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From pilot projects to implementation

Man on stage at the Smart Country Convention with speaker cards in hand

Marc Danneberg is Head of Public Sector at the digital association Bitkom. Photo: Messe Berlin

Last week, the digitisation commissioners of the federal states met with Wolfgang Schmidt, the head of the Federal Chancellery, to discuss the further implementation of the Online Access Act. However, no relevant results of the meeting have yet been announced.

Marc Danneberg, Head of Public Sector at the digital association Bitkom, assesses the current situation: "All frequently used administrative services must be accessible online across the board, for citizens and businesses alike. New pilot projects in individual municipalities and federal states will not always help, but we must now enter a serious implementation phase for the OZG together. This means copying best practices, sharing important basic components and infrastructures and only developing our own solutions in exceptional cases. It is unacceptable that numerous OZG services are still not available everywhere, meaning that many authorities in Germany have not been acting in compliance with the law since the end of last year. A legal entitlement to centralised digital administrative services would be very helpful in speeding up the implementation of the OZG."

As early as 2021, the first local authorities published the "Dresden Demands", in which they urge the centralisation of digital administrative services. Especially those with a high degree of standardisation and automation. In Danneberg's opinion, it is time to put these demands into practice. He cites the "delegated sphere of influence" as an example of this. Local authorities act on behalf of the federal government. "One of the things we lack is financial planning security. The meeting should be a starting signal for more cooperation in digital administration," says Danneberg. "The digitalisation of administration is not a convenience offer for citizens to save them visits to the authorities. Rather, it will increasingly determine the economic success of regions in the future. Those who remain analogue will be left behind."

This is also shown by a recent Bitkom survey: for 8 out of 10 companies (83 percent), the lack of digitalisation in administration is an international locational disadvantage, and as many as 9 out of 10 (94 percent) see it as a brake on the digitalisation of their own company.

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