This chapter presents a revision of the basic findings and conclusions of the Intermediate Evaluation and the suggestions of the Assessor relative to the program design, its’ practical implementation, course, prospects for development and the results of the Operational Program (OP), as well a review of the mechanisms for the observation, management and control of the results.
|Program Design and practical implementation|
|Course, developmental prospects, results|
|Mechanisms of Observation, Management and Control|
|Program Design and Practical Implementation
With regards to the program design and its’ practical implementation:
The strengths and weaknesses identified by the Ex-ante Evaluation remain current, for the most part, despite the very positive developments in the infiltration rate of the Information Society (IS) in Greece. However, the country continues to exhibit weaknesses on some basic indicators when compared to other EU countries.
- Programming of the OP responds to European Policy (eEurope2005) and the national policy of IS and consequently towards the goals of these policies.
- Generally, the distribution of OP resources responds to the needs with a possible exception regarding the field of electronic administration, where the confirmed needs are greater than the available resources and where there is a discrepancy between the needs of several political sectors and the distribution of the available resources.
- The horizontal priorities (including employment, social integration, equal opportunity) are sufficiently covered by the program design and its’ implementation although the level of observation of the basic indicators constitutes a problem for these priorities.
- OP also presents a satisfying synergy both internally and with its external environment towards 3rd CSF in its entirety and with the national policies relevant to IS.
- Despite the regional goals of the program design, in its’ implementation OP presents weaknesses in supporting the less developed and isolated rural areas in dealing with the danger of the digital gap between themselves and the more developed regions and the big urban centers of the country. Special attention should be paid to this key area by the special management service.
|Course, Developmental Prospects and Results
With regards to the course, developmental prospects and results of OP:
- After an initial delay resulting from the need for the preparation of the Corporation Program of OP (with the corporation designs of ministries and districts) and the particular compound and innovative Greek environmental character of OP actions, the program has noted rapid progress during 2003 mainly with regards to entries that however, will sweep away contracts and expenditures in rapid increases from 2004 onwards.
- The greatest progress has been noted in Axis 1 and pertains to the responsibility measures of the Ministry of Education, where the aims of the Program have been surpassed. Axes 2 and 3 were critically activated in 2003 and have already shown key indications of progress that will be continued and greatly reinforced during 2004. Axis 4, which has been delayed, is expected to be launched during 2004 after the finalization of the basic plan of action of the greater area networks and services that constitute the main intervention of Axis 4 and which have strategic importance for the promotion of IS in Greece.
- Despite the progress and activation of OP as a whole, after the resolution of pending matters of Axis 4, there remain delayed areas. These delayed areas pertain to measures and categories of action that span the entire realm of OP with relatively minimal funding, but which nonetheless have innovative character and are of strategic importance to OP’s final success and the progress of the country in the area of IS in general. Special focus and attention should be given to OP’s activation in these delayed areas and to the promotion of any material actions required for each of these.
|Observation, Management and Control Mechanisms
With regards to the mechanisms of observation, management and the control of results:
- The Special Management Service and the IS Ltd that constitute the basic mechanisms of implementation of OP completely correspond to the increasing qualitative demands of the Program and the demand of the 3rd CSF. However, the Management Service is critically understaffed and this, in combination with other factors, contributes significantly to the present delay of the Program and as well as to the long-term observation of the materialization and the utilization of the results. Immediate and drastic reinforcement of its’ staff complement is deemed mandatory.
- Public sectors, as the final beneficiaries, carry the majority of the burden for OP materialization and have significantly improved their ability against the 2nd CSF period and are, for the most part, responding well to increased Program and 3rd CSF demands. However, in order for the demands for full utilization to be met regarding Program results and their integration through those of IS in the greater area of public management, it is necessary to greatly reinforce their ability to respond to these demands. This must be dealt with as a priority of strategic importance within the framework of the Program.
The Intermediate Evaluation