German Online Access Act 2.0: eco Calls for a Binding Commitment to Aspiring Digitalisation of Public Administration

The intention of the 2017 German Online Access Act (OZG) was to lay the foundations for digitalised public administration. However, there was an acknowledgement in late 2022 of a clear failure in achieving the act’s goal to deliver numerous services digitally from the federal government, the federal states and municipalities. Today, the successor regulation for the Online Access Act is now to be adopted in the Federal Cabinet.

As eco Chair of the Board Oliver Süme says: “Up to now, Germany has lagged completely behind the rest of Europe when it comes to digitalising public administration. The failure of the first Online Access Act has made it painfully clear to us about just how many hurdles still have to be overcome. Despite everything, the fact that the current draft of the Online Access Act does not define a new goal for an implementation period is absolutely inexplicable. What is needed now is a binding commitment, including a concrete target agreement for aspiring digitalisation and modernisation of public administration.”

The Association of the Internet Industry also believes that the process of digitalising public administration should be understood as a holistic process, which must definitively also lead to changes in procedures within the public authorities. In order to be able to fully leverage the potential of digital public administration, it is necessary to comprehensively adapt the processes of application and administration to digitalised procedures. From eco Association’s point of view, a mere digitalisation of analogue processes is not sufficient and falls well short of the potential of the Online Access Act. For this reason, improvements must be made in the amended act to also address the modernisation of internal administrative processes.

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