LIFELONG EDUCATION IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
Stanislava Šimonová, Jitka Komárková
Institute of System Engineering and Informatics, University of Pardubice
Nowadays, it is impossible to be successfull without proper information. It concerns not only
business but also public administration. Information and communication technologies (ICT)
have become essential for our everyday lives because they are tools for treating information.
A quite fast development of ICT brings new demands for new skills on all of the people. It
means that people have to undergo futher education. This is why lifelong education is more
and more important for everyone including officers of public administration bodies.
lifelong education in public administration, Government online, eGovernent, user-friendly
Informace se staly samozøejmostí a nezbytností pro úspìšný ž ivot. Bez správné informace se
neobejde nejen podnikatelská sféra, ale ani veøejná správa. Informaèní a komunikaèní
technologie (ICT) se stávají bìž nou souèástí kaž dodenního ž ivota, protož e umož òují práci
s informacemi. Vzhledem k jejich velmi rychlému rozvoji je nezbytné, aby se lidé – už ivatelé
ICT, celož ivotnì vzdìlávali. Právì tato potøeba patøí k dùvodùm pro neustále rostoucí význam
celož ivotního vzdìlávání pro všechny vèetnì pracovníkù veøejné správy.
eEurope  is a political initiative of the European Union which should help to bring Europe
to the new age – to the information society. The aim of the initiative is to accelerate the
uptake of digital technologies across Europe and to ensure that all Europeans have the
necessary skills and oportunities to use them. A public sector is said to be one of the European
weaknesses because it doesn’t play enough active role in introducing new services and
applications. This is a reason why government online is one of the ten priority actions of the
The main aim of public administration is to serve citizens. High and standard quality of
provided services is one of the basic ethic principles of public administration . Nowadays,
there is a huge demand on speeding up administrative processes, making access to
information easier and increasing transparency and efficiency of all of these processes
respectively. Using information and communication technologies is an absolut must.
Unfortunately, involving new technologies in public administration is quite slow although it
would improve quality of services provided by government. This is the reason why the 10th
action of eEurope initiative is named Government online. The aim of this action is to begin to
use Internet as a tool for:
• bringing government services closer to the citizen;
• cutting bureaucracy and reducing expenditures;
• creating jobs in value-added services providers;
• creating Europe-wide market information .
In the framework of eEurope Action Plan – Government online – electronic access to public
services it is said that administrations don’t adapt to the new methods of working and
exploiting of information and communication technologies. The conclusion is that re-thinking
of internal organization and of data exchanges will be required. One of the listed actions is to
use open source software in public sector. Actions will result into furher demands on public
sector employees skills .
In the Czech Republic, there is Decission of the Government of the Czech Republic No. 525
of May 31, 1999 on State information policy - the road to an information society . Free and
direct access of the citizen to information, developing of information systems (IS) of public
administration, data protection and improving of communication infrastructure of public
administration are among the main priorities of the Czech State information policy.
One year later Action plan of realization of State information policy was adopted. Electronic
public administration and education of civil servants are among the Action plan projects .
The task of civil servants education is deeper defined in another decission of the Government
of the Czech Republic .
Structured education in public administration
While talking about access to information we can recognize three types of civil servants :
• common (end) user;
• information and communication technologies specialist.
Common user (end user) – usually an officer or secretary who is supposed to put rough data
into information system and use output data for regular work. It is important to don’t forget
they work with data and they are responsible for the data qaulity and correctness. At the same
time they are responsible for the protection of “their” data as well.
Manager (e.g. head of department) – usually a person who solves global and more
complicated problems and tasks. This man needs information as a necessary support for
running sophisticated analyses and making decisions. He often uses only outputs from
information systems and tryes to find relationships between various topics, trends of further
development or some patterns.
Information and communication technologies specialist (analyst) – a person who proposes
and designes proper structures and forms for data input and treating.
It is obvious that demands on skill levels (in the terms of using ICT) of these people
significantly differ as is shown in Table 1.
Table 1: Skill levels of employees of public administration
Type of user (employee)
No knowledge of using ICT very often
Basic knowledge of using ICT typical state typical state
Basic knowledge of using ICT and IS requested state typical state
Advanced knowledge of using ICT and IS requested state
Knowledge of data structures, analyses and
One could say that some ICT courses can easily solve the problem and improve employees’
skills in using ICT and IS. However, solution isn’t so simple. At first, some structured content
of courses must be defined to don’t provide people too much information and information of
no use. For example it has no sense to teach officers how to design information structure, how
databases work, … On the other hand ITC specialist is supposed to be able to use such
services as E-mail or Internet so it’s not necessary to teach him this stuff.
Portugal institute INA (Instituto Nacional de Administraçâo) is an example of institute of
further education in public administration. Some of tailored courses of the institute designed
for the common users are listed in the Table 2 and for ICT specialists are listed in the Table 3.
Table 2: Examples of INA courses for common users
Participants = common (end) users, i.e. officers and secretaries
Course No. of
Content of course
Virtual libraries 20 new models of networked libraries
Multimedia Communication 30 exploition of advantages multimedia
Producing Internet Pages 18 basic knowledge of creating WWW pages
Sources of electronic information
(civil service area)
6 access sources of electronic information
Using the Internet 6 first „touch“ to Internet
CAD, 2D + 3D 35 + 35 computer aided design, architecture
An Introduction to Windows 12 basic knowledge of the operating environment
WORD for WINDOWS (basic +
24 + 12 Administrative Document Area
The EXCEL Spreadsheet (basic +
20 + 12 spreadsheet
PowerPoint for Presentations 16 making presentations
Together 28 ICT courses for common users.
Table 3: Examples of INA courses for ICT specialists
Participants = ICT specialists
Course No. of
Content of course
Systems analysis and development 264 methodology, analysis and development of
information technology projects
Local network management 60 management of diferent local networks
Communication and networks:
data transmission and telematic
32 characteristics of the communications networks and
telematic services available
Distributed computer systems 60 distributed IS, client/server technology
Data warehouse – concepts 30 support systems for decision-making
IS security - design and
24 security aspects of IS
Quality in software production 24 quality of IS, E.C. standards, ..
Computer programming 60 various languages
Together 36 ICT courses for ICT specialists
The whole world is moving to the information society - the aim of eEurope initiative, State
Information Policy of the Czech Republic and other similar initiatives. Although, it will take
a long time and it will cost a lot of money to reach it. In the contribution some issues
concerning further training of public servants are discussed. Well educated and prepared
employees of public administration bodies (all of them, not only certain groups of employees)
are one of the necessary conditions of fulfilling one of the priority actions of all these
initiatives – Government online.
1. Council and the European Commission: eEurope 2002 - An Information Society For All. Action Plan.
Feira, 19. - 20. 6. 2000. URL: <http://europa.eu.int/comm/information_society/>.
2. CR Government Council for State Information Policy. Document Nr. 3161/2000. Action Plan of
Realization of State Information Policy until the end of year 2002. URL: <http://www.vlada.cz>.
3. Decission of the Government of the Czech Republic No. 525 of May 31, 1999 on State information
policy - the road to an information society. URL: <http://www.vlada.cz>.
4. Decission of the Government of the Czech Republic No. 601 of June 16, 1999 on The Concept of the
Training of Public Officials. URL: <http://www.vlada.cz>.
5. Dytrt Z., Roudný R., Skipala J. at al: Ethics of business and public administration. Praha: Vuste Envis,
1997, 120 s.
6. INA - Instituto Nacional de Administraçâo, Portugal. URL: <http://www.ina.pt>.
7. Šimonová S., Petráš J.: Ethic principles of teaching information systems in public administration. In
Ethics of business and public administration. International conference Ethics of business and public
administration. Praha: Vuste Envis, 1997. ISBN 80-902356-1-1, s.58-61.
8. The European Commission: eEurope - An Information Society For All. For the Special European
Council on Employment, Economic reforms and Social Cohesion - Towards a Europe based on
Innovation and Knowledge. Lisbon, 23. - 24. 3. 2000. URL:
Ing. Stanislava Šimonová, Ing. Jitka Komárková. Ph.D.
Institute of System Engineering and Informatics
University of Pardubice
532 10 Pardubice
E-mail: Stanislava.Simonova@upce.cz, Jitka.Komarkova@upce.cz
Ph.: 00 420 466 036 009, 00 420 466 036 070