The European Commission (EC) Digital Agenda for Europe (DAE) – eGoverment Scoreboard reports for 2013
In 2013 eGovernment services have been used by 41% of the EU28 population, down from 44% in 2012 and almost at the same level as in 2011. This set against a target of 50% of the population to be using eGovernment by 2015.
Currently only 9 out of 28 countries are above the 2015 target and only 7 countries have seen usage increasing in 2013.
The UK is ranked 14that a little over 40% just under the EU average in 13th place. Unfortunately the UK was one of the 7 countries that experienced a decrease in the use of eGovernment between 2012 and 2013.
Internet-savvy citizens often use the Internet to contact public administrations, but less so to conclude more complex interactions.
Almost three quarters (73.3%) of Internet users (in the last 12 months) who needed to contact a public authority (or to use a public service) did so online in 2013.
A quarter of these used exclusively the Internet, while the others used also other channels of interaction. 26.7% of the internet users contacted their public administrations without using the Internet at all. The preferred offline channels of interaction were personal visits (54%), telephone (50%), email (25%) and other methods (e.g. SMS, post, 20%).
However, when more advanced interaction is required, Internet users are less likely to carry this out online. In 2013, among Internet users who needed to submit official forms to public authorities, only 52% did so via Internet, down from 53% in the previous year
Users of eGovernment services are in general satisfied, while the main reason for non-use is a lack of trust.
Once citizens start to use online public services, they generally find the experience highly satisfying (75%), with only a minority feeling very disappointed (8%). The most appreciated feature is the usefulness of information (87% mainly satisfied), followed by the ease of finding information (84%), the ease of using online services (79%) and the transparency/follow-up (75%).
Lack of trust seems to be the main source of non-use. It comes in several forms:
- a preference for personal contact (41%),
- higher trust for paper submissions (30%),
- concern about personal data (19%),
- and a lack of immediate feedback (16%).
Other main factors of non-use are a lack of skills and an incomplete digitalization of government services.
The supply side of eGovernment is measured through a user journey approach. This is undertaken by researchers acting as mystery shoppers, that is, by posing as ordinary users of eGovernment services. The mystery shoppers simulate an event in the life of the citizen/entrepreneur requiring administrative action from the government (e.g. a marriage) and then go through public authorities websites in order to fulfil the related administrative requirements through the online channel when possible.
Seven of these life events are analysed in the course of two years (the first complete measurement is from 2012-2013) in different government domains:
- losing/finding a job
- enrolling to university
- starting a small claim procedure
- buying/owning a car
- starting a business
- regular business operations
Different aspects of service provision are examined in this new methodology, but the two examined here are the following: User-centric eGovernment and Transparent eGovernment.
The User-Centric eGovernment indicator measures the availability of eGovernment services, their connectedness and their user-friendliness.
The Transparent eGovernment indicator measures the online transparency of governments on the different aspects of online service delivery, treatment of citizens’ personal data and activities of the public administrations.
Both indicators range from 0 (complete absence of required features) to 100 (all features included).