1. Assessment and recommendations

The political and administrative culture and structure of Luxembourg provide a favourable environment for advancing the digital government transformation. The Government Coalition’s Agreement for the period 2018-2023 identifies digitalisation as a top political priority of the current government led by Prime Minister Xavier Bettel. With its relatively centralised government structure and close collaboration within and across government levels, Luxembourg has a good opportunity to establish a joined-up, whole-of-government approach to digital government policies to improve public services, and as a result citizens’ overall experience of government.

The political priority awarded to digitalisation in Luxembourg is also backed up by an ambitious agenda at the European Union (EU) level. Several EU policies, directives and regulations are currently helping push forward Luxembourg’s digital government efforts. These include the update of the national digital identity framework through eIDAS and the newly adopted Data Governance Act. Luxembourg actively participates and shapes regional policy agendas on digital government, such as the case in developing experimentation ecosystems for digital entrepreneurs, start-ups, and innovators in the public sector (govtech). This approach nurtures a pioneering culture within Luxembourg’s public sector that can help advance other relevant policy areas within government digital transformation.

The highly developed economic, social, and technological environment in Luxembourg also provides a strong foundation for the digital government transformation. The country is a service-oriented economy, with services accounting for more than 80% of its gross domestic product (OECD, 2021[1]). Luxembourg also performs above average in indicators on digital infrastructure such as internet penetration and connectivity compared to both EU and OECD countries, underlining the importance of having a mature digital policy to align the efforts of different stakeholders - from the public and private sectors - to collaborate towards the achievement of digital transformation goals.

The demography of Luxembourg shows the relevance of ensuring well-designed and inclusive public services in the digital age. With a total population of 632 275 people, foreigners from more than 170 different nationalities make up 47% of Luxembourg’s inhabitants. As a landlock country neighbouring France, Germany, and Belgium, 197 200 regular commuters travel to Luxembourg to work (STATEC, 2021[2]). Citizens in Luxembourg also trust its public sector significantly more compared to other OECD countries, and the government places inclusiveness very high within domestic policies and initiatives.

Given the predominant role of digital technologies in Luxembourg’s economy, the country has developed several policies to promote and tap on the digital transformation of its society, economy and government. Prospects for technology deployment and adoption are higher in comparison to EU and OECD indicators, which creates a positive environment for digital innovation and engagement with start-ups and entrepreneurs. The country also actively promotes the uptake and integration of cutting-edge digital technologies (e.g., AI, IoT, Blockchain) into public governance and business models. Within this context and developments, Luxembourg can leverage this excellent environment to continue embracing a user-driven approach that can help securing increased use of digital government services and strengthen its capacity to leverage digital technologies and data to anticipate service needs (OECD, 2022[3]).

In Luxembourg, the Prime Minister has taken himself the digital transformation portfolio through the creation and leadership of the Ministry for Digitalisation (MDIGI). Policies related to the digital transformation of the public sector are under the remit of MDIGI, while the implementation of most initiatives are under the responsibility of its execution arm, the Government IT Centre (CTIE). The CTIE builds on a long-standing tradition of IT service provision in Luxembourg’s government, as well as on a positive reputation and recognition by ministries and administrations of its support to their digital needs. Working in tandem and in close collaboration and consultation with ministries and administrations, the CTIE and MDIGI developed the Electronic Governance Strategy 2021-2025 that currently frames the development of digital government in Luxembourg.

The leadership of MDIGI and CTIE to advance the digital transformation of Luxembourg’s government is especially important given the relatively limited awareness and capacities of ministries and administrations to lead their own digital transformation journeys. The OECD mission observed that ministries and administrations are sometimes on different paths and with different understanding of the needs and vision for their digitalisation processes. Building a sustainable digital government would therefore be supported if MDIGI and CTIE could use their leadership role to further clarify the government's vision and what the expectations are for ministries and administrations to follow this. In this sense, the OECD welcomes the announcement of a service for consultancy for digitalisation for ministries and public sector organisations offered by the MDIGI.

A sustainable and legitimate digital government policy benefits from increased collaboration and partnerships with stakeholders from across the public- and private sectors, and civil society. Within the public sector, Luxembourg’s digital government ecosystem builds upon the advisory role of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for Digitalisation, which was established for organisational and technical co-ordination in the development and implementation of the Electronic Governance Strategy 2021-2025. Under the leadership of MDIGI and CTIE, it brings together representatives from all ministries on a regular basis to advise on the technical implementation of the strategy, and it serves as an opportunity to share good practices and initiatives currently developed in Luxembourg’s public sector. However, further efforts are needed to enable high-level co-ordination to ensure the alignment and prioritisation of initiatives within individual ministries to fulfil the digital government strategy. The launch of the High-Committee for Digital Transformation is welcomed as it goes in the right direction to secure top-level alignment and prioritisation. The High-Committee brings many ministers in Luxembourg together and provides a space for collective discussions on digital government priorities. In light with the need to make ministries and administrations more aware and empowered for increased ownership of their own digital transformation journeys, the High-Committee can also serve as a mean to create this shared sense of responsibility and accountability.

This would be particularly relevant considering the number of services provided by municipalities in Luxembourg and the expected more aligned and cohesive experience of users when accessing public services – regardless the channel and level of government. There are also several working groups to advance key policies for digital government, for example for the implementation of the National Interoperability Framework (NIF), AI and ethics. At operational level, the limited availability of instances for peer learning and sharing of good practices constrain a cohesive and collaborative implementation of the digital transformation strategy. This is the case on core pillars of the Electronic Governance Strategy 2021-2025 such as service design and delivery, open government data, data reuse or other common priorities.

Finally, Luxembourg has an opportunity to leverage its dynamic broader digital ecosystem to support the digital needs of ministries and administrations. Given the solid IT private sector and the role of digital innovation and emerging technologies in the country’s economy, MDIGI and CTIE have found in the Govtech Lab a pioneer initiative to bridge the needs of ministries and administrations with digital entrepreneurs, start-ups and innovators that have better capacities to absorb innovative technologies to transform public services in a more agile, flexible, and dynamic way. The Govtech Lab is helping address some of the cultural and procedural challenges existing to embed agility, collaboration, and experimentation in the public sector.

In light of the key assessments elaborated above, which draw on the main findings and analysis included in Chapter 2 of this review, the Luxembourg government could consider implementing the following policy recommendations:

  1. 1. Leverage the contextual factors regarding Luxembourg’s political and administrative culture and structure to support the digital government agenda. The following priorities can be considered:

    1. a. Strengthen the institutional foundations for digital government to secure long-term and innovative digital government policies and their independence from political cycles and changes.

    2. b. Build on Luxembourg’s relatively high level of administrative centralisation at the national level to improve coherence, integration and alignment in digital government development.

    3. c. Continue supporting and being aligned with the digital agenda, legislations and policies of the EU – with the aim of advancing digital government maturity.

  2. 2. Reinforce policy efforts in economic, societal and technological development as the basis for fostering a stronger digital government ecosystem. The following priorities can be considered:

    1. a. Ensure a better alignment between the government’s strategies and plans for building up the ICT/digital industry sector and those for digitalising the public sector to build synergies through public-private partnerships (e.g. on R&D, talent and skills, open data, public service design and delivery).

    2. b. Continue to demonstrate use cases and the value of adopting new technologies in the public sector and engage SMEs and GovTech communities in this process to gain their support in co-developing digital government services.

    3. c. As is already a high priority, continue to pay attention to various needs, preferences and cultural norms of different population groups in Luxembourg, and actively communicate and engage with them given the great diversity and cross-border mobility of the population and workforce.

    4. d. Capitalise on citizens' high trust in government to further promote openness, transparency, integrity, accountability and stakeholder engagement in the digital transformation of the public sector that requires a whole-of-government effort.

  3. 3. Strengthen the mandate and the role of the MDIGI as the organisation-in-charge of co-ordinating efforts and building coherence in the development of a digital government. The following should be considered:

    1. a. Empower public sector organisations to produce their own digital transformation plan (i.e. vision, strategy, roadmap) – in consultation with MDIGI and CTIE.

    2. b. Continue promoting a culture of shared leadership and responsibility between MDIGI and the other ministries and administrations to strengthen digital government maturity.

    3. c. Provide strategic advisory services to ministries and administrations in the implementation of the digitalisation strategies and actions plans, including the Electronic Governance Strategy 2021-2025.

  4. 4. Prioritise the further development of co-ordination and co-operation arrangements and mechanisms among public sector organisations. The following should be considered:

    1. a. Invite the members of the new High-Committee for Digital Transformation to provide opinions and share experiences or challenges experienced and analyse this respective input in upcoming digital government initiatives to ensure broadest alignment across government for the digital government agenda.

    2. b. Use the High-Committee for Digital Transformation to raise awareness about digital government across government and increase the ownership of ministries for the successful implementation of the Electronic Governance Strategy 2021-2025.

    3. c. Expand the scope of discussion by the Inter-Ministerial Committee for Digitalisation to cover the development of digitalisation strategies and action plans in consultation with all ministries and administrations, to increase engagement and alignment with institutional needs.

    4. d. MDIGI and CTIE may consider establishing more formal means of collaboration with relevant local government representatives or their respective IT service provider, including notably SIGI, for the development or revision of digital government policies and initiatives.

    5. e. Strengthen accountability mechanisms to guarantee that the Electronic Governance Strategy 2021-2025 and other digitalisation policies are implemented correctly and according to plan by all public sector organisations.

    6. f. Use lessons and insights from the Govtech Lab to identify further actions that can foster increased collaboration between the public sector and digital entrepreneurs, start-ups and innovators.

Policy levers for digital government are hard and soft instruments that policymakers can leverage to enable broad change in the public sector in a coherent manner, from the definition of a strategy to its implementation. In the E-Leaders Handbook on the Governance of Digital Government, the OECD defines four core policy levers for digital government transformation: 1) strategy and plan; 2) project management tools; 3) financial management mechanisms, and 4) regulations and standards (OECD, 2021[4]).

Luxembourg’s national digital government strategy – the Electronic Governance Strategy 2021-2025 – was formulated by the MDIGI and CTIE and adopted in 2021 by the Government. Since then, an implementation roadmap has been shaped in coordination with other ministries. While the electronic governance strategy is comprehensive, it will be important to continue existing efforts to secure awareness among the different stakeholders on how the strategy relates to other existing government plans in the broader area of digitalisation – including the government’s AI Vision, the National Plan for a Green, Digital and Inclusive Transition, the Recovery and Resilience Plan, and the National Plan for Digital Inclusion.

Looking from an institutional perspective, it was noted through this review the often-diverse capacities and digital maturity of ministries and public sector organisations, which can cause a challenge to securing a whole-of-government and coherent digital transformation. Moreover, relatively few of the surveyed ministries and organisations are fully aware of the development and organisational implications of the Electronic Governance Strategy. The Ministry for Digitalisation and CTIE are working to address this issue through co-ordination mechanisms such as the recently launched High-Committee for Digital Transformation (strategic co-ordination) and the Inter-Ministerial Committee for Digitalisation (operational co-ordination). Furthermore, MDIGI and CTIE are working towards launching an advisory service to support public sector organisations when defining their own institutional digital transformation strategies to ensure alignment with national standards and priorities.

Besides strategy and implementation plans, common project and financial management tools and mechanisms including standardised business cases, agile project management methodologies, public procurement processes, budgeting and co-funding mechanisms are key to drive forward and deliver alignment in the digitalisation process. In Luxembourg, around half of ministries and public sector organisations claim to be developing business cases or other value proposition assessment for digital government projects. Similarly, they indicate being aware of a standardised model for digital government project management. Around 65% claim that there exists a central strategy for ICT/ digital procurement within the public sector. Yet, given the central role of procurement and project and financial management for sustainable digital government projects, the findings show that more could be done to increase awareness among all public sector organisations of existing standards and processes developed primarily by the CTIE. The important role of the CTIE in this area and the fact that most public sector organisations are relying on its support comes with positive implications but also some challenges. For example, with the large number of digital projects ongoing the CTIE also needs greater capacity to meet the needs of ministries and public sector organisations while empowering them to work more autonomously. This includes communicating even further existing standards and tools, but also increasing the transparency of the CTIE's internal working methods and methodologies, including the existing project portfolio and prioritisation and selection criteria for digital projects.

Given the current concentration of digital government project management under CTIE and the large number of projects being implemented, the pace of project delivery is a challenge that could be aided by introducing more agile project management. Agile project management includes increasing transparency about projects and introducing more horizontality and iterative approaches to project development. The launch of the Govtech Lab with calls for projects and pilots is an excellent example of introducing this approach.

Concerning Luxembourg's approach to digital government investments, the centralised but flexible budget controlled by the CTIE is a positive example of a system for matching policy priorities with budgets. However, there are challenges regarding planning and monitoring of ICT/digital projects that are not prioritised and implemented by the CTIE which may cause duplication of initiatives and shadow IT costs. When it comes to procurement, Luxembourg benefits from the availability of EU normative instruments, including for promoting innovation partnerships, dynamic purchasing systems, competitive dialogues and centralised procurement exercises that are available to all public sector institutions in Luxembourg thanks to the EU Directives 2004/18/EC and 2004/17/EC. Building on these efforts there can be opportunities still to embed more agile approaches to ICT/digital public procurement.

Finally, when it comes to regulations and standards for digital government, Luxembourg follows several regulations and directives established as part of the EU Single Digital Market strategy. During the mission, several public sector organisations however highlighted the need to improve the national regulatory framework for digital government, including in areas such as data exchange and data sharing. Also, while the CTIE provides a large number of digital services and products they do not have the mandate to provide legal and regulatory assistance concerning them. The need for more standards and normative instruments to complement the existing regulations has also been highlighted as an important factor to support ministries and public sector organisations in taking more responsibility and can help encourage the integration, harmonisation and collaboration on digital government projects across the public sector.

The OECD Framework for Digital Talent and Skills in the Public Sector (OECD, 2021[5]) provides a conceptual framework for what public servants and leaders need in order to secure a digital public workforce which can shape and implement digital government transformation. The framework, which is based on international best practices, has three pillars: 1) create and environment to encourage digital transformation; 2) skills to support digital government maturity; and 3) establish and maintain a digital workforce.

Over the past few years, Luxembourg has been prioritising the development of digital talent and skills in the public sector and in society. The ownership of the policy agenda for digital talent and skills is currently shared among several actors, as opposed to the digital government agenda more broadly which is led by MDIGI and the CTIE. There is a long list of projects currently ongoing to strengthen digital talent and skills in the public sector, including the Digital Academy, the AI Academy, and the Digital Leadership Programme run by the National Institute for Public Administration (INAP), as well as the Future Skills programme run by the National Employment Agency (ADEM). INAP is currently also looking to further develop a plan and digital skills training to support public servants in upskilling and reskilling while ensuring it is aligned with the objectives of the strategy for digital transformation.

The review also shows that more than half of ministries and administrations have initiatives in place to develop digital talent and skills, such as communities of practice, providing networking and mentoring, and developing skills and competencies for data and digitalisation for public servants. At the same time and in contrast, the review findings show that only 15% and 33% of the surveyed ministries and public sector organisations respectively see improving digital talent and skills as a very high or high priority.

In light of the key assessments elaborated above, which draw on the main findings and analysis included in Chapter 3 of this review, the Luxembourg government could consider implementing the following policy recommendations:

  1. 5. Strengthen the strategy and plan for digital government. The following measures should be considered:

    1. a. Make the roadmap for the Electronic Governance Strategy 2021-205 more visible to all key stakeholders, for example communicating it broadly to ministries and public sector organisations who do not actively participate in the Inter-Ministerial Committee for Digitalisation, as well as to the wider community to increase awareness about purpose, scope, and relevance to different public sector organisations and external stakeholders.

    2. b. Strengthen the key performance indicators (KPI) system and develop a publicly available monitoring tool to track progress of the implementation of the strategy and roadmap.

    3. c. For the next iteration of the Electronic Governance Strategy, involve more public sector organisations in designing the strategy, and accompany the strategy with ministry-level strategies and plans to ensure broad alignment and buy-in across government.

    4. d. Use the new digital advisory service to support ministries and public sector organisations in defining their digital strategies to align with national standards and priorities.

  2. 6. Secure the use of common project and financial management tools and mechanisms. The following measures should be considered:

    1. a. Improve the deployment, use and communication of existing project and financial management tools and mechanisms for digital projects among ministries and public sector organisations.

    2. b. Increase the transparency of CTIE's internal work and decision-making processes around digital project management, including by publishing the project portfolio and pipeline, providing simple guidance on the prioritisation selection criteria for digital projects, and publishing the roadmap and plans for digital government projects.

    3. c. Increase the capacity of the CTIE to oversee projects that are implemented directly by public sector organisations to secure adherence to digital standards and increase coherent spending on ICT/digital in the public sector.

    4. d. Create templates for developing business cases for digital projects and mandate the use of the templates in the planning of digital projects throughout the public sector.

    5. e. Leverage data from the Quapital IT Portfolio system and projects not in this system to increase the standardisation and accountability for digital project implementation by developing and embedding performance indicators into individual digital project plans and making these openly available for each project.

    6. f. Leverage the Govtech Lab and similar mechanisms to promote agile approaches to digital project management that encourage testing, flexibility, and responsiveness to feedback in the iterative development of digital products and services.

    7. g. Create communities of practice that foster a bottom-up approach for sharing good practices and identifying common challenges that can be shared with and tackled by the MDIGI and CTIE.

    8. h. Increase the use of innovative and agile approaches to public ICT/digital procurement such as innovation partnerships and competitive dialogues to foster a more dynamic IT sector as well as to reduce existing processing times of regular procurement exercises such as open tender procedures.

  3. 7. Establish a solid regulatory framework and standards for digital government. The following measures should be considered:

    1. a. Create a service through MDIGI/CTIE that provides legal and regulatory assistance specific to the digital products and services the CTIE provides/helps develop or those developed independently by ministries and public sector organisations. Use this service also to identity gaps in the regulatory framework for digital government and address where possible.

    2. b. Build on the success of the National Interoperability Framework and put in place common standards such as technology codes of practices and ethical principles for digital government projects. The standards should be friendly and easy to use for all public sector organisations.

    3. c. Create a national open toolbox of common standards and good practices for digital government projects. Collaborate with stakeholders to foster uptake and alignment of the standards, including the Inter-Communal Informatics Management Association (SIGI) at the municipal level, to support also the digitalisation of local governments.

  4. 8. Foster digital talent and skills in the public sector. The following measures should be considered:

    1. a. Ensure continued coordination and collaboration between INAP and MDIGI around the development of digital skills and talent in the public sector. Together, the INAP and MDIGI could coordinate the development of a strategy for digital talent and skills in the public sector that aligns with the Electronic Governance Strategy 2021-2025.

    2. b. Focus on the continued development of the national education system and lifelong learning programmes for civil servants to include digital and data skills.

    3. c. Consider developing mandatory training courses both for public sector leadership and digital/data professionals in government on skills that are core to digital leadership/digital government project implementation.

    4. d. Ensure that digital skills and talent is covered in the digital strategies developed by individual ministries and public sector organisations through the digital advisory service run by MDIGI and CTIE.

The OECD’s conceptual framework for data governance in the public sector encourages public sector organisations to govern data as a key strategic asset. It emphasises the need to establish a common framework and adopt a common strategy and sound rules to secure effective leadership, coordination and collaboration, as well as the availability of skills, and of robust data infrastructure and architecture.

In the Electronic Governance Strategy 2021-2025, the Luxembourg government expresses an ambition for data in the public sector, which is also covered in Luxembourg’s Open Data Strategy, the National Interoperability Framework (NIF), the Data-Driven Innovation Strategy, and the national AI strategy. In this sense, the challenge for the Luxembourg government is not the absence of a strategy covering data in the public sector, but rather the insufficient consolidation of efforts across the public sector that appear too disparate, due to the absence of clear objectives and expectations which can impact effective implementation. The Ministry for Digitalisation (MDIGI) is well-positioned to try to lead the improvement of this work, in collaboration and consultation with relevant parties and existing committees.

Alongside strategy, robust yet fit-for-purpose rules and guidelines are necessary for a DDPS. More could be done to make the current regulatory framework in Luxembourg responsive to the needs of ministries and public sector organisations as they seek to improve data access and sharing, and to ensure the availability of guidelines and standards related to data management. Furthermore, there are general concerns of insufficiently available adequate human resources and skills across ministries and public sector organisations for independently managing and using data consistently, with negative impact on data quality and interoperability. As the work with data intensifies across the Luxembourg public sector, it is essential to develop these talents and skills, and enhance those already existing. The work of the Digital Academy and INAP will be essential for this to happen.

As mentioned above, data infrastructure and architecture are fundamental to drive a DDPS. The Government IT Centre (CTIE) is highly appreciated in providing common infrastructure for safely storing, processing, analysing, and exchanging data across the public sector, allowing ministries and administration to direct their resources more to their primary tasks. However, ministries and administrations have indicated they are not always aware of these platforms, tools and resources. It was also emphasised in the review that ministries and public sector organisations still to a large extent manually download and share data (as opposed to using machine-to-machine interaction).

Finally, data interoperability and the once-only principle are major priorities for the Luxembourg government, with several of the NIF recommendations targeting these specific areas. In the course of this review the insufficient availability of common standards and semantic rules was highlighted as important challenge for enabling data exchange between ministries and public sector organisations. Moreover, improving master data management was raised as a critical need. Ongoing efforts have been initiated as part of the NIF working groups to support the development of basic data frameworks and management of authentic data sources, and the Luxembourg government could focus on ensuring the continuation of these efforts. Finally, the Luxembourg government has for many years been successful with open geospatial data while the general performance in open government data has been falling behind. In 2019, Luxembourg ranked 23 out of 34 OECD countries and 13 out of 21 EU Member States in the OECD OURdata Index. Ministries and administrations currently see insufficient resources and deficient data governance as the major obstacles for them to further publish open data. Hopefully, new developments at both EU level and under the Ministry for Digitalisation will help tackle these challenges.

The second part of the analysis on DDPS covered in the review focuses on how public sector organisations in Luxembourg use data to deliver value as part of either forecasting or planning; delivery of services or implementation of policies; or in making retrospective analyses such as on policies’ impact assessments.

In Luxembourg, data from base registries is the second most common data source among surveyed ministries and public sector organisations, after data collected directly by the public sector organisations itself. Most ministries and public sector organisations use data to anticipate and deliver government interventions, including evidence-based policy making. Yet fewer are using data to evaluate and monitor government interventions, including regulatory impact assessments, auditing, and to demonstrate return on investment. As such one takeaway is to improve the use of data to evaluate and monitor government interventions and their impact.

Finally, the review highlights the large interest that the Luxembourg government sees in artificial intelligence (AI), as an increasingly important tool for processing and analysing large volumes of data. With the launch of the national AI strategy in 2019 and the AI4Gov inter-ministerial committee, comprised of the Ministry for Digitalisation and the Ministry of State (Department of Media, Connectivity and Digital Policy and Service Information and Press) Luxembourg has taken a big step forward in this area. The AI4Gov Committee has launched several calls for pilots using AI in the public sector, e.g. like the one completed by the National Library.

The final aspect of the OECD DDPS Framework analyses the relationship between data and trust, focusing on data ethics, privacy, consent, transparency and security. The Luxembourg public sector is well-equipped to perform in this area, with citizens in Luxembourg having high confidence in their government compared to other countries. As shown in a study commissioned by the Luxemburg government, Luxembourgish citizens also have higher confidence in the public sector’s use of artificial intelligence compared to the private sector. While the Luxembourg government has made considerable achievements around privacy and consent (e.g., making personal attributes visible on MyGuichet.lu) and digital security (standardised and centralised by CTIE), the review reveals some challenges with regards to promoting data ethics and trustworthy data management among ministries and public sector organisations, supporting GDPR compliance, and the need for increasing overall transparency about the use of data, algorithms, and emerging technologies.

In relation to trustworthy data management, insufficient consistency in data management, and low-quality data have been raised as issues, together with unclear accountability for data management across the public sector. Furthermore, an understanding of data ethics beyond GDPR-compliance and personal data protection is seemingly lacking among most surveyed organisations. However, it can be stressed that GDPR-compliance is seen as one of the primary difficulties to enhancing trust in the use of data inside the public sector by both ministries and public sector organisations. The current guidance is not seen as sufficient to support more sophisticated use of data by data-related experts, and therefore discourages such use.

In light of the key assessments elaborated above, which draw on the main findings and analysis included in Chapter 4 of this review, the Luxembourg government could consider implementing the following policy recommendations:

  1. 9. Define leadership roles and strengthen the strategic vision for data in the public sector. The following measures should be considered:

    1. a. Develop and publish a national public sector data strategy with concrete objectives and milestones covering the different elements of the OECD DDPS framework; and integrate and consolidate as part of the new strategy the existing provisions related to DDPS that currently are spread across the Electronic Governance Strategy 2021-2025, the National Interoperability Framework, the Open Data Strategy, and the national AI strategy.

    2. b. Assign MDIGI as the ministry responsible for formulating policies for DDPS and the data strategy (9a.). This should connect DDPS with the existing work on digital government of the Ministry and assign clear leadership for the DDPS agenda at ministry level.

    3. c. Assign MDIGI/CTIE as the organisation in charge of coordinating the implementation of the data strategy (9a.) together with ministries and public sector organisations (10a., 10d.).

    4. d. Develop and publish a concrete action plan for implementing the national public sector data strategy (9a.). The action plan should include measurable KPIs for monitoring implementation.

    5. e. Depending on who will be the leading organisation-in-charge of the data-driven public sector agenda, consider integrating the unit in charge of open data under this organisation to better associate the two strictly linked work streams.

  2. 10. Improve the tactical capacity of ministries and public sector organisations to better manage and use data. The following measures should be considered:

    1. a. If a data strategy is developed, the organisation-in-charge of the data agenda could consider requesting each ministry to develop and publish their own roadmap that aligns with the national public sector data strategy (9a.) and action plan (9d.), while being adjusted to their specific mission and objectives.

    2. b. Consider mandating the establishment of a data steward role in each ministry and public sector organisation. The data steward role should oversee the implementation of the data strategy (9a.) and roadmap (10a) and would take responsibility for promoting and overseeing the work related to the DDPS framework within the respective ministry or public sector organisation.

    3. c. Establish a data steward’s network for each ministry and public sector organisations data steward (10b.), ensuring it aligns its work with existing committees and coordination mechanisms. The network should help promote, at a more operational level, increased collaboration and the finding of synergies between public sector organisations and ministries to support the implementation of the data strategy (9a.). MDIGI/CTIE could coordinate the network and report to the Inter-Ministerial Committee for digitalisation.

    4. d. Conduct a study of (existing and future) data needs across ministries and public sector organisations and the barriers that exist to meet those needs. Use the study to evaluate the current legal- and policy framework for DDPS and take steps to improve it where necessary, taking a comprehensive approach and avoiding patchwork regulatory measures.

    5. e. Enhance data-related skills of public sector employees already experienced working with data by developing mandatory training courses as part of the Digital Academy.

    6. f. Establish a specific department at the MDIGI/CTIE that can support ministries and public sector administrations with data-related projects as short-term or unexpected needs arise. This should help ease the workload during specific projects for the CTIE and support the decentralisation of data-related skills and talent.

  3. 11. Develop a national infrastructure- and architecture framework for data in the public sector to develop a more mature data-driven public sector and achieve related objectives, such as the once-only principle. The following measures should be considered:

    1. a. Develop a national architecture framework for basic data.

    2. b. Develop a national framework for data management and data exchange. Create an easily accessible and well-communicated catalogue of available data, data standards, metadata standards, specifications, semantic rules, and information models.

    3. c. Collaborate closely with SIGI in the development of the national data infrastructure and architecture to improve interactions, transactions, and service design and delivery also at local and regional levels of government, and between levels of government.

    4. d. Continue the development of data infrastructure and platforms that support the automation of data exchange and data analytics across and within ministries and public sector organisations. Ensure that new platforms and tools are well-communicated and train data professionals in how to use them.

  4. 12. Support ministries and public sector organisations in generating value through data use by encouraging their application to 1) anticipate and plan, 2) deliver, and 3) monitor and evaluate performance related to services, internal processes, policy- and rulemaking. The following measures should be considered:

    1. a. Incentivise active use of data across ministries and public sector organisations for regulatory impact assessments.

    2. b. Incentivise active use of data for monitoring the performance of policies and services, and to evaluate them against established benchmarks and performance metrics. Be transparent about performance by publishing and updating performance data as open data and visualisations on data.public.lu.

    3. c. Increase the strategic use of large volumes of data inside the public sector by continuing to support the adoption of Artificial Intelligence and algorithms, including but not limited to automated decision-making.

    4. d. Promote greater experimentation with data in the public sector, and development of more scalable AI applications that can be used across ministries and public sector organisations.

  5. 13. Secure trustworthy management and use of data in the public sector by strengthening the work on data ethics, data quality, transparency, privacy protection, and digital security. The following measures should be considered:

    1. a. Increase the awareness and understanding of data ethics among ministries and public sector organisations

    2. b. Direct efforts towards improving data quality and integrity across the public sector, including by ensuring that data that feeds into AI and other applications is representative

    3. c. Develop frameworks and mechanisms to secure the transparency of algorithms and automated decision-making used in the public sector.

    4. d. Develop guidance on data ethics and establish a role or function that supervises the implementation of data ethical practices in the public sector, not restricted to AI-related applications.

    5. e. Provide support to ministries and public sector organisations to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation.

      1. i. Strengthen the mandate of the existing network of ministry-level DPOs including by jointly monitoring and developing guidance and training on data protection to data professionals in government.

      2. ii. Ensure that each DPO within ministries has sufficient resources (incl. skills, time, and physical presence) to support public servants and data professional as they need it.

      3. iii. Develop practical guidance and awareness campaigns to support public sector organisations in complying with the GDPR while working on data-related projects, including more advanced projects. Target those that are already experienced in working with data.

The OECD vision on service design and delivery promotes a comprehensive approach to understand user needs and meet them through responsive and trusted public services. It encourages a digital-by-design mindset that establishes the governance, capacities, culture, and enablers for public sector organisations to harness the benefits of digital technologies and data and transform public services. Unlike traditional top-down methods that interpret user needs and journeys, it encourages a bottom-up approach that builds upon the experiences, expectations and needs of diverse users to provide responsive services.

Luxembourg has worked for several years to improve people’s life through digitally enabled government services. The Ministry for Digitalisation (MDIGI) and Government IT Centre (CTIE) have been playing a key role in helping ministries and administrations to have equal access to digital tools and capacities to digitalise their internal processes and services. However, as part of this review it was also observed that neither the CTIE has the capacity to cover all digital developments in Luxembourg’s public sector nor are ministries and public sector organisations administrations equipped to be more autonomous in their digital transformation journeys towards improved public service provision. This situation requires specific actions to secure a sustainable and scalable digitalisation of government services. Similarly, further efforts are needed to consolidate a common vision and capacities across ministries and administrations regarding the central role awarded to users in shaping rather than informing the design and delivery of services.

The government services agenda is core for MDIGI and the CTIE, materialised in the relevant role awarded in the Electronic Governance Strategy 2021-2025. The strategy is defined under the principles of inclusiveness, convenience and the transition towards a digital-by-design culture and practice, providing a vision for ministries and public sector organisations to use digital tools and data to improve service delivery in the country. The leading role of the MDIGI and the CTIE are basal conditions for Luxembourg to move in this direction.

This strong political mandate and environment for service transformation is backed by the advanced level of digitalisation of Luxembourg’s society and economy reflected in above-average indicators on digital skills and internet penetration within Europe and globally. Developing more inclusive and responsive government services is critical to continue making Luxembourg an attractive country for investors and foreign workforce. Consequently, cross-border and mutual recognition of services and digital enablers (such as digital identity) are a growing concern for MDIGI and the CTIE.

The cornerstone of the public service agenda is the centralised informational service delivery platform GUICHET.LU; and its transactional version MYGUICHET.LU (available in both web and mobile formats). Together, they serve as single entry point for citizens, businesses and migrants to access government services online, and are recognised as a consolidated brand for service delivery in the country. While the online experience of users is consistent across ministries and administrations when accessing a service through GUICHET.LU, on-site services remain largely operated according to institutional procedures and culture which may provide a different experience to users between channels and across public institutions. This experience is influenced by the strong paper-based mindset still observed across ministries and administrations, and the subsequent limited awareness and capacities to rethink processes and services based on a meaningful understanding of user needs.

The service design and delivery agenda builds upon the leadership and capacity of the MDIGI and the CTIE. Together, and in coordination with ministries and public sector organisations, have set provisions in the Electronic Governance Strategy 2021-2025 that call for a paperless administration while remaining inclusive to maintain and cultivate in-person service delivery channels. Establishing a common vision and rationale for user-driven service design and delivery is urgent for Luxembourg to accelerate the transition towards a digital-by-design public sector. The recently launched High-Committee for Digital Transformation and the existing Inter-ministerial Committee for Digitalisation can serve as a space for the Ministry and the CTIE to further permeate the vision expressed in the strategy and make sure ministries and administrations are aligned to achieve this ambition.

Along with a concerted vision for transforming public services, it was observed that ministries and administrations do not have a common culture, practice and capacities to research and understand user needs. Despite the role of the CTIE in helping close this gap, further efforts are needed to make ministries and administrations capable of conducting user research as opposed to dominant top-down and interpretative approaches to identifying user needs. Such capacities are needed for Luxembourg in the challenge of accelerating the digitalisation of the public sector and to adequately rethink services and rationalise underpinning processes from an end-to-end perspective (from the moment a need emerges until is solved).

Finally, for ministries and administrations to embed and cultivate a culture around user needs, they need to be open to experiment, iterate and learn. The review process revealed that most ministries and administrations are not aware of and equipped to adopt agile management approaches in their digitalisation processes and the transformation of their services. Promoting agility and digital innovation are pivotal for public sector institutions to think out of the box to meet their digital needs either developed in-house, in collaboration with the CTIE or outsourced to the private sector. The ongoing work of the Govtech Lab to create a concrete space of experimentation, agility and innovation can be a catalyst for a more collaborative and agile approach in addressing the digital needs of ministries and administrations and can empower them to increase collaboration within and outside the public sector.

The work of the MDIGI and the CTIE to materialise the goals of the Electronic Governance Strategy 2021-2025 and the sustainability of its initiatives would require fostering public sector capacities to manage digital transformation projects in accordance with central principles and infrastructure. Conversely, the MDIGI and CTIE would require cultivating the ecosystem of digital standards, guidelines and building blocks to for ministries and administrations to operate more autonomous way. With this regard, developing a public service standard for Luxembourg can be a cornerstone in the process of expanding the digital transformation of service delivery as well as balancing the implementation role between the leading entities (MDIGI and CTIE) and ministries and public sector institutions.

From an operational perspective, the CTIE makes available, reliable and trusted digital infrastructure that supports the digitalisation of public services. Building on a long-standing experience and tradition of IT service provision, the CTIE currently operates and provides access to data centres, digital identity, base registries, and digital notification systems, among others. The review process revealed that further efforts can be done to advance towards a Government as a Platform approach with the implementation of a toolbox of common enablers and components that ministries and administrations can easily reuse (OECD, 2020[6]). Advancing in this direction would contribute to empowering and equipping ministries and public sector institutions towards the expected more autonomous approach for digital-by-design government services.

Actions to promote digital inclusion are a key asset for the digital transformation of government services in Luxembourg. The principles for an inclusive digital transformation stated in the Strategy are backed with concrete plans that create an ecosystem of initiatives and guidance for ministries and administrations to contribute to their implementation with the purpose of ensuring wide access to and benefits from digitally enabled services.

Public service provision and its consistency across digital channels (web and mobile platforms managed by the CTIE) is complemented by the availability and likely expansion of on-site delivery by ministries and administrations. However, in-person delivery remains influenced by institutional preferences and culture, which may provide a different experience to users across ministries and public sector institutions, hindering efforts for an inclusive and coherent service approach in the country.

In light of the key assessments elaborated above, which draw on the main findings and analysis included in Chapter 5 of this review, the Luxembourg government could consider implementing the following policy recommendations:

  1. 14. Strengthen the strategic vision to inspire a user-driven and omni-channel service design and delivery approach across ministries and public sector institutions. The following measures should be considered:

    1. a. Develop a dedicated omni-channel service delivery action plan that complements the existing Electronic Governance Strategy 2021-2025 to promote same quality and convenience of services across online and offline channels for the entire public sector, including municipalities.

    2. b. Develop a service standard that establish common principles and procedures for the entire public sector to guide the process of designing and delivering public services.

    3. c. Establish a comprehensive communication approach to channel the goals and actions of the MDIGI and the CTIE for the digital transformation of public services to ministries and public sector institutions that complement existing high-level co-ordination mechanisms.

  2. 15. Foster agile mindset and culture to support service transformation around user needs. The following measures should be considered:

    1. a. Invest more in the uptake of digital public services by cultivating a user-driven culture in the public sector and better addressing user needs and concerns (e.g. transparency, privacy, security, accessibility).

    2. b. Increase awareness of ministries and administrations about the possibilities of digital transformation to rethink and simplify user journeys that help shift away from the strong existing paper-based mindset.

    3. c. Leverage the experience of the Govtech Lab to share lessons and best practices among ministries and public sector institutions about collaborative and agile methodologies, including insights and good practices to advance the use of innovative procurement mechanisms.

    4. d. Establish communities of services that bring together civil servants working on or interested in service design and delivery to share their lessons, best practices, considerations. Use this community to prepare and validate the service standard.

    5. e. Implement a standardised user satisfaction methodology and measurement across the public sector to promote equal quality and convenience of public services for both online and offline delivery channels.

    6. f. In line with recommendation 7, build on the development of the National Interoperability Framework (NIF) and other standards to enable an end-to-end service delivery approach and the rationalisation of services according to user needs and their journeys.

    7. g. In line with recommendation 12, promote proactive delivery of services building on data sharing among ministries and public sector institutions and the use of advanced data analytics techniques.

  3. 16. Increase the autonomy and capacity of ministries and public sector institutions to digitalise their services. The following measures should be considered:

    1. a. Conduct a study to assess the capacities of ministries and administrations for digital transformation and service design and delivery

    2. b. Build on the progress achieved through GUICHET.LU and MYGUICHET.LU to mandate ministries and public sector institutions to develop institutional roadmaps for the digitalisation of public services with concrete KPIs to monitor progress and assess impact.

    3. c. Continue to invest in the existing advisory service of the MDIGI/CTIE to accompany ministries and administrations in the process of digitalising their services and underpinning processes across different channels and according to central standards and guidelines.

    4. d. Leverage digital investments mechanisms, such as funding, to ensure ministries and public sector institutions adopt and comply with central digital standards and infrastructure.

    5. e. Promote that ministries and public sector institutions progressively incorporate digital talent that support business-oriented issues rather than technical profiles only.

    6. f. Building on the work of the CTIE, establish a Government as a Platform policy that helps equip ministries and public sector institutions with resources and tools to scale a whole-of-government transformation in a more autonomous way. Along with the recommendation 14b on service standard, this may include common digital public tools and accompanying guidance such as digital identity, digital notifications, and digital payments.

References

[3] OECD (2022), OECD Going Digital Toolkit: Luxembourg, http://goingdigital.oecd.org/countries/lux (accessed on 15 June 2022).

[1] OECD (2021), Luxembourg Economic Snapshot: Economic Forecast Summary (December 2021), https://www.oecd.org/economy/luxembourg-economic-snapshot/.

[4] OECD (2021), The E-Leaders Handbook on the Governance of Digital Government, OECD Digital Government Studies, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/ac7f2531-en.

[5] OECD (2021), “The OECD Framework for digital talent and skills in the public sector”, OECD Working Papers on Public Governance, No. 45, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/4e7c3f58-en.

[6] OECD (2020), “The OECD Digital Government Policy Framework: Six dimensions of a Digital Government”, OECD Public Governance Policy Papers, No. 02, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/f64fed2a-en.

[2] STATEC (2021), Luxembourg in Figures, https://statistiques.public.lu/catalogue-publications/luxembourg-en-chiffres/2021/statec_lux_in_figures_2021EN.pdf.

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