E-Government Strategy 2023
Digitalisation has proved to be an essential driver for growth and futureproofing. The digital transformation is not only changing the way we live and work but also having a positive effect overall on growth in the economy and new jobs. It is an opportunity to completely rethink our government services.
The federal government, provinces, municipalities and local communities have been working closely together for many years with the aim of establishing standardised, interlinked and coordinated procedures for digital government services or e-government.
Now, with the help of over 80 representatives of these organisations, this joint E-Government Strategy has been produced, to provide guidance and point the way forward for government services in Austria.
Structure of the document
Securing the future
Targeted digitalisation can increase the efficiency and effectiveness of government services and significantly improve interaction between the state, society and the economy.
Citizens and businesses can already access government services online today via the service portals of local authorities and the provinces, or via oesterreich.gv.at, the Digital Office app and the Business Service Portal. With faster processes and greater transparency, a modern digital administration system can help business people to achieve their goals sooner, increase their productivity and operate even more successfully in the international arena.
An efficient digital administration system in which different administrative bodies work closely together has been made possible by the Portal Group.
While the individual portals form a good basis, there is also a need for interoperability between portals horizontally, vertically and sectorally to establish the foundations of an inter-agency one-stop shop. Experience gained during the coronavirus crisis shows that people are willing to accept and use online government services provided that they are easily accessible for all and can be used intuitively. For example, the coronavirus crisis resulted in the number of active mobile e-IDs (verified digital identities [Handy-Signatur]) doubling within a year.
For many years, Austria has been among the highest-ranking countries when measured against a range of international benchmarks. Furthermore, digital services such as the central e-government portal oesterreich.gv.at, the individual portals of the provinces, municipalities and local communities, the Digital Office app for mobile e-government, FinanzOnline, GISA (the inter-agency Austrian Business Licence Information System) and the Business Service Portal for business owners are regarded as examples of best practice in international comparisons. In order to maintain this standard in the future, it is important to look at digital services from the perspective not only of citizens and business owners but also of the staff working at the administrative agencies, and to continue to expand and integrate them, taking account of the latest technological requirements.
Principales of the vision
Vision and Basic Principles
People are happy to use services that they trust in Austria, where digital sovereignty is maintained.
- People are at the heart of our digital services. We take account of all social strata and groups equally. Personal contact with government agencies remains important to us and will continue to be possible in a digital world. With our plans for education and training, we support and improve the digital skills of people of all generations.
- In an increasingly mobile environment, we offer all target groups – citizens, businesses and administrative agency staff – easy and interlinked access to all our digital services; users verify their identity using ID Austria. We comply with recognised standards in our services and ensure that they can be used across borders – especially within the European Union.
- The federal government, provinces, municipalities and local communities work together to take advantage of the potential of the latest technologies. At the same time, we set high standards for reliability and security, always
remembering the importance of maintaining digital sovereignty. The Austrian legal framework formulates the basic principles of digital government services centrally and supports and facilitates continuous further development of the digitalisation process.
- We are constantly innovating to ensure that we meet the expectations which citizens, businesses and administrative staff have of digitalisation and to enhance its value and the efficiency of government services.
The E-Government Strategy identifies four specific focal points – the impact areas.
This should enable the vision that has been defined to be implemented in a targeted way, with appropriate initiatives.
The digital identities of citizens are protected to the highest degree possible and also enable them to manage (view, use and update) their data themselves transparently. Open communication with citizens is increased. Information about government services is made available to citizens proactively. Ideas and suggestions from citizens are welcomed and considered.
Digital services are available to citizens across the board, covering all administrative agencies and all Austrian provinces. This makes it much easier to access administrative channels because the same stored data can be reused (the once-only principle). The process of enabling an individual to act as an agent, so that they can conduct administrative affairs for someone else, is simple and consistent.
All online public administration services are available to citizens round the clock, regardless of their location or the device they are using. An up-to-date legal framework provides the lawful basis for protecting and safeguarding data. Citizens will be Equipped with the digital skills that each target group needs in order to use the services.
A secure identification process with single sign-on authentication gives businesses access to all relevant data, information, services, portals, platforms and systems, providing them with an overview of processes across all administrative agencies. They can be confident that, at any time and in a transparent and easy to understand way, they can check that their data is being used securely.
An efficient and secure data management system enables stored data to be reused as effectively as possible with only missing data being requested (the once-only principle). On the basis of their core procedural data that has been saved, business owners are involved at an early stage in the service flow, so that they are proactively sent suggestions about appropriate services, across all agencies and provinces, in order to get the best possible search results. The processes of managing company data and assigning and cancelling online powers of attorney are intuitive and straightforward.
The prevailing conditions increase Austria’s appeal as a place to do business for innovative and high-tech companies, thereby supporting Austria’s digital sovereignty in the European context. There is close interaction between businesses and the administrative agencies so that businesses are kept informed about the government services that are available. The data that is required to use administrative channels and also for private business matters is available round the clock, nationwide and internationally. Businesses are offered ways of building up and extending their digital skills, along with training and certification opportunities.
(e-government) standards and take account of all their users.
The services provided offer maximum security and data protection. The administrative agencies use new technologies to enable employees to be flexible about where and when they work. It is a basic premise that the processes of administrative agencies are as transparent as is legally possible.
The administrative agencies put new technologies (e.g. automation) to good use, enabling existing data to be used on the move and across agencies as far as is legally possible (the once-only principle). Processes are set up in such a way that media discontinuity is avoided and the same processes can be used across all agencies.
A legal framework that embraces digitalisation supports Austria’s digital sovereignty in a European context. Digital (technology-neutral) education and knowledge management for all staff in administrative agencies are an essential prerequisite.
OVERALL ARCHITECTURE & BASIC COMPONENTS
interoperability provide networked and interoperable services that support an up-to-date user experience. Innovative ideas are tested out in real-life laboratory projects.
The overall architecture of digital services is coordinated across regional bodies in the European context and is continuously developed. Agreements on governance ensure that the services, standards, technologies and applications which are put in place meet the expectations of citizens, business owners and administrative agency staff as far as possible and that the confidentiality, availability and integrity of their data is maintained.
Service portals are networked to ensure the interoperability of e-government services. An efficient and secure data management system ensures that data stored by the authorities can be reused as effectively as possible, in compliance with data protection regulations (the once-only principle). Digitalisation projects affecting more than one organisation are worked on jointly and, where appropriate, implemented across all organisations.
As administrative agencies evolve, they take account of digital services in their entirety, to ensure that they can be used in many different areas of work. Digital services are implemented in such a way that they are reusable and the administrative agency retains control of the data that is being processed. The administrative agencies have the skills to deal with critical services and critical infrastructure in-house, so as to ensure continuity in their interactions with the market.
Possible initiatives have been identified across all four impact areas which will contribute to achieving the vision and boosting confidence. Similar initiatives have been grouped together in line with the overall vision.
- Provide proactive, personalised information
Engage in more, and more focused, active communication and information about digital services, especially any new features.
- Protect privacy and engage in active communication (“privacy by design”)
Conduct a nationwide communication campaign about the current legal framework and data security.
- Intensify the marketing of ID Austria
The way that ID Austria is the key to using digital services needs to be conveyed to citizens and business owners in an easily understood way – and also to administrative agency staff in their capacity as multipliers.
- Increase contact with citizens by video conference instead of in-person meetings
Offer online video conferences instead of in-person meetings, where this is legally and organisationally possible.
- Link service portals
The linking of service portals offers easy and secure access to the online information and services of administrative agencies and organisations working in the public interest.
- Expand digital identity management
Expand the use of centralised digital identification, authentication and authorisation processes for businesses using digital administrative applications, and add additional functionality to ID Austria.
- Improve digital management of authorised representation
Set up a system for digital management of authorised representation for use by citizens and business owners, including management of roles and rights and powers of representation and authority.
- Increase the use and the quality of data
Make greater use of existing data for faster and simpler processes, taking account of the right to data transparency. This also increases the quality of the data.
- Set up online citizens’ accounts
Meet the requirements for online citizens’ accounts which offer proactive information, customisable areas of interest and an overview of how their own data is being used.
- Make the work of administrative agencies more flexible
Identify possible options and come up with recommendations for making working methods in the administrative agencies more modern and flexible.
- Ensure legislation is compatible with digitalisation
Continue to develop a digitalisation-friendly legal framework that takes account of the need to optimise administrative processes from the users’ point of view.
- Simplify the use of the bPK (area-specific personal identifier)
Simplify the intended areas of use for the area-specific personal identifier (bPK) in the interests of efficient administrative processes.
- Speed up and simplify inter-agency processes
Link all the digital services associated with any life situation across different agencies. Define standardised inter-agency formats, guidelines, procedures, interfaces, technical systems etc.
- Strengthen digital sovereignty
Strengthen digital sovereignty by gathering and evaluating data from the input fields of open-source products and identifying opportunities for cooperation. Take account when designing, developing and operating IT systems of the need for digital sovereignty over the data being used. Include planning for appropriate data migration scenarios as part of risk management.
- Set up a joint architecture management system
Create a shared understanding of Enterprise Architecture Management (EAM) in the partnership between federal government, provinces, municipalities and local communities; enshrine this in governance procedures and embed cooperation on EAM as an ongoing part of the partnership.
- Ensure that the Portal Group protocol is implemented
Make all applications, especially registry searches, available via the Portal Group. Set up an inter-agency structure to support implementation of the agreed standards.
- Introduce a standardised operating structure for basic services
Define minimum requirements for operating the system, in the interests of more efficient operation, especially regarding monitoring of availability, SLAs, ticketing, documentation and points of contact.
- Facilitate real-life laboratories
Create spaces for experimentation ("regulatory sandboxes") so that novel technological developments/innovations can be tested dynamically in acontrolled environment.
Central to governance within Austria’s e-government is the partnership between the federal government, provinces, municipalities and local communities (BLSG). This encompasses organisational, legal and technical standards which are developed jointly and form the foundation for implementing generic basic services and specific
e-government solutions. The BLSG cooperation ensures that organisations work together as partners on e-government. They act on the basis of defined structures and processes.
Possible exceptions are actively reported and/or a new standard is established in the medium term.
Efficiency in practice
The purpose of joint governance is to work together as equal partners across the boundaries between regional bodies, to establish standardised procedures, share information about cross-sectoral and current issues and communicate about matters affecting all partners. Content:
- General standards, interfaces, principles and framework conditions
- The components and concepts of e-government
- Cooperation projects and initiatives
- A common roadmap
- Active information about projects and legal regulations at national and EU level
- Other current and high-priority matters
- BLSG administrative agencies: Internal agreements and resolutions, including commitments to be made by the administrative agencies
- BLSG extended: Mainly responsible for communication and sharing of information
- Coordinating team: Mainly responsible for coordination
- Control of working/project groups: Responsible for controlling the topics discussed by working and project groups