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OPEN LETTER to the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria

OPEN LETTER to the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria from the representative branch organizations in the field of information and communication technologies (ASTEL, BAIT, BASSCOM, Bulgarian WEB Association, ICT Cluster, SEC)


We are extremely frustrated by the news reaching us that the Council of Ministers is about to consider at its next session a proposal made by the Minister of Finance Mr. Plamen Oresharski for a general cutting down of any expenses on information technologies in the state administration. We have no information on the argumentation of Mr. Oresharski and we can only assume that such a proposal is dictated by the wish for savings in the situation of a financial crisis.
We are here to declare straight away our firm belief that such an extremely restrictive step would harm seriously the state and society and would by no mean support the efforts to overcome and get out of the crisis.
We are certain that the only possible and effective approach in such a situation is based on the analysis of resources and opportunities for expenses optimization, thus implying targeted investments in order to assist the crisis overcoming.

The information and communication technologies represent an unavoidable and very important part from the overall state infrastructure. They are a means for increasing the efficiency and transparency in the state administration functioning and substitute one of the few tools which can successfully contribute to overcome the crisis.
In confirmation to the above the fact remains that in the early 2009, European Commissioner for Information Society, Viviane Reding, and the European Association of Information Technologies have elaborated a special programme and signed a Memorandum “The Recovery Will Be Digital” in which the Information and Communication Technologies are leading to walk out Europe from the crisis.

We are bound to inform you that such a restriction might cause considerable damages, including financial losses, by way of stopping from functioning projects for the establishment of e-government and information society in this country. The effect will turn out to be negative not only on society and business in Bulgaria, but also on the authority and reputation of BG government with the European Union where high technologies and innovation are a priority.

Your Honour Mr. Stanishev, we believe that the Bulgarian government is going to estimate correctly the role and possibilities of the information technologies in the present situation not allowing to reach extreme and negative for the society and state restrictive measures, which would result in total limitation of expenses in one of the most promising and modern sectors of economy.

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