|Author (Person)||McLauchlin, Anna|
|Series Title||European Voice|
|Series Details||Vol.12, No.19, 18.5.06|
The world's most advanced national administrations, which include Denmark, France and Finland, are on a par with the best of the private sector in what they offer by way of online services, according to an annual study from global consultant Accenture.
According to the study, published on Monday (15 May), these three EU member states are among the seven 'challengers' to Canada and the US, who have the global 'trendsetter' crown in providing eGovernment service programmes.
The three, plus the UK and Ireland, have consistently been ranked in Accenture's top 11 countries for using technology - from text messaging and mobile applications to kiosks and interactive voice response - in their customer service.
The study says their services are now on a par with the private sector, but Accenture notes that governments will still have to raise their game, as the rate of use of online government services has remained relatively flat over the past year, despite growing awareness that better advertising can significantly increase the rate of take-up by citizens.
One of Accenture's main observations is that the successful governments have been conscious of what citizens are and are not prepared to do online.
"One of the biggest lessons from eGovernment is that people will move between channels," the report says, pointing out that if citizens believe a service to be particularly important they will conduct that service face-to-face.
The report quotes Declan Rigney, principal officer for customer service policy at Ireland's Office of the Revenue Commissioners: "We haven't put our eggs in one basket. We have made moves to beef up telephony and have plans to put terminals in offices to help people self-service, but we haven't given people only an online option."
Finland continues to be the country where citizens are most likely to have used eGovernment (73%) and who prefer to use it (43%). But 48% of survey respondents still said that they expected better service from walk-in centres and 40% from a fixed or mobile phone.
The Finnish government has rolled out a number of initiatives over the past year, including the release in April of pre-completed tax forms that citizens have to review but if the information is correct take no further action.
Denmark's online services have been up and running for many years but are constantly being updated.
From September, Danish citizens have been able to gain access to their medical records online.
On 18 June, more than 200,000 French voters living abroad will test a new e-Voting system for their forthcoming national elections.
Since the beginning of the year, French citizens have been able to request birth certificates online, a service previously provided by around 35,000 city offices.
Those whose births are certified online are being born into a new relationship with the state.
Author takes a look at the state of eGovernment across the EU's Member States. Denmark, France, Finland, the United Kingdom and Ireland are singled out as most advanced in the field.
|Subject Categories||Business and Industry, Politics and International Relations|
|Countries / Regions||Europe|