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For executive, legislative, judicial, administration and citizens, residents, organizations, companies
(e- service public ) including:

Electronic voting

ICT systems

Under e-government (of (s) Electronic Government , (en) e-government , rarely eGovernment ) involves simplifying, implementation and support of processes for information , communication and transaction within and between state , municipal and other governmental institutions and between these institutions and citizens or companies and organizations through the use of digital information and communication technologies (ICT).

Dimensions of e-government
E-Government Dimensions.svg
Sources (among others): Dowe / Märker, Hart / Pflügler

The legal basis for federal authorities in Germany is the Law on the Promotion of Electronic Administration (EGovG). At the level of the federal states there are e.g. Some of them have their own e-government laws.



The introduction of e-government in Germany is currently made more difficult by a lack of user acceptance and heterogeneous information and communication technology (software, hardware, network access) as well as by the formation of user groups, determined by age, income, education and place of residence.


A successful introduction of e-government requires an adapted structure and process organization within the administration. Due to the close integration of organizational issues with the IT dimension today, e-government can also be defined as a cross-sectional discipline that works at the interface between information technology and organizational design.

It has been shown that a functional structure in particular hinders e-government, while process orientation is beneficial.


For the introduction of e-government, however, a legal basis must also be created. Strict formal requirements (e.g. compulsory signature instead of electronic signatures ), strict data protection and rigid service law limit the possibilities of e-government. In order to avoid these restrictions, all federal legal provisions were checked as part of the norm screening to determine whether the written form and personal appearance can be dispensed with or replaced by other forms.

The form of government also plays a role. In federal states, incompatible isolated solutions often arise, or unnecessary multiple developments in individual administrations take place in parallel. In addition, the marketing of e-government services is more effective if it is organized centrally.


Media disruptions due to heterogeneous information and communication technologies hinder e-government as well as the sometimes high costs of this technology.

The absence of the necessary technologies harbors the risk of insufficiently recognizing the potential of possible services. Techniques are not acquired because of the underestimation of the potential.


A major issue for politics, public administration and citizens as taxpayers is the economic efficiency of e-government. Studies at the municipal level show that only 13 percent of German municipalities systematically determine the profitability of their IT / e-government projects.

Some methods of profitability analysis are, for example, eGOV calculators , standard cost models (SKM) and profitability analyzes ( WiBe ).

Advantages of e-government

The main advantage for the citizen is that he can have better contact with the authorities. This is particularly important for the EU, with its 513 million citizens in 28 Member States. Technical progress, particularly through the Internet, enables new communication and interaction channels. The citizen has the advantage that information from the authorities is available "around the clock" and that the communication options are considerably expanded. Time-consuming journeys are therefore often no longer necessary for him. At the same time, these new technical possibilities simplify and often automate many processes in the authorities, so that more capacities are available for special cases, which in turn benefits citizens. At the same time, the transparency of the authority is increased, since individual processing steps or information channels are more easily recognizable for the citizen (containment of corruption). The fact that information is more easily accessible to the citizen supports the political decision-making process and achieves more intensive participation, for example in online elections. This leads to a general strengthening of democracy. This is particularly important for EU countries where information was previously not easily accessible, for example countries of the former Eastern Bloc. The aim is to promote social inclusion and integration through the Europe-wide availability of information and services from the European Union and thus enable Europe to grow together.

E-government also has decisive advantages for the economy within the European Union. It is estimated that companies with 2,000 employees invest around 365 manpower days to submit both applications and data to authorities. The high level of bureaucracy is also evident as a result of the high number of administrative contacts which, at 130, are significantly higher than that of citizens. Major savings are assumed through the effectiveness and acceleration of administrative procedures. This strengthens both the individual companies and the entire European economic area in the international competition. In addition, the free movement of goods and freedom of establishment are promoted and supported by the constantly available public services.

Apart from these considerable advantages for citizens and the economy, there is also an advantage for the authorities that cannot be neglected: the cost savings. New electronic and often automated processes save time, money and employees. 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 within around four years.

Disadvantages of e-government

In addition to the advantages mentioned above, e-government also has disadvantages. A distinction must be made between disadvantages for citizens and disadvantages for authorities.

Disadvantages for citizens

Major fears of the citizens relate to data protection : It is feared that the privacy of the people would not be protected enough and that the citizen would become a transparent person . Furthermore, communication between the authorities and citizens would become more impersonal, and citizens would lack a personal contact.

In the context of online searches , especially when proprietary software is distributed to citizens in e-government, as is the case with the ELSTER process, there is a risk that the state will install Trojan software on citizens' PCs . According to a press release from August 2007 by the Bavarian Commissioner for Data Protection, such concerns are to be feared among the population.

Problems also arise for people without a PC or PC knowledge.

Disadvantages for authorities

A disadvantage for the authorities would be the additional security effort. To protect the data and thus the privacy of the people, security measures would have to be taken, which would be associated with additional costs. Another disadvantage would be the dependence on the system used.

Levels of interaction

A distinction is made between the following levels of interaction in e-government:

  1. Information : Provision of information, for example on the website of an authority.
  2. Communication : Opportunities for exchange and interactive retrieval of information.
  3. Transaction : Actual execution of services, e.g. via PIN / TAN procedure.
  4. Integration : consolidation of services, regardless of which authorities they are provided by.

Sender and addressee

Sender and addressee of e-government

The enormous range of e-government services can be sensibly differentiated and divided on the basis of the sender and recipient. The state senders are divided into:

  • European Union
  • Federation
  • countries
  • Municipalities

The addressees of e-government services can be divided into:

  • Citizens - Government to Citizen (G2C)
  • Company - Government to Business (G2B)
  • State institutions themselves - Government to Government (G2G)

Furthermore, a distinction could be made between the extent to which an e-government service has an external effect, i.e. is aimed at citizens, companies or other administrations, or an internal effect, and thus serves electronic information, communication, transactions or integration within an authority.

Application and research

E-government is an important area of administrative informatics science . On the one hand, it is about the technical aspect, mostly the provision of appropriate software solutions. In this context, particular attention should be paid to increased data security and the option of archiving and tracking processes. The above-mentioned implementation of the electronic signature in particular is a controversial but worth discussing area. Another aspect is the creation of interoperability between institutions, facilities, countries and states within Europe ( e-government action plan , including the European interoperability framework ). With current projects (for example R4eGov , eGovRTD2020 , DEMO net , BRITE, RafEG , SAGA , eLoGo ) it is possible. a. about the harmonization of terminology, the adaptation of systems and the associated creation of interoperability. To view the results of this work to expand at a European level, the EU has the Center for semantic interoperability launched ( Semantic Interoperability Center Europe , in short: SEMIC.EU). The funding of the projects by the EU shows the scope of these efforts. Another area that is being researched is the willingness to use e-government. Of particular interest is increasing the participation of socially disadvantaged groups. To this end, the multinational ELOST study ( eGovernment for low socio-economic status groups ) is being carried out on political plans and strategies with regard to the introduction of e-government offers for the socially disadvantaged, which is funded by the EU.

The research also discusses the extent to which specific technologies can generate benefits in terms of e-government. This can be blockchain technology, augmented reality , artificial intelligence or the topic of the Internet of Things . Another widely discussed topic is so-called mobile government , which generally means the handling of e-government services using mobile internet-enabled end devices such as smartphones or tablets. Corresponding technologies or applications, however, do not create a benefit per se as a result of their introduction; rather, it must always be checked in each individual case to what extent an administrative process, for example, is suitable for support by corresponding technologies, an added value can be expected and to what extent this implementation effort in relation to the added value stands. In some cases, research already provides corresponding methods for use. In the field of mobile government, for example, the ISPRAT eV guideline for identifying the mobilization potential of administrative processes should be mentioned.

The European Union carries out an annual study of the e-government offer in the individual EU member states . In the E-Government Benchmark Report 2019, Germany is in the last third of the comparison - both in terms of the number of e-government offers as well as their accessibility and user-friendliness. As a western, rich country, Germany remains behind its possibilities, they say. Austria remains the unchanged frontrunner when it comes to e-government.

The eGovernment MONITOR study by the D21 initiative and the Institute for Public Information Management , which has been carried out annually since 2010, provides an overview of the current e-government situation from the citizen's perspective in the DA-CH region . In particular, the acceptance, use and satisfaction as well as drivers and barriers for the use of digital administrative services are evaluated. The current study was published on September 27, 2016.

The 2019 life situation survey by the Federal Statistical Office showed that Germans are the most dissatisfied with the topic of digitization of all the areas surveyed.

Once a year, research results in the field of e-government are presented in Germany at the MEMO conference at the University of Münster. The conference, organized by the University of Münster, the German Association of Towns and Municipalities and the German District Association, promotes the exchange of knowledge between authorities, research and industry and thus satisfies the increasing demand for well-founded methods of administrative modernization.

E-government in other countries


The most important e-government applications in Austria are:

In 2019 the mobile app "Digitales Amt" and the platform Oesterreich.gv.at were presented. In future, these will serve as the central point of contact for digital administration.


In France, e-mail correspondence with the authorities is already the norm. The majority of administrative matters can be handled by email or via the web interfaces of individual service areas. A law provides for the gradual, compulsory acceptance of e-mails for companies (smaller ones only from 2020).


Various e-government applications and service platforms are operated by authorities in Switzerland. The Federal Council's Digital Switzerland strategy and the Federal Council's e-government strategy form the legal basis for this . Strategic projects by eGovernment Switzerland are:

  • ch.ch - the information platform of the federal authorities
  • EasyGov.swiss - the online counter for companies
  • SME portal - information for small and medium-sized companies
  • eUmzugCH - Report a change of residence electronically

Until the beginning of 2019, it was also possible in ten cantons to take part in elections and votes electronically . This option is currently no longer available; the Federal Chancellery is reviewing a realignment of the trial operation with the cantons by the end of 2020.

Czech Republic

Development is well advanced in the Czech Republic. A so-called "electronic mailbox" (Czech: Datová schránka ) for communication between and with authorities was introduced in the country by law no .: 300/2008 Coll. From 2009 for everyone (natural and legal persons). From 2015, its use is mandatory for legal entities and non-use will be sanctioned. An electronic mailbox has been set up for all citizens (natural persons) of the country, but use by private individuals is still voluntary.


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See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Christoph Dowe, Oliver Märker: Electronic Citizen Participation in Large German Cities 2004 - Website Ranking , Initiative eParticipation
    Thomas Hart, Frank Pflüger (ed.): New Media and Citizen Orientation
    - Strategies for the Local Future , Verlag Bertelsmann Stiftung , Gütersloh 2004
  2. See Johann Herzberg (2014): Holistic management of public IT landscapes through Enterprise Architecture Management , in: Verwaltung & Management 20 (6), p. 323.
  3. See Hannes Berger: Current Developments in Electronic Administration and Archiving . In: Journal for State Constitutional Law and State Administrative Law (ZLVR) 2017, pp. 139–144.
  4. ^ Nadine Oberhuber: e-government: e-mail to the office . In: The time . May 27, 2004, ISSN  0044-2070 ( zeit.de [accessed June 23, 2017]).
  5. Position: E-Government. High-tech administration for Germany as a high-tech location. DIHK, 2014, accessed on June 23, 2017 .
  6. Berthold Rauchenschwandtner: Advantages and disadvantages of central registers . e-Government Conference, Innsbruck 2005 (PDF file; 14 kB)
  7. ^ Press release from August 2007 by the Bavarian Commissioner for Data Protection
  8. a b Robert Zepic, Ekkart treasure, Petra Wolf, Helmut Krcmar, Lutz Nentwig, Susanna Kuper, Michél Mahler: mobilization potential of administrative processes. A guide to the identification of administrative processes with the highest mobilization potential. Retrieved June 23, 2017 .
  9. E-Government Benchmark Report 2019 Insight Report and Bachground Report: [1]
  10. Helmut Krcmar, Marcus Dapp, Robert Zepic, Lena-Sophie Müller, Sabrina Dietrich, Michael Boberach, Theresa Moy: eGovernment MONITOR 2016. Use and acceptance of digital administration offers - Germany, Austria and Switzerland in comparison (PDF file; 244 kB), 2016.
  11. Life situation survey 2019: [2]
  12. www.memo-tagung.de
  13. www.e-government.steiermark.at (accessed April 7, 2019).
  14. Oesterreich.gv.at started: The digital office can do this on the smartphone at futurezone.at (accessed on April 7, 2019).
  15. Digital Switzerland Strategy on the Federal Administration's website (accessed December 23, 2019).
  16. e-government strategy on the website of the federal authorities (accessed on December 23, 2019).
  17. Priority Plan E-Government Switzerland , accessed on January 12, 2020.
  18. Official website of the SME portal
  19. Official website of eUmzugCH
  20. ^ Vote électronique on the website of the Federal Chancellery
  21. Detailed information on the "electronic mailbox" in the Czech Republic can be found here: Datová schránka (article in the Czech Wikipedia - in the local language).
  22. Proof of the existence of the electronic mailbox in the Czech Republic
  23. Proof of sanctioning (page 5)