History of the State Administration of Information Society Development in Lithuania

  • In March 1991, the Government established the Lithuanian Information Council consisting of representatives from the academic circles, state and budget institutions and companies, which was entrusted with the performance of an expert on state information policy (the Council worked until  1994);
  • In 1992, the Ministry of Communications and Informatics of the Republic of Lithuania was established and delegated the function of shaping and implementing a common policy on communications and informatics in Lithuania;
  • In 1992, following the example of the creation of the “national information infrastructure” originated in the USA, the long-term project for the development of the national information infrastructure “Lietuva 2000” was launched in Lithuania under the respective Government resolution; the project provided for the technical, technological, legal and organisational measures aimed at guaranteeing the information service for the State, its economic institutions and citizens”;
  • In 1993, the Government approved the  State Communications and Informatics Development Programme  prepared by the Ministry of Communications and Informatics, which was implemented until 1998 by developing the country’s communications, postal services and informatics, drafting the laws and standards regulating activities in these fields, and creating the basic elements of the information infrastructure;
  • In April 1998, the Ministry of Communications and Informatics was annulled; its functions pertaining to informatics were transferred to the Ministry of Public Administration Reforms and Local Authorities and its functions related to communications were transferred to the Ministry of Transport and Communications;
  • In his annual speech delivered in June 1999, President Valdas Adamkus emphasised the importance of the “maturing information society”;
  • On 25 October 1999, the political memorandum  “On the Creation of Information Society in Lithuania”, which emphasised the necessity to recognise the creation of information society as one of Lithuania’s strategic aims, was signed between the parliamentary parties of the Republic of Lithuania and the Association Infobalt in Vilnius;
  • In 2000, the Law on Electronic Signature was adopted and the Programme of the Lithuanian Language in the Information Society 2000-2006 was approved;
  • In December 2000, the Seimas decided to form a standing Information Society Development Committee of the Seimas (the explanatory note to this Resolution emphasises that “in the new decade the development of information society has to become the main national idea, similarly to the free-market idea which was the priority during the first decade of Lithuania’s independence”);
  • On 1 January 2001, after the annulment of the Ministry of Public Administration Reforms and Local Authorities, its functions pertaining to information society (informatics) were transferred to the Ministry of the Interior (most of these functions were performed by the Information Policy Department);
  • In February 2001, the Government decided to form an interdepartmental Information Society Development Committee led by the Prime Minister, which was entrusted with the consideration of the country’s strategic issues related to the development of information society;
  • In February 2001, the Government approved the Lithuanian National Concept of the Development of Information Society, which provided for the mission of the state and local authorities to create conditions for the development of information society and encourage this process, to help the citizens integrate into the global information society and take advantage of the opportunities offered by it as well as the goals and objectives in the implementation of this mission;
  • In March 2001, the President of the Republic of Lithuania signed the decree on the formation of the Lithuanian Knowledge Society Council under the President of the Republic of Lithuania;
  • In May 2001, the Seimas adopted the resolution on the knowledge society and priority work of the knowledge society development in Lithuania, which provided the Government with the recommended list of specific tasks in the fields of e-education, e-government, e-business and knowledge economy;
  • On 1 July 2001, an individual institution was established under the Government – the Information Society Development Committee, which was assigned the function to participate in the process of shaping state policy in the creation of information technologies and telecommunications (ITT) in the Republic of Lithuania and coordinating its implementation, ensure the design, creation and development of the ITT infrastructure conforming to the EU requirements, as well as plan  and organise the ITT development in the state according to the ITT Development Strategy approved by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania;
  • In August 2001, a new strategic document intended for the development of the Lithuanian information society was approved on the basis of the Lithuanian National Concept of the Development of Information Society  – the  Strategic Plan for Information Society Development in Lithuania, under which the detailed plans for information society development in Lithuania were drafted and approved by the respective Government resolutions annually during the 2002-2004 period;
  • Between 2002 and 2010, various legal acts regulating specific fields of the information society were adopted:
    • 2004 Law on Electronic Communications
    • 2006 – Law on Information Society Services.
    • In 2003, the requirements for websites of state institutions were approved; in 2004, the first steps were taken towards controlling non-disclosable and restricted information on the Internet, in addition, in 2004, the amendments to the Law on Income Tax of Individuals encouraging the citizens to acquire computers with Internet access were adopted. There was a number of changes in the area of strategic planning during these years: in 2002,  the Strategy on the Creation of the Integrated System of the State Registers and the Electronic Government Concept were approved; in 2003, the High Technology Development Programme was approved; in 2004, the Universal Computer Literacy Programme was approved; in 2005, the Strategy and Programme for the Implementation of Information and Communication Technologies into the Lithuanian Education for 2005-2007  and the Development Strategy of the Broadband Infrastructure of Lithuania for 2005-2010 were approved; in June 2005, the country’s new common strategic planning document on the development of the information society – the Lithuanian Strategy for the Development of the Information Society – was approved, and its implementation measures for the period of the next three years were entrenched in the Programme for the Lithuanian Information Society Development for 2006-2008 approved in 2006; the E-Health System Development Programme for 2009-2015 and the plan of its implementation measures were approved in 2010, etc.
  • Upon accession to the EU in 2004, Lithuania was provided with the opportunity to take advantage of financial support allocated by the EU Structural Funds. The development of the information society became one of the fields of financial support provided by the EU Structural Funds. During the 2004-2006 period, 159 million litas from the European Regional Development Fund was allocated to the information society development projects financed under Measure 3 “Development of Information Technologies Services and Infrastructure” of Priority 3 “Development of Productive Sector” of the Single Programming Document of Lithuania for 2004-2006. A total of 829 million litas from the European Regional Development Fund will be allocated to the projects financed under Priority 3 “Information Society for All” of the Economic Growth Operational Programme during the 2007-2013 period. During the both periods of 2004-2006 and 2007-2013, the major share of the support from the EU Structural Funds earmarked for this area and administered by the Information Society Development Committee is provided in the following two directions: the development of e-infrastructure, and the development of e-services and e-content.
  • In June 2010, the status of the Information Society Development Committee was changed – from the institution under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania into the institution under the Ministry of Transport and Communications.
  • In March 2011, the Programme for Information Society Development in Lithuania for 2011-2019  aimed at defining information society development priorities, goals and tasks to ensure optimal use of social and economic opportunities offered by ICT and in particular of the Internet as a very important tool of economic and social activity, which can be used for providing and receiving services, working, having leisure time, communicating, and voicing one’s opinion freely.
  • In October 2018, the status of the Information Society Development Committee was changed - from the institution under the Ministry of Transport and Communications into the institution under the Ministry of Economy.
Last updated: 02-10-2018