What does digital public administration mean?

Using the new media enables the authorities to make their services available to a wider public by going beyond the traditional channels. For a growing number of official services, the public administration agencies already offer many stages of a process (transactions) online, from making an application to completing the process. Forms can often be filled in online, signed electronically and sent to the authority electronically. If users wish, confirmation of administrative transactions, decisions and other documents can be sent electronically. Especially when it comes to electronic identification and signatures, the digital public services sector is an important driver of innovation, setting the pace for businesses.

Digital public administration

Digital public administration is a lever for increasing the transparency of what the state is doing and raising the level of democratic participation by a country's people.

Digital public administration in Austria

The BLSG (federal government, provinces, municipalities and local communities) partnership on e-government, along with the ICT-Federation committee, is one of the most important coordinating committees for digital public administration services in Austria. This is where Austria's e-government projects come together and are coordinated. More information available under Committees and organisations.

Folgende Organisationen sind durch deren IT- und/oder E-Government-Verantwortliche in dieser Kooperation vertreten: Bund, Bundesländer, Städte durch Vertreter des Städtebundes, Gemeinden durch Vertreter des Gemeindebundes, Sonstige  Das Organigramm ist in zwei Bereiche gegliedert:  Strategie & Architektur: Strategische und rahmengebende Gremien und Teams sind dem Bereich „Strategie & Architektur“ zugeordnet.  Operativ: Gremien und Teams mit dem Schwerpunkt der konkreten fachlichen Ausarbeitung sind im Bereich „Operativ“ abgebildet. 


Standardised procedures: All activities are based on the BLSG commitment to standardisation and harmonisation in e-government. Other administrative bodies are also included.

Sharing experience: From sharing their experience to discussing common areas of interest – all parties involved benefit. Problems can be shared and individual findings and experiences built on. This results in higher quality decision-making.

Current topics: Innovation is the way to respond to current problems and the guiding principle for achieving future objectives. It is a joint process and the ideas are implemented and fleshed out by committees & teams.

Communication: All the outcomes that are produced are widely communicated, with the target audience depending on the subject in question. Similarly wide groups of participants are taken into consideration when the agreed outcomes are being further developed.

Content and topics

Matters discussed in the various committees and teams include the following:
  • High-level standards, interfaces, principles and framework conditions
  • The components and concepts of e-government
  • Cooperation projects/initiatives
  • A common roadmap
  • New ideas and active sharing of information about laws at national and EU level (legal frameworks)
  • Other current and high-priority matters

The BLSG is a committee whose primary role is to share information and pass resolutions. The BLSG Administrative Committee (BLSG-VW) works on inter-agency agreements and resolutions, including commitments to be made by the administrative agencies. The extended BLSG (BLSG-EW) exists mainly for communication and information sharing purposes.

Information sharing between participants takes place on a dedicated communication platform, called the Reference Server E-Government.

This is a central document storage facility which is continuously being expanded and upgraded. Jointly produced outcomes in the form of conventions, statements, information, best practices, White Papers and use cases are published on the platform, in the form of either the product of a working group, a recommendation or a standard.

Some members of the committee are there to represent the involvement in the partnership of the political level and the upper echelons of public administration. These include federal state governors and directors of federal province government offices, along with federal ministers and senior civil servants. The main focus is on aligning strategic orientation and expectations. The committee at this level is kept informed about current developments and projects.

Basic principles of the partnership

Early involvement: The relevant stakeholders are involved in any matter under discussion as early on as possible and are kept informed.

Basic principles of the partnership

Implemented standards: All participating organisations ensure compliance with the standards that have been agreed and approved within the BLSG. Possible exceptions are actively reported and/or a new standard is established in the medium term.

Basic principles of the partnership

Provision of resources: Participating organisations make appropriate resources available for committees, teams, working groups and (key) projects.

Basic principles of the partnership

Efficiency in practice: The main focus is on those topics, working groups and (key) projects which are reasonably practicable and/or likely to succeed. Care is taken during concept development to ensure that the work is based on actual use cases from the various administrative areas, wherever this is sensible and possible.

Basic principles of the partnership

Active participation: The representatives of participating organisations who attend meetings/workshops are those who are in charge of and/or responsible for that subject. It is also important to have the broadest possible involvement of specialist IT representatives.

Basic principles of the partnership

Proactive communication: Information about, and the outcomes of, matters in which the partnership is involved are proactively distributed and made available to a wider public where appropriate. Good communication is regarded as an obligation.

E-Government Act

The E-Government Act is the centrepiece of Austrian e-government legislation and came into force on 1 March 2004. It was amended in 2016 mainly on account of changes that were needed to comply with the Regulation on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market (the eIDAS Regulation).

More on the main provisions and principles of the E-Government Act.

The law constitutes the legal basis for e-government modules and services.

Overriding principles of the E-Government Act

Freedom of choice in the method of communication used to contact public administration agencies.

Overriding principles of the E-Government Act

Guaranteed security and data protection in electronic communications, achieved by setting up appropriate technical systems such as ID Austria.

Overriding principles of the E-Government Act

Barrier-free access to the information and services provided by the public administration agencies, achieved by complying with the international standards governing web accessibility.