Azerbaijan is launching the transition from the electronic to a mobile government and has set up a new center to accomplish this goal.
"In order to prevent current and future challenges in the implementation of e-services, a center for electronic signature certification closely integrated with the automated tax information system has been established under the Ministry of Taxes," Minister of Taxes Fazil Mammadov said on Thursday at a conference titled "ASAN-signature as a key to mobile government".
The center was established in accordance with European standards, which will allow mutual recognition of electronic signatures in Azerbaijan and Europe. This, according to the minister, will allow the citizens of Azerbaijan to set up joint ventures with citizens of other countries and sign contracts over the Internet.
"As the [new] center is integrated with the mobile signature center, access to e-signatures will be possible through any device. This, in turn, will give an impetus to the development of the Internet and mobile banking in the country and the expansion of non-cash payments," Minister Mammadov said.
According to him, the launch of the center and its integration with the mobile signature center should be regarded as a transition from the e-government to a mobile government.
"Continued development of information technologies and mobile services in Azerbaijan increases the demand for the use of e-services among the population as well as the need to use an e-signature," the minister said.
According to Mammadov, the Ministry of Taxes plans to increase the number of e-services and expand the use of e-signatures as well as the provision of services using mobile devices.
The conference is organized by the Ministry of Taxes, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies and ASAN-Xidmet of the State Agency for Public Services and Social Innovations under the President of Azerbaijan.
Head of the legal affairs department of the Ministry of Taxes Samira Musayeva said that the Ministry jointly with ASAN-Xidmet has announced the launch of services of mobile digital signature.
According to her, people can obtain mobile digital signatures by applying to the ASAN-Xidmet centers and the Ministry of Taxes.
"The new platform of the mobile signature center is integrated with the platforms of all three mobile operators of Azerbaijan. To use the mobile digital signature it is necessary to change the Sim-card. The installation of the application and the activation of the mobile digital signature will be carried out both in the center for electronic signature certification under the Ministry of Taxes and ASAN-Xidmet centers," Musayeva said.
The mobile digital signature "ASAN-imza" ("ASAN-signature"), she says, fully complies with European Union guidelines, which will facilitate its recognition by European countries.
The presentation of the new center took place in Baku on Thursday. Specialists from the Ministry of Taxes demonstrated the work of the software required for operations with the use of the digital signature.
In the future, it is planned to install this application in new identity cards, whose issuance is scheduled for 2014.
According to Musayeva, the mobile digital signature will be used on personal, portable computers and tablet PCs as well.
The subscriber's mobile number will be applied for the use of mobile digital signatures on mobile and personal computers. In this case, two versions of Pin-codes will be required. The first one is needed for the confirmation of authentication and the second one for signing of the document. After the conclusion of the operation, a notification confirming that the operation had been completed will be received by the subscriber's mobile number.
The State Agency for Public Services and Social Innovations and ASAN Service Center No.1 were opened by President Ilham Aliyev on December 29. The agency and the service were created in accordance with the presidential decrees issued on July 13 and September 5.
The state agency was established to increase transparency in state bodies' activity, render more high quality, convenient services to citizens by using new methods and innovations, improve services and accelerate the transition to electronic services.
ASAN Service Center No.1 covers three districts of the capital Baku -- Nasimi, Narimanov, and Binagadi, and is located on Heydar Aliyev St. 36.
The first ASAN service center renders access to 23 services that are provided by nine state entities without extra expenses and loss of time. The center is open from 10:00 AM until 20:00 PM and until 17:00 PM on Sundays.
ASAN Service Center No.2 and No.3 will open in May in Khatai district and in July in Yasamal district.
A regional ASAN center will also open in Ganja, Azerbaijan's second largest city.
More than 35,000 people applied to ASAN in the first quarter of 2013.