Executive summary

Slovenia has taken advantage of its size and centralised administration to “move fast and be agile” on digital government policy design and implementation. As a member of the European Union (EU) since 2004, Slovenia has also benefitted from the influence of the digital government policy of the EU and has demonstrated aspirations of achieving objectives set out in the Digital Agenda for Europe of a single digital market.

Slovenia has increasingly made digital government a key policy priority and has invested in several public policies that stress the importance of technology and digital literacy for a digitally enabled state. Important concepts for an effective digital transformation, such as ‘digital by default’ and ‘once only’ were progressively embraced, and, similarly, Slovenia adopted key enablers to improve access and interoperability of government services, such as digital identity and citizen data rights. The digital government policies also fully recognised the need to invest in the underlying digital infrastructure of the country, digital skills and the digital capacity of businesses. Although these comprehensive policies revealed awareness of the country’s needs, more is needed to govern the digital transformation across the whole public sector.

Given that digital transformation relies on establishing a clear vision and solid governance, Slovenia could build on their social and economic digital eagerness and create a sense of urgency to leverage the current digital disruption and enhance the country’s economic development and social wellbeing. Strategic communication and clarification of the role of digitalisation would also be crucial for improving citizen trust, social wellbeing and inclusive economic growth, as well as creating opportunities to involve the ecosystem of stakeholders in the process of policy design and delivery.

Another ingredient for a successful government transformation is to ensure the right talents and skills to lead it. Recognising the importance of establishing a more receptive workplace to digital settings and lifelong learning for talents to thrive by putting people at the centre would foster digital experimentation, application of new digital skills and change of mindset. Defining essential digital skills and training would help the digital workforce focus on the evolving needs of job profiles and descriptions. This talent focus could also promote the Slovenian public sector as an agile and attractive employer, particularly for the youth.

A focus on the user experience of accessing services is another key component to designing and delivering quality services. Services such as the government platform GOV.SI reflect an initial statement of intent by the Slovenian government to simplify the user experience of accessing services. However, there remains more to do to align the citizen user experience and provide joined-up services across government.

Finally, there would be no digital transformation without a consistent data policy. Thanks to its strong data governance, acknowledging the power of data would help Slovenia further unlock public value. This would not only develop and stimulate data-driven approaches to policymaking and service delivery whether for upfront forecasting using big data or for ongoing analysis of service performance, but also strengthen public trust.

  • Leverage the contextual factors that underpin Slovenia’s overall political and institutional culture to further support the country’s digital maturity.

  • Strengthen the mandate of the Directorate of Informatics of the Ministry of Public Administration as the national public sector organisation responsible for leading and coordinating the development of digital government.

  • Prioritise coordination mechanisms to secure coherent and sustainable policy implementation, and shared ownership and responsibility for the development of the Slovenian digital government policy.

  • Ensure a strong consensus exists between the Ministry of Public Administration and the newly formed Government Office for Digital Transformation to align and coordinate their respective strategic activities.

  • Reinforce the level of priority attributed to the national digital government policy through a new strategy that can properly sustain the country’s efforts and ambitions towards a digitally enabled state.

  • Strengthen the use of policy levers such as business cases, project management, procurement of digital projects and budget thresholds for reinforced leadership and coordination of digital government investments across the Slovenian public sector by the Directorate of Informatics of the Ministry of Public Administration.

  • Continue improving the legal and regulatory framework in order to tackle the fast pace of digital change and disruption, reinforcing namely the digital rights angle.

  • Create a digital enabling environment that is supported by the leadership including having a flatter organisation to enhance flexibility, communication and collaboration, promoting a learning culture and putting flexible working policies in place.

  • Expand the digital government skills to make sure that citizens have enough digital literacy to use digital public services and that public servants and leaders have the necessary skills to lead a successful digital transformation.

  • Continue improving the recruitment system to attract the right digital talents and offer talent-centric rewards, professional growth and opportunities, while building a work environment to accommodate these changes.

  • Ensure that the leadership for the digital government agenda in Slovenia is inspirational and committed to a philosophy of service design and delivery that communicates a clear direction and common vision for how transformed services can improve lives.

  • Establish a design culture that places users at its heart and is driven by their needs at the centre, and within the institutions of the Slovenian public sector. Such an approach will help to develop a joined-up, channel-agnostic approach to services that respond to the context of citizens and maximise the value of Slovenia’s existing technical strengths.

  • Consider the Government as a Platform ecosystem of enabling resources and tools as a collective whole, and not as discrete and individual elements in order to scale whole of government transformation.

  • Invest in leadership to ensure the necessary skills, networks and regulatory enablers, including: Identify strong leadership with the authority, mandate and resources to provide strategic oversight and govern the delivery of the data agenda in Slovenia by designating a Chief Data Office(r), and identify data stewards across the public sector; and envelop a new strategy for data.

  • Building on strong technical and practical foundations for data, take steps to encourage a culture of data-driven transformation through making it a priority in discussions around skills, funding mechanisms, delivery methodologies, communities of practice and incentives.

  • Strengthen existing efforts to recognise the role of data as a critical element for the trust citizens and business place in government by exploring how to give citizens and businesses greater visibility and control over their data usage and its role in automated decision making.

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