ŠAVŠ/TAČR Digital Czechia in a Digital Europe


effectiveness of specific solutions or individual areas of government digitalization. For example, Malta (which according to the DESI index of digitalization of public services ranked 11th overall) ranked 22nd in terms of the level of citizens’ use of e-services offered, but it also is the European leader, placing 1st, in the areas of interconnection of official registers (applying in particular to the automatic pre-filling of official forms so that the user enters information only once) and the provision of the widest possible handling of ‘life’s benchmarks’ online (e.g. new vehicle registration, birth of a child, etc.). 5 Precisely because generalized indices often distort or do not reveal such disparities, it is more appropriate to identify best practices on an individual-selective basis, rather than to attempt to reimplement all digitalization processes of first-place countries. This part of the comparative study focused on best-practices mainly from Nordic countries (Norway and Sweden) then the United Kingdom, Estonia and Austria. If the digitalization of public administration and services is to be successful, it must satisfy certain prerequisites, both on the part of the end user (natural person and legal entity) and the provider (state, authorities and the bureaucracy). Although the digitalization of the public sector itself is a very complicated and time-consuming process, it ultimately offers huge potential for savings in terms of time and money. According to European Union data, the overall concept of e-government has the ability to reduce the administrative costs of communication between the state and the citizen by 15% to 20%. 6 However, other benefits of digitalization undoubtedly include better access to data, which should facilitate better governance at the regional and national level from more efficient tax collection and the fight against financial fraud to better allocation of social assistance and benefits. Unfortunately, this potential is not always successfully attained or realistically transferred from a theoretical level to a practical one. In many cases, even large-scale digitalization or innovation projects (including, for example, the complete replacement of information technology and systems) have proved to be highly costly, without ultimately providing any higher added value or making a significant contribution to increasing the efficiency of official procedures. Similarly, situations arise where newly created systems/digitalization processes were not able to practically replace the original administrative or 5 Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) Public Services, European Commission, 2018. 6 Digital “to-do” list: new digital priorities for 2013-2014, European Commission Press Release, 2012, see http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-12-1389_en.htm DIGITALIZATION PROCESS AND PREREQUISITES FOR SUCCESS

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