- People that have a high level of engagement with government provided services
- Providers of services and solutions to disadvantaged people
- Government service employees and allied service providers
- Providers of eCulture applications and solutions
Electronic Government (or eGovernment) essentially refers to “The utilisation of Information Technology (IT), Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), and other web-based telecommunication technologies to improve and/or enhance on the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery in the public sector” (Source – Wikepedia – eGovernment).
From a EU perspective, The Malmö Ministerial Conference on eGovernment set out the vision in 2009, to make European public administrations open, flexible and collaborative in their relations with citizens and businesses.
The vision was translated into several concrete actions through the open government concept, in the European eGovernment Action Plan 2011-2015, that qualifies four political priorities:
- Empower citizens and businesses
- Reinforce mobility in the Single Market
- Enable efficiency and effectiveness
- Create the necessary key enablers and pre-conditions to make things happen
The eGovernment action plan forms part is underpinned by the wider digital initiative that is the Digital Agenda Europe (DAE), which aims to help Europe’s citizens and businesses to get the most out of digital technologies.
The DAE is the first of seven flagships initiatives under Europe 2020, the EU’s strategy to deliver smart sustainable and inclusive growth, launched in May 2010 it contains 101 actions, grouped around seven priority areas.
The Digital Agenda Europe’s Seven Priorities for eGovernment
Addressing the barriers that block the free flow of on-line services and entertainment across national borders, by updating EU Single Market rules for the digital era. Key aims are to boost the music download business, establish a single area for on-line payments, and further protect EU consumers in cyberspace.
The EU member states wish to ensure that new IT devices, applications, data repositories and services interact seamlessly anywhere – just like the internet. The Digital Agenda identifies improved standard-setting procedures and increased interoperability as the keys to success.
The Digital Agenda proposes a number of practical solutions, including a coordinated European response to cyber-attacks and reinforced rules on personal data protection.
Europe needs download rates of 30 Mbps for all of its citizens and at least 50% of European households subscribing to internet connections above 100 Mbps by 2020. The Digital Agenda aims to turn this ambition into reality by stimulating investments and proposing a comprehensive radio spectrum plan.
EU investment in ICT research is still less than half US levels. The Digital Agenda seeks to maintain Europe’s competitive edge through increased coordination and elimination of Europe’s fragmented efforts.
Over 50% of Europeans use the internet daily – but 30% have never used it at all! Moreover, disabled persons face particular difficulties in benefiting fully from new electronic content and services. As ever more daily tasks are carried out online, everyone needs enhanced digital skills to participate fully in society. The Digital Agenda tackles the digital divide.
Digital technologies have enormous potential to benefit our everyday lives and tackle social challenges. The Digital Agenda focuses on ICTs capability to reduce energy consumption, support ageing citizens’ lives, revolutionises health services and deliver better public services. ICTs can also drive forward the digitisation of Europe’s cultural heritage providing online access for all.
The UK eGovernment “Digital by Default” Agenda
In the UK, the EU eGovernment agenda is being addressed in the Government Digital Strategy which sets out how government will redesign its digital services to make them so straightforward and convenient that all those who can use them prefer to do so.
Delivery for the most part is overseen by the Government Digital Service which is responsible for ensuring that delivery is aligned to the “Digital by Default” Service Standard.