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EGovernment adoption slows in Europe

EGovernment adoption slows in Europe

The pace of eGovernment adoption in Europe slowed between 2002 and 2003, according to a survey by Cap Gemini Ernst & Young.

The level of online sophistication (two-way transactions) grew 7 percent in 2003 and is now at 67 percent, as opposed to 60 percent in 2002 and 45 percent in 2001, according to the international consulting company.

Austria developed the most in the 12-month period with Denmark and Sweden close behind.

Yet despite progress, only 45% of public services were described as fully transactional online.

The outlook isn’t all bleak. For example, in 2002 only Denmark, Sweden, Ireland and Finland showed progress toward two-way interaction, yet, to date, almost all the countries surveyed have improved the average level of online services beyond one-way interaction, from the government to the users, toward two-way transactions.

Yet there are still weaknesses that need to be addressed. For example, in almost every country more progress was made by online business services than those for citizens.

Services for businesses reached an overall score of 79% for sophistication and 63% for availability whilst services for citizens achieved 58% for sophistication and 32% for availability.

But for both citizens and business, services enabling the collection of taxes are more sophisticated than those where the government is required to provide a service to the recipient (e.g. permits, registrations etc).

Countries should be encouraged to do more to develop transactional eGovernment applications for non-return services.

A higher level of online development of those services will enhance the adoption of eGovernment services by users.

“Clearly Europe's nation states continue to make good progress in eGovernment. However taking the measure of Europe's progress on services fully available online the picture is rather pessimistic. The EC will want to encourage member states to enhance the number of public services fully available online particularly those aimed at citizens” said Stan Cozon CGE&Y's Public Sector Global Leader.

The survey report was done by Cap Gemini on behalf of the European Commission and looks at the progress Europe is making in providing online services at both the citizen and business level across the 15 EU member countries, plus Norway, Iceland and Switzerland.

Sources: Cap Ernst, Gemini & Young, In-sourced

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