Public service delivery is challenged! Amplified by demographic and economic challenges national, regional and local authorities with limited resources face ever increasing demands for service.
Increased use of IT and technology can contribute to a solution. Estonia has estimated annual savings of up to 2% of GDP by introducing digital IDs and signatures. Denmark expects to save up to € 400 million annually by eliminating paper forms and paper mail. EU calculations show that the reuse of basic government data can create up to 2% GDP growth, while reducing bureaucracy in the Netherlands has led to a socio-economic benefit equivalent to 0.9% of GDP. However, there is a risk in cost reduction within public administration leading to increased administrative burden on citizens and businesses.
The challenge is two-fold: to ensure that ICT facilitated cost savings are harvested over time, and simultaneously minimize the burden for citizens and businesses.
Simplification of rules, digitization and bureaucratic reduction may release public resources to address demographic challenges, provide universal services and create a supportive business environment.
The benefits of digitization can be divided into three general categories:
Cost savings, e.g. less time spend and lower financial cost;
Quality improvements, e.g. easier, faster and more equitable access to public services; and
Job creation and economic growth, e.g. lower administrative costs for the private sector.
Benefits may be accrued by citizens, businesses and the public sector itself.
Generally, savings from ICT investments are measured within the public sector. The reason is that socio-economic and qualitative measurements are resource-intensive, uncertain and complicated. Return on investment and business case calculations therefore focus on ICT and burden reduction projects where, as a minimum, a positive business case can be guaranteed within the public sector.
Benefits incurred by citizens and businesses are thus regarded as something "extra" that is not necessarily measured. However, there are cases where economic and social gains are measured, for instance less bureaucracy and faster service delivery, making it cheaper to run a business and easier to be a citizen.
Objective and format of workshop
The primary objective of the workshop is to discuss and identify potential solutions to three key questions:
How can we facilitate administrative burden reduction in diverse service areas and settings without transferring the burden from the public sector to the end user?
How do we ensure the realization of ICT-enabled cost-savings within the public sector without generating additional costs and burdens on the end user?
What are the key challenges and tradeoffs, e.g. political, legal, organizational, capacities, resistance to change, lack of vision and fragmented approach, for ICT-enabled cost and burden reduction within the public sector?
The workshop will combine an introduction with presentations of cases (evidences) and discussion on the potential of ICT-enabled cost and burden reduction in public administration and public service delivery.