This study was foreseen under the eGovernment Action Plan 2011-2015. Administrative Burden Reduction (ABR) can be achieved through the integration of eGovernment tools; the smart use of the information that citizens and businesses have to provide to public authorities for the completion of administrative procedures; making electronic procedures the dominant channel for delivering eGovernment services; and the principle of the “once only” registration of relevant data. The latter ensures that citizens and businesses supply certain standard information only once, because public administration offices take action to internally share this data, so that no additional burden falls on citizens and businesses.

The first task of the Study was to identify, map into categories and illustrate the existing initiatives, policies or programs concerning the ABR and the ”once only” principle implementation across the EU member states and associated countries

The second task of the study was to carry out an in-depth quantitative and qualitative cost benefit analysis for each of the identified "best practice countries".

The third task of the study was to provide a long term roadmap, at EU and country level, outlining possible policy actions and implementation measures.

For this reason, this study identified policy measures to be implemented at both National and European Level over the period 2014-2018 to achieve significant ABR through eGovernment procedures and Information Communication Technology (ICT).

According to the study, more than 70% of EU countries have undertaken initiatives to put into practice the “once only” principle.

Furthermore, the study finds that a "once only" strategy at EU level could generate a total net impact amounting to around 5 billion euro per year by 2017. The total net impact raises to 5,4 billion euros with the associated countries.

The impact does, however, depend on the modalities of the implementation process. If the “once only” principle is implemented within a well-structured strategy or within a comprehensive system for the delivery of public services, it is likely to produce a highly positive impact.


The study was undertaken by Ernst & Young in cooperation with Danish Technological Institute under the contract N° 30-CE-0532668/00-38. The study was carried out with input from relevant stakeholders, including Member States and the European Commission.

Related documents: