Federal and state governments: Online access to administrative services is inadequate

The federal and state governments have fallen far short of their self-imposed goals for online access to administrative services.

Federal and state governments: Online access to administrative services is inadequate

The federal and state governments have fallen far short of their self-imposed goals for online access to administrative services. Even a so-called booster decided last May, which was supposed to ensure that 35 particularly important services are quickly available online across the board, did not solve the problem. This prioritization was important to the federal states, but overall "has not yet had the desired effect," the Federal Ministry of the Interior concluded at the end of the year.

Slow progress

The federal and state governments actually had five years to digitize their administrative services. The Online Access Act (OZG), which was passed by the Bundestag in August 2017, should serve this purpose. It gave the states time, until the end of 2022, to digitize all 575 administrative services and offer them online.

In order to advance the rather sluggish process of digitization of administrative services in Germany, an OZG 2.0 should soon remedy the situation. A departmental vote on the draft of this law will be initiated shortly, said a spokeswoman for the Ministry of the Interior when asked. The FDP digital expert Volker Redder told the German Press Agency that he was optimistic that the project could be decided in the Bundestag in the first quarter of 2023.

From the point of view of the member of the Bundestag, however, a prerequisite for real progress in online availability is that the register modernization will also be improved. Politicians from the FDP and the Greens have raised concerns about data protection against this law, which was passed under former Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) and is intended to improve the exchange of data between authorities.

opinions and criticism

In addition, according to Redder, in order to successfully implement the principle of "one for all", the same "standards must be applied" at all levels - federal, state and local. It is precisely here that the National Regulatory Control Council sees a problem. Malte Spitz, who is responsible for administrative digitization on the committee, told the dpa: "Instead of digitizing individual administrative services, we need standards and common basic components, such as a payment system for all levels." So far, there has not even been a nationwide uniform definition of the administration for "income" - depending on the request, different criteria would be used as a basis.

He criticized: "The approximately three billion euros from the special fund to deal with the effects of the corona pandemic would have offered a real opportunity to change the course of the online access law." Unfortunately, this opportunity was not used. The digital expert Joana Cotar said: "The OZG failed miserably." Instead of the 575 digital administrative services planned by the end of the year, German authorities could only offer a few dozen across the board. The non-attached member of the Bundestag sees one reason for the failure in shared responsibilities - for example between the interior and finance departments.

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