Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Open government

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Increasing information and knowledge exchange, enhanced connectivity, openness and transparency provide new opportunities for public administrations to become more efficient and effective, provide user-friendly services, while reducing costs and administrative burden.
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The open government approach can facilitate this transformation. This paradigm is driven by opening up public data and services and facilitating collaboration for the design, production and delivery of public service. It is also about making government processes and decisions open, in order to foster citizen participation and engagement.

The availability of open data can facilitate the creation of new services, stimulate new markets, businesses and jobs, by adding value to the original data provided by government. The full use of big data in Europe’s 23 largest governments can reduce administrative costs by 15% to 20%. Open and modular public services can be re-used by different administrations, but also by businesses and citizens, in order to create and deliver personalised, user-friendly and innovative services.

In Denmark, third parties were allowed to re-use some of the public service building blocks of the National Land Registry. This has saved Danish courts €10 million per year, and end-users €20 million. Open processes, activities and decisions enhance transparency, accountability and trust in government. ICT facilitates bottom-up, participative and collaborative initiatives that tackle specific societal problems. For example, Iceland used social networking sites to crowd-source provisions to their new constitution.

The open government approach is expected to result in user-friendly, ubiquitous, personalised services; as they are designed, created and delivered in collaboration with others, combining information, data and services both from the public as well as the private sector. This approach shall also improve the quality of decision-making and promote greater trust in public institutions.

An open government will support ICT-enabled public sector innovation; improving the efficiency, effectiveness and quality of public services by introducing new processes, products, services and methods of delivery enabled by ICT.

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