Since the 2005 OECD E-Government Study, Denmark has adopted a national e-government strategy – "Towards Better Digital Service, Increased Efficiency and Stronger Collaboration" – covering the period 2007-10, which generally follows-up on the OECD proposals for action.
Assessment and Proposals for Action
Broadening and strengthening the e-government vision taking into consideration that enabling societal-wide efficiency and effectiveness could realise better use of public resources at large – i.e. to help improve public service delivery, to enable citizens to better access services – without losing sight of the necessary focus on efficiency and effectiveness.
Depuis l’Étude de l’OCDE de 2005 sur l’administration électronique, le Danemark a adopté une stratégie nationale dans ce domaine, intitulée « Vers un meilleur service numérique, plus d’efficience et une collaboration plus étroite », qui couvre la période 2007-10, et suit de façon générale les propositions d’action de l’OCDE.
The Danish government has adopted a national e-government strategy – "Towards Better Digital Service, Increased Efficiency and Stronger Collaboration" – covering 2007-10, which largely follows-up on the OECD proposals for action embedded in the 2005 OECD E-Government Country Study: Denmark. In relation to the approval of the strategy, new economic settings were established and agreed upon by the state, the regions and the municipalities to implement 35 initiatives. In addition, a fund for assistive technology was created for 2009-15 to co-finance investments in projects that seek to employ labour saving technologies in the public sector and to adopt innovative ways of working and structuring public organisations, i.e. the PWT Foundation – Investments in Public Welfare Technology. The Danish government is in the process of taking stock of the progress made since 2005 with regard to e-government development in order to prepare a new e-government strategy. Aware of its privileged position in terms of sophistication of its e-government enabling environment, and willing to further exploit this advantage to reach out to the most vulnerable segments of the population and ensure the most efficient and effective use of public resources, the government decided to focus on: optimising the impact of e-government on public sector reform, strengthening the organisational structure and arrangements for e-government development and implementation, increasing user take-up, and securing the benefits realisation of e-government projects.
The Impact of E-Government on the Public Sector Modernisation and Efficiency Efforts
The Danish government understands the key instrumental value of e-government to push reforms forward at all levels of government. The government has made efforts to ensure the integration and alignment of the e-government programmes with targeted public sector reform initiatives (e.g. the Quality Reform and De-bureaucratisation Programme) and to secure the co-ordination of the various governance bodies in charge of their implementation. The aim of the government is now to further exploit e-government and innovation to drive change in the public sector by boosting a coherent vision of how they can be used by the country to sustain a more efficient and effective public sector while attaining its opportunities as a digital economy and harvesting broader societal benefits.
The Governance Framework for E-Government Implementation
The Danish government has focused on the establishment of frameworks and structures to engender collaboration and co-operation across levels of government to foster co-ordination across functional areas and support an efficient and effective development of e-government. Although the current governance frameworks have led to the achievement of considerable e-government progress, it could benefit from further strengthening. Likewise, the continuous involvement and support at the political level would provide visible sponsorship and more direct connection to national priorities to make cross governmental collaboration and co-operation work better. The fragmentation of responsibilities and the absence of a visible champion charged with driving the implementation forward has also resulted in the value and role of e-government and of its strategic and economic advantages for Denmark not being clear to the political leadership. The Structural Reform of the Danish public sector has also contributed to what, at times, seems to be an imbalanced and a limited alignment between the priorities as seen by the central government and those perceived at sub-national levels.
Towards a more User-centric Approach to Public Service Delivery
Denmark is a frontrunner in the development of the Information Society and reports among the best performances worldwide both in terms of broadband penetration and frequent Internet users. However, it faces the challenge of consolidating and preserving these achievements, and of increasing the number of citizens taking up the opportunities digitally provided while taking care of population segments which cannot access and/or use the digital channels. This requires, among other things, adopting an adequate multi-channel service delivery strategy – as already envisaged by the Danish E-Government Strategy 2007-2010 – to enable efficiency and effectiveness and provide the right incentives to stimulate the up-take of e-government services without penalising the principle of equity. The development of an e-government marketing strategy aimed at raising the awareness of the services and information digitally provided is equally pivotal. These could help to improve awareness, both internally and externally, to fully exploit existing opportunities. The government may also consider boosting a stronger dialogue and co-operation with citizens and businesses, which may include more direct involvement of representatives of the various segments of the population in the designing of services to better understand how e-government can respond to special needs.
Realising the Benefits of E-Government
The Danish government recognises the use of ICT as a prerequisite for the public sector to efficiently and effectively complete its tasks, achieve its goals and meet the expectations of citizens and businesses. This is why it regards e-government as being fundamental to reforming the public sector and to sustaining high improved service delivery and has adopted tools and strategies to ensure the full harvesting of these benefits. For instance, the business case model used by the Danish Ministry of Finance – based on international standards for ICT projects and business cases – is a key tool to deliver a financial overview and allow the users to compare the planned value and objectives to the estimated costs and investments.
Annex A. Experiences from other OECD members
OECD countries are increasingly focusing their efforts on broadening the scope of e-government programmes to enhance its value as a driver to sustain public sector reform goals and achieve public efficiency and effectiveness, while sustaining ongoing service delivery improvement. For many of them, this has meant broadening the e-government vision to take into consideration that enabling societal-wide efficiency and effectiveness could realise better use of public resources at large – i.e. to help improve public service delivery, to enable citizens to better access services – without losing sight of the necessary focus on efficiency and effectiveness is essential. Broadening the e-government vision implies, for the majority of OECD countries, a citizen-focused (and/or business-focused) and a whole-of-government approach to e-government development. In pursuing this approach, many OECD countries are in the process of rearranging governments’ online and off-line organisational structures and of establishing service clusters that cross the traditional organisational structures of programmes, departments and agencies.
Annex B. Reaping the Benefits of Cloud Computing, Web 2.0 and Open Data: OECD Country Experiences
Developments in ICT mean it is now possible for different teams, offices or even organisations to share the same ICT infrastructure. The different hardware can be brought together and used to deliver increased flexibility and responsiveness to business needs while reducing costs. Essentially, it means moving from ICT that has been procured separately by organisations as their own infrastructure, to a new model in which ICT is provided as a utility.
Annex C. Survey results
The survey is part of the background research supporting the analyses, assessment and proposals for action presented in this report. It shows that Denmark has a high degree of e-government maturity with a focused and systematic approach to the implementation cycle of e-government. The survey represents a broad cross-section of Danish public sector institutions and their leadership showcasing in general a mature and knowledgeable management within the public sector – with a good understanding of e-government implementation as a whole-of-public-sector initiative.
Annex D. Methodology
The review is structured around the notion of a policy cycle in which e-government goals, strategies and initiatives are developed and diffused by all levels of government, and e-government projects are initiated and implemented by different agencies. As the first step in a country review, the OECD Secretariat develops an agreement with the reviewed country’s authorities concerning the objectives, analytical framework and timeline of the study. The terms of reference set out and structure the areas to be studied, providing an overarching view of e-government implementation and impacts.
Annex E. Glossary
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