As a result of the state budget strategy negotiations, additional funding of altogether €117.5 million will be directed towards 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 percent.
"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 (SDE) said in a press release.
Of the additional funding, €112.5 million will be used mainly to develop e-services and increase cyber security. €5 million will be used to update the information systems of Estonian public broadcaster ERR to 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 an additional €117.5 million 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 percent. 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. The idea is to bring the salaries of the state's ICT specialists to the level of the whole sector's median income. 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.
Editor: Dario Cavegn