizens’ everyday life?
How do appropriate prevention and response measures entail cyber security?
How could governments promote digital security in critical areas? (telecommunications, electricity-gas networks, water and sanitation systems, etc.)
How can digital security management be ensured?
Which are the protection policies and methods to be developed by the public administration, for the appropriate management of citizens’ large volume sensitive personal data, given the use of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and “big data”?
How can new technologies, through their upgrading, ensure dealing with social inequalities?
The first part of the conference included presentations, focusing on the topics of Digital Governance in Europe, Cyber Security in Estonia, cyber-threat management via an integrated cyber-defense architecture, leadership role in cybersecurity, digital governance in the future through the development of appropriate digital skills.
The second part of the conference incorporated two panel discussions, the issues of which were:
- Opportunities and vulnerabilities of New Technologies in Public Sector Digital Governance Policy.
- Public Sector Digital Governance Policy development by taking into account New Technologies “social character».
- Perspectives of advanced technologies development within the framework of a common European approach.
The conference concluded with certificates of attendance, given to all participants.