Under E-Administration - or e-government in the narrow sense ( Government stands in English for governance and managing ), and e-administration , e- service public - means the information and communication technology supported development (ICT), simplifying and handling Processes for information , communication and transactions between state institutions ( executive , legislative , judicial , authorities / public administration ) and citizens , residents ( G2C and C2G ), organizations and companies ( G2B and B2G ), as well as between state institutions among themselves ( G2G ). E-administration is therefore part of e-government .
Here, the interactivity of information and communication technologies should be used for business dealings with citizens, so that existing staff can mainly be used to deal with the actual inquiries.
Over time, e-government has become a matter of course for administrations. E-government is expected not only to improve the effectiveness of services but also to improve access to information and knowledge.
On the one hand, the experiences of citizens and companies who are familiar with the use of information and communication technologies from other areas of everyday life, such as e-banking , and the advantages (time savings, accessibility and quality of services) have contributed to the rapid development of e-government transferred to the executive branch.
On the other hand, the increasing financial need of administrations led to the desire for cost reductions, some of which can be achieved through e-government. In this context, strategic considerations, such as new public management, also play a role.
E-government must go hand in hand with an analysis and optimization of business processes. Due to media disruptions , many processes are not at all suitable for e-government, but it makes sense to check whether a process-oriented redesign can take place through workflow processing .
For citizens, real added value lies primarily in transaction processes, and less so in information and communication processes. In fact, information processes (e.g. the possibility of querying opening times on the web) and communication processes (e.g. the possibility of contacting an employee by email) are already well developed in many administrations in German-speaking countries. In many cases, however, there is a lack of the ability to fill out forms interactively or to submit applications (transaction processes).
In particular, the use of content management systems (CMS) can be helpful in structuring web presences and thus also serve e-government. In many cases, however, such systems are not yet used in administrations. As part of the BundOnline 2005 initiative , u. a. therefore a basic component content management system was provided, which was specially developed for the needs of the federal administration, the so-called Government Site Builder (GSB). As part of the so-called " Kiel Resolutions ", this basic component can also be used by federal states and municipalities, which, however, must have licenses for the underlying commercial content management system.
E-government also has decisive advantages for the economy. The effectiveness and acceleration of administrative procedures lead to massive savings. This strengthens both the individual companies and the entire (European) economic area in international competition. In addition, the free movement of goods and the freedom of establishment are promoted and supported by constantly available (international) government services.
Particularly in Germany with its local self-government , interesting synergies can be created through cooperation with research, business and other collaborations. You prevent the wheel from being reinvented in every administration. Central governments tend to have less of this problem.
Apart from these considerable advantages for citizens and the economy, there is also an advantage for the authorities that should not be forgotten: the cost savings. New electronic and often automated processes save time and money. The federal government alone is expecting annual cost savings of around 400 million euros with a total investment volume of 1.65 billion euros if its BundOnline 2005 initiative is implemented. This would mean that the introduction of e-government services would have paid for itself in around 4 years. “In view of the tight budget across Europe, the question arises rather than why Europe needs e-government, but rather whether Europe can afford to do without e-government”.
However, the specific quantification of benefits is still problematic. The methodology commonly used in administration for assessing the profitability of IT projects ( WiBe 4.0 of the KBSt) has meanwhile been expanded to include “external benefits”, but only with regard to qualitative benefits. Significant potential benefits of e-government solutions for “administrative customers” - that is, for citizens and in particular the economy - are thus still not taken into account in the specific calculation of amortization periods and often lead to negative capital values of the - economically sensible - e-government projects.
A prerequisite for e-government is the existence of a model that supports e-government.
A consideration of the costs and benefits of the introduction of e-government services must be carried out. It makes sense to offer services with a high number of cases online. The processes must also be able to be mapped relatively easily on an IT system.
Marketing measures lead to an acceptance of e-government.
Employees must be motivated and qualified for e-government.
Cooperation between administrations, business and research is helpful when introducing e-government.
As part of the conversion of public services and administrative processes to e-government, all tasks of public institutions are usually summarized in a catalog and checked for their Internet capability. The public sector must align its products and services with the needs of the citizens. As part of the changeover, the processes involved in the relevant services must be analyzed and optimized. Simply putting public services online is not yet e-government and will not result in savings or simplifications.
The Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) has set a framework for the procedure with its e-government manual.
When providing e-government services, a distinction is usually made between the user and administrative view. A citizen does not want to deal with which authority is responsible for which sub-process of the service and which hierarchy prevails in the administrations. For example, he is presented with a life situation (e.g. "marriage", "birth") on a website. The internal view then automatically ensures that the request is forwarded to the authorities involved. The public administration service catalog " LeiKa " forms the basis for structuring administrative services .
The following points must be particularly observed when implementing e-government plans
Restructuring of administrative processes
Compared to the economy, administrative processes in the public sector often appear slow and cumbersome. The reason for this is often found in structures that have grown over a long period of time and the resulting narrow areas of responsibility. Narrow areas of responsibility mean that even with less complex processes, many departments are involved. This takes a lot of time, especially since paper-based communication is often used here. If e-government is to lead to improvements in this regard, it is rarely sufficient to “translate” the existing procedures into the electronic medium. Rather, fundamental restructuring of the traditional procedures is regularly necessary in order to be able to provide European government services in an interoperable and “real time” manner. That is why the mere implementation of information technology is not sufficient. Interoperable, efficient and user-oriented administrative architecture must be created that maximizes the benefits of modern technology. At the same time, they must support and promote the restructuring of administrative processes. The greatest increase in efficiency can only be achieved if technology and organization are converted at the same time.
Another problem that needs to be considered when implementing e-government initiatives is the interoperability of services. This mainly means the goal of being able to transfer data and information from one authority to the next without interface problems or losses. To this end, open interfaces and common protocols and data formats must be used so that data can be exchanged across national or administrative borders. At the same time, it must be prevented that isolated solutions arise in individual administrative areas that could endanger the success of the entire project.
The social inclusion is another problem priority in the implementation of e-government. It must be ensured that, during and after the restructuring of administrative processes, no section of the population is disadvantaged or excluded from government services. That is why it applies to electronic services that they must be accessible to everyone regardless of the platform. So that a large number of users will be able to master the (new) technology over time, e-learning components are included in the eEurope 2005 action plan. E-government services should be available in all EU languages as far as possible in order to avoid language barriers. When creating the electronic services, care should also be taken to ensure that they are barrier-free and that they are also available to people with special needs.
In order to do its job properly, the public sector has to work massively with personal data . Increasing networking of the public sector makes data processing much easier. The resulting improvements in the quality, availability and speed of the services provided are offset by considerable data protection risks. If data is stored centrally or different administrative offices make data automatically accessible to each other, the purpose of data storage and processing as well as the separation of informational powers are called into question. Electronic storage, networking and interoperable processing make creating detailed personality profiles child's play. Effective measures must be taken here to restore the wavering balance between efficient data storage and the protection of personal data.
The fifth challenge is particularly important for e-government at EU level but also within individual projects and also has a decisive influence on the other problem areas: the coordination of activities. On the one hand, the EU is its own administrative apparatus with a large number of administrations with different competence structures, where the coordination of e-government activities requires a high degree of coordination. On the other hand, the EU is the guardian that the action plans eEurope 2002, eEurope 2005 and eEurope 2010 are implemented in the member states and thus the goals of social inclusion, interoperability, data protection and the restructuring of administrative processes are implemented. The Commission has therefore created an opportunity to exchange best practice. The e-government concepts that have been developed and applied in the member states are to be made available to other administrative bodies across Europe so that they can reuse and further develop the best concepts. In this way costly parallel developments can be avoided and the costs for e-government can be kept at a lower level. At the same time, vertical conflicts of competency are prevented, as the respective administrative offices can determine for themselves whether or not to use the offer and which concepts to adopt.
In Germany, the BundOnline 2005 initiative in particular took on a pioneering role. This federal initiative is successful. In fact, however, citizens are more likely to be involved in municipal services. For this reason, BundOnline has been supplemented since mid-2003 by the joint e-government strategy Deutschland-Online by the federal, state and local governments.
In addition, the Federal Ministry of Economics and Labor has launched an initiative called Media @ Komm -Transfer with which the knowledge and experience gained in the implementation of successful e-government solutions in the municipal sector is to be made available to a broader group of users. The pilot e-government applications introduced so far are to be harmonized in 20 working groups and the results then disseminated.
The requirements for e-government increased sharply around the turn of the millennium.
It is understandable that e-government offers additional benefits, especially in less populated areas. Citizens there can save themselves longer journeys to the administration. In the meantime, e-government is particularly well developed in Scandinavia , Australia and North America .
But the number of users is also increasing in Germany. However, the number is increasing less strongly in an international comparison. In spring 2005, e-government was only used by around a quarter of the population in Germany. This is particularly due to the fact that the framework conditions (see above) in Germany are not as e-government-friendly as in other countries. Federalism plays a special role in Germany and, above all, local self-government , which hinders the development of e-government due to the lack of cooperation between local authorities, while in central states marketing and funding programs for e-government are mostly successful. Citizens' security concerns also have an inhibiting effect - a trustworthy authentication solution has not yet caught on.
The change in public services through e-government raises many questions relevant to democracy.
In its brochure "How public and democratic will eGovernment be?" 100 questions on the subject of e-government, e-democracy and public services prepared in several languages. The brochures are available online in German, English, French and Russian.
The trade union ver.di has under the title "Berlin Manifesto: Public Services 2.0 - Strengthening Services of General Interest in the Information Society!" In cooperation with politics, administration, the association of cities and municipalities, the Chaos Computer Club, science, technical and civil rights community, 10 guidelines on e-government created.
Due to the federal structures (autonomy of the municipalities), the implementation of e-government in Germany at the municipal level must be critically examined. Municipalities with less than 50,000 inhabitants in particular cannot regularly provide their own employees with the necessary knowledge and do not have the planning security or a municipal model to anchor e-government independently. Recently, the question has grown louder whether e-government threatens federal structures.
- German journal for communal sciences 2004 / II, in focus: communal e-government, publisher: German Institute for Urban Studies (difu), ISBN 3-88118-378-7
- Kunstein, Florian: The electronic signature as a component of electronic administration - Analysis of the legal framework of electronic communication with special consideration of local government - Tenea-Verlag, Berlin 2005, ISBN 3-86504-123-X .
- Meier, Andreas (Ed.): E-Government , HMD 226, dpunkt.verlag, Heidelberg 2002, ISBN 3-89864-161-9
- Federal Agency for Civic Education (Ed.): Modernes Regieren / E-Government , From Politics and Contemporary History (B 18/2004), ISSN 0479-611X - Not uncritical discussion of the problems surrounding e-government.
- Zimmermann, Stefan: E-Government in Hong Kong - Digitization of the Administration in a Chinese Metropolis , Ibidem, Stuttgart 2004, ISBN 3898213382
- E-Government, Analysis of Public Services ( Memento of October 30, 2005 in the Internet Archive )
- Specialist portal on the subject of e-government of the information office d-NRW ( Memento from March 18, 2006 in the Internet Archive )
- http://www.bund.de/nn_189154/DE/VuI/WIN/2004/09-September/1829-E-Europa-anl,templateId=raw,property=publicationFile.pdf (link not available)
- Good Practice Framework ( Memento of October 29, 2006 in the Internet Archive )
- Digital economy and structural change ( Memento from June 11, 2005 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF file; 334 kB)
- E-Government Act ( Memento of August 27, 2004 in the Internet Archive )