Paperless and queue-free administration? A dossier about electronic government

Subject:  Law and Political Science
A line of people

Spain is up to speed with digital competitiveness and achieves good results in online public services, according to the 2017 Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI).

Take your number from the machine at the entrance and sit in the waiting room. You hear the same sound after each turn and you keep looking from the screen to the ticket with your number. A situation that until recently was very common when carrying out administrative procedures but which is now gradually changing.

There are increasing numbers of users who can access administrative processes electronically to consult an employment report, request a construction permit, apply for a grant or request information. This is confirmed by the results of the latest Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) report, published by the European Commission, which, among other indicators, analyses the status of digital public services in member states. In particular, electronic administration in Spain enjoys above-average development and leads the rankings in open data.

Paperless in-trays

What is electronic administration? Also known as e-administration, electronic government or e-government, this is a new alternative for the public (individuals) and companies (organizations) to interact with the Administration. It hinges on the transformation of administrations based on access policies and the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) to design, develop and implement IT tools and environments that favour communication. The Library dossier provides resources to help with understanding it, its legal framework and how it is implemented in Catalonia, Spain and Europe.

Objective: savings, efficiency and transparency

A digital-format administration, which works properly, not only ensures streamlined procedures, but also helps with long-term savings on costs. To this effect, one of the Administration's major challenges is to modernize the legal infrastructures, as you will see in the dossier, to improve its procedures. Similarly, transparency and data open to the public are the milestones derived from electronic administration. Also, to ensure that the public-administration-business communication network works well, the instruments of electronic administration must be perfected, such as interoperability, electronic signatures and electronic certificates.

This dossier provides the UOC Community with a number of resources that can be used to analyse the topic of electronic administration.