Estonia's IT sector needs an additional €100 million investment from the 2021 budget to counteract underspending and for future development, the government's chief information officer at the Ministry of Economic Affairs wrote in Postimees on Tuesday.
Siim Sikkut wrote: "For some, its a miracle that we've been able to build a world-class digital nation. It is built largely on air, and always with less human and financial resources that it needs."
Sikkut wrote the e-state is underfunded, there is too much obsolete equipment and development debt meaning the country cannot take advantage of the latest technological opportunities, and unless €100 million is found by 2021, ambitions need to be scaled back.
As a result of these problems, he wrote, many important registries and e-services are "often useless" and the experience for the user is poor: "We want to complete a rally, but we are trying to do it on petrol fumes."
He said €50-60 million is missing from investments in state institutions and municipalities to ensure the continuation of the digital state in its current form, and that €40-50 million is needed again for the next phase of IT development, such as upgrading and rebuilding existing information systems and digital infrastructure such as the x-road.
Last year, ERR News reported the National Audit Office's assessment that Estonia's international image as an e-state is good, it is about to join the average players in terms of future development.
Sikkut also told ETV's "Esimene stuudio" in September information systems have been chronically underfunded for years.
Editor: Helen Wright