e-Cabinet in Estonia

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Top ministers’ time is precious. To ensure that ministers already have the view and understanding of agenda item, an application that is a multi-user database and scheduler has been developed. The system keeps relevant information updated to help minister organize in advance.

  • Take part in meeting remotely
  • Reduction in paper stack
  • Decision making is more transparent and understandable

Well before the weekly cabinet session begins, the ministers access the system to review each agenda item and determine their position. They then click a box stating whether they have any objections or would like to speak on the topic. That way the ministers’ positions are known beforehand. Decisions that have no objections are adopted without debate, saving considerable time.

Once Estonia adopted its paperless e-Cabinet system, the average length of the weekly cabinet meetings was cut from 4 or 5 hours to between 30 and 90 minutes. The government has also eliminated the need to print and deliver thousands of pages of documents each week – a significant benefit for the environment and the tax payer.

Because e-Cabinet uses web-based software and audio-visual equipment, ministers can take part remotely, and have often done so. Decisions made at the meetings can be e-mailed to interested parties or posted on a website even while the meeting is still going on.

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