THE SUCCESS STORY OF E-GOVERNMENT IN AUSTRIA
E-GOVERNMENT A-Z – Digital Austria
Key elements of e-government in Austria have included digital projects such as the Citizen Card and further developments of it (the mobile phone signature (Handy-Signatur)/Citizen Card have been replaced by the ID Austria since December 5th 2023), which serve as electronic forms of ID on the Internet. Online procedures for official services such as electronic payments or electronic document delivery only became possible once the Citizen Card enabled people to identify themselves online. Thanks to this method of unique identification and authentication, applications and contracts can be signed which would otherwise require a handwritten signature.
In technical terms, this is implemented by having a free form of e-government, based on open-source modules incorporated in the relevant applications. This enables signatures to be checked electronically and documents to be both signed and delivered electronically.
The EU's "Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI)" documents Europe's digital performance. The DESI 2023 report shows that Austria has above-average results for human capital, the digitalisation of businesses and digital public services.
On the United Nations' E-Government Development Index, Austria is one of the leading countries. That is to say, when it comes to digitalisation, the Austrian public administration system is ahead of major industrial nations such as Germany and Canada.
In the "E-Government Benchmark" survey, Austria is ranked 14th, putting it in the lead among German-speaking countries (Germany, Austria, Switzerland). The eAusweise (eID) app and digital driving licence, Zoll4D and Grant4Companies were all highlighted as examples of good practice.
Fields of impact
In the lead thanks to cooperation and a common strategy
For federally organised countries, the decentralised structures and responsibilities pose a particular challenge when it comes to e-government. Austria has overcome this by establishing a common strategy and then coordinating its implementation nationwide. That was the purpose of the E-Government Act of 2004. This regulatory framework laid the foundation for, and still defines today, the essential principles of Austria's digital transformation.
One crucial factor was the creation of several e-government committees which ensure that the digitalisation strategy is implemented efficiently in the public administration system
The "E-Gov A-Z – Digital Austria" document is a reference work for business owners, public servants and everyone in Austria. This latest version explains the main concepts associated with Austria’s e-government.