E-government: IT planning council is steaming down the citizens' portal network

The IT planning council of the federal and state governments decided on Wednesday in a meeting held for the first time by video conference to significantly slim down its prestige project of a common administration portal. The steering committee had decided to "reduce the technical complexity" of the planned portal network for the digital administration services of the federal, state and local authorities, as the Federal Ministry of the Interior puts it.

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It was agreed to "prioritize the component 'Search & Find'", informs the interior department. This will now be "provided by June 30, 2020" with some delay. In plain language: The major project of networking the citizen portals of the entire public administration via a common platform with their own registers and many categories will initially and probably not in the long run become nothing. Instead, there is a common start page with a higher-level search mask, via which e-government directories of the states and municipalities are to be at least virtually accessed and linked.

The expectations for the Portal network were ambitious: the IT major project was "more important than the highway" and would form the digital basis for the entire public sector, the management IT specialist Jörn von Lucke issued in 2018 as a slogan. At the same time, however, he indicated that everyone involved would have to do a "Herculean task". After postponements, pilot operations should actually have started at the beginning of January, with Hesse, Berlin and Hamburg wanting to lead the way together with the federal government. However, there is still only a beta version of the federal administration portal.

In the run-up to the meeting, those involved had located the change in strategy on a palette between "orderly withdrawal" to an "admission of failure", reports the Daily mirror. In the draft resolution, the Ministry of the Interior admitted "significant project delays", for which "problems with the integration of the software in particular" were responsible.

Time is now pressing more than ever. According to the Online Access Act (OZG), which came into force in August 2017, all "legally and actually suitable administrative services" must also be offered online by the end of 2022 and made accessible via the portal network. Meanwhile, digital state minister Dorothee Bär and representatives of the house of Horst Seehofer (both CSU) let it be known that until then only the most important services could possibly be made available.

Despite the problems, according to the Interior Ministry, the IT planning council was "satisfied with the current progress in implementing the OZG". In some areas there is "a new quality of cooperation" from all sides, which is now bearing fruit. Through standardized administrative agreements between the federal and state governments, "the re-use of services that have already been developed", such as housing or child benefit, should be facilitated through reference implementations. Furthermore, work is being carried out on the "comprehensive interoperability of service accounts" for citizens.


. (tagsToTranslate) Federal Government (t) Portalverbund (t) eGovernment