The evaluation measured the progress that the European Commission and the Member States were making with respect to the vision in the Malmö Declaration that by 2015: “European Public Administrations are recognised for being open, flexible and collaborative in their relations with citizens and businesses. They use eGovernment to increase their efficiency and effectiveness and to consistently improve public services in a way that caters for user’s different needs and maximises public value, thus supporting the transition of Europe to a leading knowledge-based economy.”
The study was carried out in three successive activities:
- Assessment of the progress made by the Commission and the Member States towards the priorities and actions set by the eGovernment Action Plan (based on the collaborative data collection on the eGovernment Action Plan-evaluation website) ;
- (Partial and preliminary) analysis of the impact of the Action Plan on the development of eGovernment in Member States (based on a series of selected case studies);
- Recommendations on future actions, within the timeline of the eGovernment Action Plan and beyond.
The study found that the Action Plan has a positive impact on the development of eGovernment at the European and Member State level even if progress has been better in some areas compared to others. This type of Action plan can be a perfect ‘mobilizer’ instrument in order to help the European Commission and the Member States coordinating their actions.
However, to increase its effectiveness, such an action plan must be embedded in a continuous policy cycle. This includes thorough and collaborative design of the Action Plan by the Commission and the Member States, starting from a common vision defining clear polity priorities, containing concrete measurable agreed objectives, an effective implementation and monitoring mechanism, and a holistic approach with all the relevant Commission services working on related issues.
Finally, the report recommends a new approach for a future eGovernment Action Plan. In a rapidly changing world with very fast evolving technology, a static five-year period seems too long for an Action Plan. In its place, a ‘rolling’ plan with a bi-yearly review and adapt cycle, would be more appropriated to keep track of change and ensure the relevance of the policy priorities and individual actions.
The Digital Single Market Strategy foresees a new eGovernment Action Plan for 2016-2020 and identifies already a set of initial actions: i) making the interconnections of business registers a reality by 2017; ii) launching in 2016 an initiative with the Member States to pilot the Once-Only principle (meaning that citizens and businesses should supply data and information only once to a public administration in the EU); iii) extending and integrating European and national portals to work towards a "Single Digital Gateway", to create a user friendly information system for citizens and businesses and iv) accelerating Member States transition towards full e-procurement and interoperable e-signatures. The next Action Plan will be developed in close cooperation with the Member States and other stakeholders
The study was carried out by Deloitte Consulting in cooperation with Tech4i² under the Specific Contract 30-CE-0535551/00-94. The study was undertaken with input from relevant stakeholders, including Member States and the European Commission.