Interministerial Coordination

 

How extensively and effectively are digital technologies used to support interministerial coordination (in policy development and monitoring)?

EUOECD
 
The government uses digital technologies extensively and effectively to support interministerial coordination.
10
Estonia
The Estonian government has pioneered a large-scale use of information technologies. An Information System for Legal Drafts (Eelnõude infosüsteem, EIS) is used to facilitate interministerial coordination and public consultations online. EIS allows users to search documents currently under consideration, participate in public consultations and submit comments on draft bills. Draft bills are submitted to the government and parliament via EIS.
Policymaking and policy monitoring are further supported by an interoperable data exchange platform X-Road, an integrated system that facilitates the exchange of data between different organizations and information systems. Over 900 enterprises and organizations use X-Road daily. X-Road is also the first data exchange platform in the world that allows data to be exchanged between countries automatically. Since June 2017, an automatic data exchange capability has been established between Estonia and Finland.
9
Denmark
According to the European Commission’s Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI), Denmark is the fourth most advanced country in the European Union (2019) when it comes to using digital technologies. The index is based on connectivity, human capital, use of internet services, integration of digital technology, digital public services, the EU ICT sector and its R&D performance, and research and innovation. Public services are highly digitalized in Denmark, including e-government and e-healthcare services.
At the beginning of 2018, the Danish government presented a strategy for Denmark’s digital growth that included 36 initiatives, many of which were geared toward the economy, including SMEs and e-commerce, but also strengthening computational thinking in elementary schools.
Although these reports and strategies do not focus on interministerial coordination as such, digital technologies are also increasingly used to facilitate interministerial coordination.
Citations:
European Commission, “The Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI),https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/desi (Accessed 1December 2019).

Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs, “Strategy for Denmark’s Digital Growth,” file:///C:/Users/Finn/Downloads/Digital%20growth%20strategy%20report_UK_WEB.pdf (accessed 4 October 2018).

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “The Danish Government presents ‘Digital Growth strategy,’ https://investindk.com/insights/the-danish-government-presents-digital-growth-strategy (Accessed 4 October 2018).

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Denmark once again the most digital country in the EU,” https://investindk.com/insights/denmark-once-again-the-most-digital-country-in-the-eu (Accessed 4 October 2018).

Per Byrge Sørensen, Forvaltningsret med et digitalt perspektiv. København: Karnov, 2017.
Finland
Finland is a global leader for information and communications technology, and the digitalization of public services was a key project in Sipilä’s government program. In line with this ambition, the government set out to digitalize internal administrative processes. The government administration department within the Prime Minister’s Office, which has a central role in interministerial coordination, has a special Information Management and ICT Division. The government plenary session adopted an electronic tool for session materials in 2015. Ministers follow the progress of decision-making at plenary sessions on tablet computers. Finland is ranked first overall in the European Union’s Digital Economy and Society Index (2019), and also holds the top place with regard to digital public services.
Citations:
“Programme of Prime Minister Sipilä’s Government,” https://valtioneuvosto.fi/en/sipila/government-programme
“Digital Economy and Society Index,” https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/desi
New Zealand
The New Zealand government has identified a coordinating unit for ICT deployment at the center of government, developed a strategy (2015 ICT strategy) for coordination across government levels in order to improve effectiveness, and introduced new bodies in charge of leading the digital transformation. In 2017, the portfolio of minister for government digital services was created. The government chief digital officer (GCDO) is the government functional lead for developing and improving digital infrastructure across government. The GCDO is supported by the Digital Government Partnership, which is a partnership of stakeholders from agencies across government to support the goal of a coherent, all-of-government digital system. It helps the GCDO and government chief data steward (GCDS) to develop and improve the digital and data system across government; ensures government is aligned with the government ICT strategy; and reviews and informs the strategy. The partnership is made up of a leadership group and four working groups that support the strategy as well as a chairs’ group, which bring together experts from across the different focus areas to provide support and advice to the leadership group. However, it is not absolutely clear how effective the use of digital technologies really is, especially with regard to interministerial coordination.
Citations:
https://www.digital.govt.nz/digital-government/leadership-and-governance/digital-government-partnership/
https://www.digital.govt.nz/dmsdocument/4-government-ict-strategy-2015
https://www.digital.govt.nz/
Norway
Government ministries use similar digital platforms and share a digital platform for publishing information online. Ministries use digital technologies to coordinate activities, but the specific digital platform used depends on the specific security needs. Governance in Norway is highly digitized, which creates efficiencies. However, there is growing awareness of and sensitivity to managing cyber risks and ensuring secure ICT systems.
South Korea
The South Korean government utilizes e-government software (the Policy Task Management System) to monitor the implementation of policies in real time. In the UN E-Government Survey 2018, Korea was ranked at third place internationally for the implementation of e-government.
Citations:
UN E-Government Survey 2018, https://publicadministration.un.org/egovkb/en-us/Reports/UN-E-Government-Survey-2018
 
The government uses digital technologies in most cases and somewhat effectively to support interministerial coordination.
8
Lithuania
Lithuanian authorities use digital technologies frequently and quite effectively to support interministerial coordination during policy development and monitoring. Various document management systems track the execution of activities set out in the Government Program’s Action Plan and other documents, while the MIS (Monitoring Information System) supports the preparation of strategic (action) plans and budget programs. There are two systems and IT tools for monitoring the implementation of EU-financed and national interventions (the Structural Funds’ MIS and MIS). Also, there is a special information system that enables online cooperation among state institutions and external stakeholders in the negotiation of EU legislation, while a new system for the coordination of systemic projects is under development within the framework of managing government priorities.

Although Lithuanian authorities rely strongly on IT systems during interministerial coordination, the application of collaborative knowledge management tools (e.g., shared spaces and collaborative learning) is underdeveloped. New IT solutions are being developed centralizing support services in a newly established National Center of Shared Services that will provide accounting and personnel management services to more than 100 institutions associated with the central government. Digital technologies do support policy coordination, but their potential is not exploited for jointly improving policy content during policy formulation, or to take corrective management actions during policy-monitoring processes. Several new laboratories have been established (PolicyLAB and GovTech) that may promote the development of innovative digital solutions in the public sector.
Spain
Spain ranks 11th out of the 28 EU member states in the European Commission 2019 Digital Economy and Society Index. The performance of Spain is especially remarkable in the area of Digital Public Services, where Finland has the highest score, followed by Estonia, the Netherlands and Spain. Law 18/2015 on data reuse and data transparency has promoted a culture of open data within the public administration, and the public sector is quickly progressing with regard to the integration of digital technologies. In recent years, a number of laws updated procedures with the aim of exploring the potential of digital technologies and structures. Moreover, shared interdepartmental platforms (such as the Cl@ve platform) and shared services have been developed. According to the Digital Transformation Plan for the General Administration and Public Agencies (ICT Strategy 2015 – 2020), all ministries are required to draft digital-transformation action plans. These are to include means of simplifying interdepartmental working procedures, the electronic exchange of information between administrative units, the issue of information classification, and the implementation of standards for the exchange of information. The secretary of state for digital progress at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism is responsible for the implementation of the Digital Agenda for Spain.

Spain’s decentralized structure has created challenges in establishing a coherent and nationwide interministerial e-government coordination plan. However, the ICT Strategy 2015 – 2020 and the Law on Common Administrative Procedures have together created a strategic framework for inter-administrative compatibility and coordination. The General Secretary for Digital Administration is the governing body for digital administration, rationalization of information technologies and communications in the field of public administration. In 2019, the PSOE government developed the Fourth National Action Plan for Digital Administration (2019 – 2021), taking into account contributions from public administrators, citizens and other agents of civil society. In March 2019, the Ministry for Science, Innovation and Universities published a Spanish RDI strategy on artificial intelligence.
Citations:
EC (2019), Europe’s Digital Progress Report, Country Profile Spain, https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/scoreboard/spain

EC (2019), Digital Government Factsheet 2019
file:///C:/Users/mario/Desktop/Digital_Government_Factsheets_Spain_2019_1.pdf
Spanish government (2015), ICT STRATEGY 2015-2020
UK
The Government Digital Service (GDS), established in 2012, established standards for new digital services and promotes the government’s digital-by-default approach. GDS is also responsible for providing common technologies and services to departments for their digital services (e.g., the gov.uk platform, and cross-government payments and notifications services). All government departments now have digital technology teams, which in some departments are also responsible for internal IT services for officials.

Use of digital technologies for policy coordination is evolving. A standard set of email and office software (either Microsoft Office or Google Suite) is used, and video conference facilities are also increasingly employed. However, submissions to ministers are generally still handled in paper form once the official has supplied it to their private offices, although some ministers do read electronic copies on their official laptop, tablet computer or smartphone.
The Cabinet Office has introduced the “Better Information for Better Government” program in response to Sir Alex Allan’s Review, which examined the government’s approach to record-keeping in the digital age. However, effective digitalization in the NHS remains a major challenge and there were difficulties in rolling out the Universal Credit welfare reforms.

An assessment by Daniel Thornton of the Institute for Government provided qualified support to government efforts to achieve more digital coordination. A report by the Public Accounts Committee on the progress of the government’s Verify program (intended to ease digital access for citizens by simplifying verification of their identity) was scathing about the failures of implementation and lack of progress.
Citations:
Alex Allan review: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/589946/2017-01-18_-_Better_Information_for_Better_Government.pdf

https://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/sites/default/files/publications/head-of-ddat-final.pdf

https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/public-accounts-committee/news-parliament-2017/accessing-public-services-through-verify-report-published-17-19/
USA
The U.S. government invests heavily in technology, although it is not a world leader in e-government. The multiple intelligence agencies are sometimes criticized as prone to hording intelligence information, rather than sharing it within the intelligence community. Reforms adopted in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks have increased the sharing of information among the intelligence agencies.

Apart from intelligence issues, problems of coordination generally arise from political forces that promote agency autonomy and response to specialized constituencies, not from deficiencies in communication technology.
7
Australia
Government departments and agencies have historically developed information systems independently to meet their own particular needs. There has, however, been growing emphasis on interoperability, recognizing the efficiency gains in implementing policy and more generally running government, and the benefits of cross-agency data sharing. Notable in this regard is the Digital Transformation Agency, which was established in 2015 to help government departments and agencies undergo digital transformation, and now has central oversight of the government’s ICT agenda.

Common standards for data security have been developed by the Australian Signals Directorate, although not all agencies are (yet) fully compliant with these standards.
Citations:
Digital Transformation Agency: https://www.dta.gov.au/
Information Security Manual: https://cyber.gov.au/government/publications/australian-government-information-security-manual-ism/
Belgium
The Federal Public Service for Information & Communication Technology (FEDICT) is responsible for defining and implementing an e-governance strategy. However, this agency focuses primarily on government-to-citizen (G2C) and government-to-business (G2B) communication, while government-to-government (G2G) interactions seem to be largely overlooked. Furthermore, the federal structure of the state does not help the sharing common IT programs or platforms, as every government level is responsible for its own digital infrastructure.

However, although there is still much to improve, Belgium fares comparatively well internationally. The U.N. E-Government Survey 2016 ranked Belgium 19 out of 193 U.N. member countries in its list of e-government leaders.
Citations:
https://d9db56472fd41226d193-1e5e0d4b7948acaf6080b0dce0b35ed5.ssl.cf1.rackcdn.com/events/forum/2004/panel_handouts/fedict.pdf
https://digitaldashboard.belgium.be/fr
https://publicadministration.un.org/egovkb/en-us/reports/un-e-government-survey-2016
http://workspace.unpan.org/sites/Internet/Documents/UNPAN97453.pdf (page 111)
Bulgaria
The 2014 – 2020 e-government strategy and the State e-Government Agency, established in 2016, aim to improve interministerial communication through the use of digital technologies. The necessary infrastructure for electronic document flows and communication between ministries exists and is increasingly used. As of the end of 2019, no e-government strategy proposal for the 2021 – 2027 program period had yet been made public.
Chile
The president’s advisory ministry (Ministerio Secretaría General de la Presidencia, Segpres) and the Division for Digital Government support line ministries and respective services with digitalization, facilitating instruments and providing advice regarding the implementation of digital services. The implementation of the Digital Agenda 2020, released in 2015, has been continued by the current government of Sebastián Piñera. In general, and especially in comparison with other Latin American countries, the level of digitalization regarding public information and services in Chile is quite advanced. Chile is trying to follow OECD recommendations to ensure consistency in the use of technology as an enabler for open government. To achieve this, public institutions have increasingly adopted digital tools and open-government agendas.
Citations:
https://digital.gob.cl/
http://www.agendadigital.gob.cl/#/
OECD: Digital Government in Chile, Strengthening the Institutional and Governance Framework, 2016, DOI:https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264258013-en
Ireland
The government uses digital technologies in most cases and this appears to provide effective interministerial coordination.
Latvia
In 2013, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the Information Society Development Guidelines 2014 – 2020, which is the current National e-Government Strategy. The guidelines were elaborated to ensure continuity of existing policies, and to determine priorities in the area of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for the European Union Structural Funds Programming period 2014 – 2020. One of the key goals identified in the document was the creation of centralized platforms for all governmental actors, ensuring more efficient public administration and emphasizing inter-institutional and cross-sectoral government cooperation.

In 2015, the government supported the proposal of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development (VARAM) to fully implement the Public Administration Document Management Systems Integration Environment (DIV) in public administration from 1 September 2017. However, even though many of the ministries have introduced the system, the system’s use remains uneven. For example, State Chancellery, the Cabinet of Ministers and several ministries still use the previous DAUKS system (State Chancellery’s document circulation and task control) to exchange documents, although the platform’s use is limited and deemed ineffective by VARAM. In addition, some documentation is still circulated in paper form.

Nevertheless, VARAM has emphasized that more work will be put into mainstreaming shared platforms for document exchange. VARAM’s latest research shows that ministries are moving toward completely digitized document handling processes and the use of electronic signatures is becoming more common, even if progress is not as rapid as hoped.

The State Audit Office has evaluated collaboration between state institutions as being generally well organized, but fragmented. Although approximately € 69 million of the annual state budget is invested in the development and maintenance of ICT, the impact of this investment was deemed to be limited in the State Audit Office’s 2017 report.

A 2018 report by VARAM observed that the percentage of digital documents in inter-institutional communication had risen from 14% in 2014 to 39% in 2018, but noted that inter-institutional cooperation could be improved by organizing it centrally within departments rather than delegating this task to other offices.
Citations:
1. Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development (2018) E-Index:Results, Available at (in Latvian): https://mana.latvija.lv/e-indeksa-rezultati/, Last assessed: 05.11.2019.

2. Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development (2013), Guidelines for Development of Information Society 2014-2020, Available at: http://www.varam.gov.lv/eng/darbibas_veidi/e_gov/?doc=13317, Last assessed: 05.11.2019.

3. Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development (2017), Report on the circulation of electronic documents in ministries and their subordinate institutions (in Latvian), Available at: http://www.varam.gov.lv/in_site/tools/download.php?file=files/text/Dokumenti/pol_doc/elietas//MK_171017_InfoZinojums.pdf, Last assessed: 05.11.2019.

4. State Audit Office (2017), Report: Is public administration handling the accumulated information effectively?, Available at: http://www.lrvk.gov.lv/uploads/reviziju-zinojumi/2016/2.4.1-12_2016/zinojums.pdf, Last assessed: 05.11.2019.
Luxembourg
Initial attempts have been made to use interministerial platforms. Since 2015, there has been a platform in the Ministry of the Interior for the subjects of land-use planning, (“Plan d’aménagement general” or “Flächennutzungsplan,” PAG), sub-development planning (“Plan d’aménagement particulier” or “Teil-Bebauungsplan,” PAP) and environmental studies. This platform is used by representatives of various ministries (including the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry for the Environment and a monument protection authority). An evaluation is still pending.
Citations:
https://guichet.public.lu/de/entreprises/urbanisme-environnement/construction-amenagement-site/construction-transformation-demolition/plan-amenagement-general.html. Accessed 20 Oct 2018.
https://guichet.public.lu/de/entreprises/urbanisme-environnement/construction-amenagement-site/construction-transformation-demolition/plan-amenagement-particulier.html. Accessed 20 Oct 2018.
“Noch viel Platz in Luxemburg,” Tageblatt, 11 September 2017. http://www.tageblatt.lu/headlines/noch-viel-platz-in-luxemburg/ Accessed 20 Oct. 2019.
Malta
The use of digital technologies in Malta has now become widespread both to support interministerial coordination and for client use. The government is determined to make full use of digital technologies, including blockchain. A total of €40 million have been earmarked for the digitalization of public services over the next five years. Individual government ministries can access policies by other ministries that may touch on their own policy formulation, as well as any policies that come from the cabinet.
Each government ministry has its own information management unit (IMU), headed by a chief information officer (CIO). The IMU’s primary role is to ensure that the information technology used is aligned with the ministry’s strategic priorities. IMUs are also involved in applying government-wide policies, standards and protocols aimed at ensuring that IT systems are mutually compatible and that staff members understand and adhere to government policies and procedures.
All CIOs are a part of a CIO Forum chaired by the permanent secretary (strategy and implementation) within the Office of the Prime Minister. Various topics and issues are discussed during the monthly meetings; however, the CIO Forum also serves as a venue in which ideas and projects can be shared across ministries. This serves as a platform for CIOs to unite their efforts toward achieving a digitalized public administration.
In 2017, a total of 21 mobile apps for government services were launched; moreover, the servizz.gov.mt website went live, offering access to about 800 services and the associated forms. The public service.gov.mt website was also launched to disseminate information and news about the country’s public services. The 2019 Ombudsman report focused on efforts to upgrade this technology in such a way as to facilitate the monitoring of ministries.
Citations:
https://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20161003/local/malta-ranks-first-in-europe-for-egovernment-services.626864
https://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20171210/business-news/Microsoft-highlights-Malta-s-eGovernment-as-a-case-study.665311
https://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20171106/local/e-government-service-platform-wins-international-award.662430
https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/public-services-to-be-digitized-over-the-next-few-years.714394
https://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2019-06-17/local-news/40-million-investment-for-digital-transformation-of-the-public-administration-6736209668
https://publicservice.gov.mt/en/Documents/MappingTomorrow_StrategicPlan2019.pdf
https://mita.gov.mt/en/ict-features/Pages/2017/Malta-reconfirmed-as-European-leader-in-the-provision-of-digital-public-services.aspx
https://economy.gov.mt/en/ministry/The-Parliamentary-Secretary/Pages/Malta-Digital-Economy-Vision.aspx
Slovenia
In an effort to better coordinate the digitalization of public administration with the broader issue of digital transformation, the Cerar government transferred in 2016 competences for information society and electronic communication from the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport to the Ministry of Public Administration. This reorganization of responsibilities has yielded a more appropriate structure for the implementation of the 2016 “Digital Slovenia 2020” strategy and a more efficient use of the existing ICT infrastructure. One of the goals of the strategy is to further strengthen the use of digital technologies to support interministerial coordination. Since the Šarec government has taken over, the implementation of the strategy has slowed.
Citations:
Government of Slovenia (2016): Digital Slovenia 2020: Development strategy for the information society until 2020. Ljubljana (http://www.mju.gov.si/fileadmin/mju.gov.si/pageuploads/DID/Informacijska_druzba/pdf/DSI_2020_3-2016_pic1.pdf).
Switzerland
The Federal Council has developed a strategy for information and communication technology in the Federal Administration. It uses digital technologies effectively to support interministerial coordination. The development and use of IT in the Federal Administration has, however, experienced challenges with regard to efficiency and the appropriate use of fiscal resources. For example, the development of a software for use in tax policy and administration has been heavily criticized by the Swiss Federal Audit Office.

As for the cantons, Schmid et al. developed a digitalization index for each canton and found that a high level of e-government and digitalization can be found in cantons with strong financial resources (i.e., wealthy inhabitants and a strong economy). The cantons of St. Gallen, Aargau, Zug and Neuenburg score highest in this index.

On cross-national comparison, Switzerland receives medium to low scores on e-government issues. In the European Commission’s e-Government Benchmark 2019 report, however, Switzerland fared well in terms of user-centricity and cross-border mobility for businesses. It received middling scores in terms of transparency and cross-border mobility for citizens, and low scores with respect to key enablers.

The federal government developed a Digital Switzerland Strategy in September 2018 emphasizing the opportunities associated with a digitalization of the economy, polity and society of a small country. The Confederation, the cantons and the communes have established e-Government Switzerland as the organization responsible for the expansion of e-government services in Switzerland. Its strategic plan runs under the framework agreement 2016-2019 and focuses on steering, planning and coordinating joint e-government activities at the three levels of government.
Citations:
https://www.bakom.admin.ch/bakom/en/homepage/digital-switzerland-and-internet/strategie-digitale-schweiz.html

Schmid, J., Urben, M., & Vatter, A. (2018). Cyberföderalismus in der Schweiz: Befunde zur Digitalisierung kantonaler Verwaltungen. Yearbook of Swiss Administrative Sciences, 9(1), 12–24. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/ssas.116
6
Canada
The effective control exercised by cabinet over the ministries mostly obviates the need for elaborate technical means of coordination. That said, the government created Shared Services Canada (SSC) in 2011, which is mandated to provide a unified IT infrastructure for the federal government that is modern, secure and reliable. SSC delivers email, data center, network and workplace technology device services to all government departments and agencies in a consolidated and standardized manner. The common IT program and platform naturally enables improved and secure information, and data sharing across all government agencies.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the consolidation of IT infrastructure through SSC has not gone smoothly, and the department has been criticized for slow service delivery and for putting some federal agencies at risk. Statistics Canada’s chief statistician resigned in 2016, arguing that SSC compromised Statistics Canada’s ability to fulfill its mandate. In 2017, RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson criticized SSC for outages that negatively impacted police operations.
The federal government has been unsuccessful in the implementation of two major digital technologies, the Phoenix payroll system and the government-wide Canada.ca email reorganization. A recent PBO report stated that a functional pay system would not be operational until 2023. These failures cast serious doubt on the ability of the federal government to make effective use of digital technologies.
On a positive note, Canada has charged the governmental unit leading digital government efforts with responsibility for coordinating and leading action in the area of open government.
Citations:
Shared Services Canada, Departmental Report 2017, available at https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/ssc-spc/documents/2016-17-Departmental-Results-Report-EN.pdf

Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer, Costs Associated with Replacing the Federal Pay System, May 16 2019, posted at https://www.pbo-dpb.gc.ca/web/default/files/Documents/Reports/2019/Federal-pay-system-phoenix/Costs_Associated_with_Replacing_the_Federal_Pay_System_EN.pdf

Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat 2018/19: Digital Operations Strategic Plan: 2018-2022, https://www.canada.ca/en/government/system/digital-government/digital-operations-strategic-plan-2018-2022.html#ToC8
France
In 2011, an interministerial Directorate for State Information Systems and Communication was established. In 2014, in order to strengthen its capacity to steer and influence the sectoral administrations, the directorate was placed under the authority of the prime minister. A further impulse has been given to the directorate by the Macron administration’s emphasis on the dimensions of the technological revolution. A secretariat of state was created in May 2018 (Secrétariat d’État au Numérique) tasked with boosting initiatives and development in the private and public sector and setting up a 100% state digital platform by 2022. Similarly, the president’s economic adviser was asked to present proposals on how to spend the €55 billion Investments of the Future fund. The president’s adviser suggested allocating nearly €10 billion to the digitalization of public services (with half of this sum for the healthcare system). In parallel, a report of the Court of Accounts, in support of past actions, recommended a major effort to improve investment and personnel training. The new secretariat is building on these actions with the view of providing users with a single number that would provide access to all public services. Several experiences have already been quite successful. For example, the digitalization of tax declarations, processes and payments has been so successful that for most taxpayers the use of printed documents is no longer possible. Various efforts to improve coordination between administrations have been implemented. For instance, public procurement processes, which involve several administrations, have been streamlined, and private companies can access the system using their registration number. While there is a lack of systematic international comparisons, it seems that France currently has less invested than the United Kingdom and Germany in digitalization, and the process in some sectors (e.g., the management of Defense Ministry staff) has suffered major failings in past years.
Hungary
Previous Orbán governments did not pay much attention to the digitalization of government activities in general and of interministerial coordination in particular. However, the fourth Orbán government clearly represents a turning point. As the government has sought to enhance the competitiveness of the Hungarian government through technological modernization, the newly created Ministry of Innovation and Technology (ITM) has set more ambitious goals with respect to digitalization. Moreover, the oligarchs around the government have realized new business opportunities and have purchased firms in this field, especially with regard to EU transfers in the next Multinational Financial Framework. However, the use of digital technologies for interministerial coordination has just begun.
Citations:
Hajnal, G., K. Kádár, É. Kovács (2018): Hungary, in: N. Thijs, G. Hammerschmid (eds.), Public Administration Characteristics and Performance in EU28. Luxemburg: European Union, 426-459, 455-456 (https://publications.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/ae181e42-9601-11e8-8bc1-01aa75ed71a1/language-en).
Israel
The Israeli Government ICT Authority was created in 2012 and placed under the Prime Minister’s Office in 2015. In 2013, it introduced the Digital Israel program to assist government communication with the public by improving the digitalization of government offices. The initiative aims to strengthen public engagement through a series of websites and online forms, and improve coordination between public, domestic and international NGO, academic, and government actions.

The authority also plans to digitize all services provided by the government and interministerial services. For example, 880 out of 960 forms, which were previously unavailable online, are now available online for public and interministerial use. This in turn facilitates better cooperation and coordination between government offices, as it minimizes bureaucratic work and provides a widely accessible platform for government offices. Furthermore, 120 services have been moved to digital and online platforms.

Another new initiative from the authority, the Open Government Initiative, aims to enable public and government offices to access the various sources and information archives needed to improve coordination and accessibility.

Excluding the work of the authority, the Knesset Parliamentary Oversight Coordination Unit (KATEF) was established in 2017 to monitor government work and the application of laws passed by the parliament. While it is not a digital body, the unit does publish reports and articles online for public and government use. With this, the Israeli parliament hopes to better monitor and support government activities.
Citations:
“Annual report 61 for the year 2010: Treatment of prolonged interministerial disagreements,” The State Comptroller office website (Hebrew)

Approval of the national digital plan, promotion of the “Digital Israel” national initiative and the reform of government decisions, https://www.gov.il/he/departments/policies/2017_dec2733

Blander, Dana and Ben Nur, Gal, “Governmental coalitions: A steering mechanism in the political system,” in The political system in Israel 2013: http://www.idi.org.il/ספרים-ומאמרים/הוצאה-לאור/הספרים/הספרייה-לדמוקרטיה/המערכת-הפוליטית-בישראל (Hebrew).

“Coalition management,” the Knesset website (Hebrew): http://main.knesset.gov.il/About/Lexicon/Pages/coalition-management.aspx

Headquarters for the National Digital Israel Initiative, Ministry of Social Equality, 2018 (Hebrew):
https://www.gov.il/en/Departments/news/digital_israel_national_plan

KATEF – The Knesset Unit for the Coordination of Parliamentary Oversight, The Knesset (Hebrew): 2018, https://main.knesset.gov.il/Activity/Oversight/Pages/OversightAbout.aspx

National Initiative “Digital Israel,” Decision No. 1046 of the Cabinet, PMO Office, 2013 (Hebrew):
https://www.gov.il/he/Departments/policies/2013_dec1046

OECD report: The government has taken extensive steps to reduce regulation, Ynet news, 2018 (Hebrew):
https://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-5310465,00.html

PMO Office, Open Government Years 2018-2019 Work Plan, 2018,
http://www.pmo.gov.il/MediaCenter/SecretaryAnnouncements/Documents/DECO150218.pdf

PMO Office, Israel Government ICT – Activity for the year 2019, 2019,
https://bit.ly/2XHVU4y

Rivlin, Reuven, “The intellectual independency of the Knesset member: the limit of the coalition obligation,” The Israel Democracy Institute (December 2010) (Hebrew).

The end of the fax era? A new headquarters in the Prime Minister’s Office will promote a digital vision for Israel, The Marker 2013 (Hebrew): https://www.themarker.com/technation/1.2185272

The ICT Authority Strategical Work plan for 2016-2018, http://mag.calltext.co.il/storage/95/vzPm3XOxT0gj4vrpikuV.pdf

The Government Coordination Guide, Version 1, 2013, https://bit.ly/3eZAkyv
Mexico
The Mexican government has adopted a National Digital Strategy and established a Change Management Plan in order to guide agencies in the development of projects. Furthermore, the Executive Council Interministerial Commission for e-Government Development (Comison Intersecretarial para el Desarrollo del Gobierno Electronico, CIDGE) has ensured the technical and operational coordination necessary to implement the strategy.
In July 2018, Mexico launched an online platform to track progress toward achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. President López Obrador has announced plans to create a public internet company, which will enable people in the most remote areas of the country to access the internet. Though this proposal is unlikely to be carried out in the near future.

However, as often in Mexico, implementation of digitalization is falling behind schedule, especially on the subnational level. This reflects the heterogeneity of digitalization within the broader Mexican society.
Citations:
SDG 2018. Mexico’s SDG Portal Brings Functionality to Reporting. http://sdg.iisd.org/news/mexicos-sdg-portal-brings-functionality-to-reporting/

OECD Digital Government Studies Digital Government in Mexico Sustainable and Inclusive Transformation: Sustainable and Inclusive Transformation, OECD 2020.
Poland
The PiS government has been eager to increase the level of digitalization in the country and to use digital technologies to support interministerial coordination. On entering office, the PiS government established a separate Ministry of Digital Affairs and a Committee of the Council of Ministers for Digitalization. After some haggling, Marek Zagórski, who is also the deputy chairman of the Agreement party (i.e., the party of Deputy Prime Minister Jarosław Gowin), was appointed minister of digital affairs in April 2018. He kept this position following the 2019 elections. The Committee of the Council of Ministers for Digitalization has coordinated the government’s use of digital technologies.
Citations:
European Commission (2019): Digital Government Factsheet 2019. https://www.ospi.es/export/sites/ospi/documents/documentos/Administracion-Digital/Digital_Government_Factsheets_Poland_2019.pdf
Portugal
There is a unit responsible for providing technological support to the government, the Centro de Gestão da Rede Informática do Governo (Ceger).

This has a central remit to manage the government’s IT network (Rede Informática do Governo, RInG). The information on Ceger’s website indicates that there were 32 people working in this service in 2018, with a plan to increase this to 35 in 2019.

Ceger’s services involve basic IT support (e.g., government email, internet access, data protection).

It also has as a remit to provide technological support for cabinet and junior minister meetings, while decree-law 16/2002 stipulates that it should develop common information networks and decision support systems for government.

However, the actual implementation of the latter is ongoing. The existing evidence is anecdotal, but suggests that the full potential of these technologies is as yet unrealized for policy development and monitoring. An indicator of this is that it is not uncommon for ministers to use their own devices (or not to use any device at all) at cabinet meetings.
Sweden
The digitalization of the Swedish public sector has come a rather long way. One exceptional example is the budget process (one of the key mechanisms to support coordination among government departments), where documents are digitally shared and simultaneously developed among various departments. The government also uses digital services to coordinate interdepartmental responses to communications from the EU. Overall, however, digitalization is mainly used to support intraorganizational processes such as drafting documents and only to a lesser extent to support interdepartmental coordination.

The Swedish government now communicates all new legislation and regulations (SFS) digitally, with digital versions given legal precedence over printed versions as they are the most current versions of legislation.

Digitalization has been implemented more extensively at the agency level. For instance, there is now a joint service center (SSC) that manages back-office functions for a growing number of agencies. Also, statistical material and maps are shared digitally among agencies.
Turkey
The Office of Digital Transformation, which is affiliated with the Presidency, is entitled to lead public policies and strategies targeting digital transformation and e-government. It is also tasked with communicating the delivery of services, improving inter-agency cooperation and coordination in these areas, all in accordance with the goal set by the president. No information has been provided with respect to a mechanism facilitating interministerial coordination. However, the closed “kamunet” network for a more secure data exchange between public institutions and organizations has been established as part of an effort to reduce cybersecurity risks.

Turkey is a member of the e-Europe+ initiative, while the e-Transformation Turkey Project was introduced by a prime ministerial circular of December 2003. In 2004, e-government applications were introduced into public administration following the adoption of e-signatures. In 2008, a prime ministerial circular stated that the electronic document management standards and Registered Electronic Mail (KEP) projects were being implemented. Turkey developed an Information Society Strategy and Action Plan 2006 – 2010. The subsequent 2015 – 2018 Information Society Strategy and Action Plan focuses on economic growth and employment, and includes 72 actions in eight axes, including horizontal issues.
Citations:
TC Ulaştırma ve Altyapı Bakanlığı, 2015–2018 Bilgi Toplumu Stratejisi ve Eylem Planı, http://www.edevlet.gov.tr/2015/10/13/2015-2018-bilgi-toplumu-stratejisi-ve-eylem-plani/ (accessed 1 November 2018)
E. Tamtürk, “Kamu Yönetiminde Elektronik Belge Yönetim Sistemi,” Muş Alparslan Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Dergisi, 5(3), 2017: 851-862. http://dergipark.gov.tr/download/article-file/325152 (1 November 2018)

Cumhurbaşkanlığı Teşkilatı Hakkında Cumhurbaşkanlığı Kararnamesi 1, http://www.resmigazete.gov.tr/eskiler/2018/07/20180710-1.pdf (accessed 1 November 2018)

2019/12 Sayılı Bilgi Güvenliği Tedbirleri Cumhurbaşkanlığı Genelgesi, 5 July 2019, https://cbddo.gov.tr/mevzuat/2019-12-sayili-bilgi-guvenligi-tedbirleri-cumhurbaskanligi-genelgesi/ (accessed 1 November 2019)
 
The government uses digital technologies to a lesser degree and with limited effects to support interministerial coordination.
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Czechia
Digitalization of the state administration features as one of the priorities identified in the Babiš government manifesto. Some progress has been made with regard to enabling electronic communication between citizens and the authorities. In 2018, the government approved the Digital Czech Republic program, which aims at advancing the digitalization of the public administration, including the use of digital technologies in communications between ministries. The implementation plans for the program were elaborated in 2019. However, state funding for the project has remained insufficient, which means that the country’s digitalization efforts continue to lag behind those in other EU countries. Digital technologies have not taken a leading role in interministerial coordination.
Germany
In general, Germany has been slow to adopt e-governance mechanisms. There is as yet no special digital strategy for interministerial coordination. However, some Länder governments, such as Baden-Wuerttemberg and Brandenburg, have independently begun to digitalize their processes of interministerial coordination.
Greece
While the PMO in Greece uses modern information and communication technologies to monitor government mechanisms, there is little formal coordination of policies across and within ministries. Thus, it is difficult to envisage the digitalization of interministerial coordination. To the extent that such coordination takes place, it is not horizontal, but vertical – flowing from the PMO to line ministries through the political appointees and personal secretaries of the ministers. Policy coordination exists only with regard to the implementation of a few transversal policies, such as public procurement. The latter is now effected through a national system of public procurement (EAADHSY). This system functions through an appropriately developed digital platform for tenders and applications from suppliers of goods and services interested in serving the public sector. Following the government turnover of July 2019, a new ministry, the Ministry of Digital Governance, was established. This is likely to give new impetus to the use of digital technologies across the government. The ministry announced that its first goal was to achieve interoperability between state records systems, enabling different agencies to “talk” to each other and share information.
Citations:
The digital platform for public procurement, covering all ministries and agencies of the public sector, is available at http://www.eaadhsy.gr/
Τhe website of the Ministry of Digital Governance is available at https://mindigital.gr/
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Austria
During the rather brief period of the ÖVP-FPÖ coalition government, nothing specific is known about the government’s approach to digitalization for interministerial coordination. However, as digitalization is very much discussed in public and in government circles, it is likely that a policy on digitalization for interministerial coordination is in the making. Though this will have been postponed until the formation of a new government, probably at the beginning of 2020. It is to be seen whether such an approach to coordination (which could become reality very soon) will run contra to the “message control” policy of the previous government – or whether it can be used by the next cabinet to improve control over the government’s public agenda.
Croatia
The digitalization of public administration is an undisputed goal of the government, but has not proceeded smoothly. The Croatian government established the Central State Office for the Development of the Digital Society in 2016. One of the basic tasks of the Office has been to bundle the existing 28 different digitalization strategies within an umbrella strategy that allows for the co-funding of initiatives from EU funds in the next Multiannual EU Financial Framework for the years 2021 – 2027. As it stands, the effective use of digital technologies in government and administration is hindered by fragmentation and the tendency to subject such issues to laborious bureaucratic processes in organizational siloes. . As a result, digital technologies do not play a major role in interministerial coordination.
Cyprus
The use of digital technology covers a small spectrum of government work and activities as well as relations and interactions with citizens on public services. Some common IT programs aim at assisting the coordination of a limited number of activities, relating to payments, budget preparation and monitoring the progress of projects.

The Exandas project launched in September 2019 facilitates monitoring development works. An enterprise resource planning system, which is being prepared, is expected to enable the full coordination of government planning. Compared to other EU member states, digital services in public services are limited.
Citations:
1. The contract for Enterprise Resource Planning System for the Public Sector was signed, PIO, 7 November 2018, https://www.pio.gov.cy/en/press-releases-article.html?id=4631#flat
2. European Commission, The Digital Economy and Society Index, https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/desi
Japan
Digital technologies designed for interministerial coordination and broader government-to-government (G2G) services are not at the core of Japan’s e-government initiative. Rather, the focus of e-government policies is on the creation and use of e-platforms that enable citizens to interact with the various levels of government more effectively and efficiently (G2C). This approach was confirmed in the Digital Government Action Plan released in 2018, in which G2G models do not play a prominent role.

Recent public discussion has focused on how to properly use official email services and other features such as shared folders. Quite a few civil servants, including senior ones, consider such technologies to be cumbersome. More importantly, these critics seem concerned that emails will be stored as public documents, a fact that might result the emergence of unwelcome evidence in the case of scandal, based on the requirements and disclosure rules of the Public Records and Archives Management Act and the Information Disclosure Law. Given this perspective, it is doubtful that G2G technologies will gain much momentum among senior ministry officials.
Citations:
Leading administrative reform under premise of digitization, METI Journal in the Japan Times, 11 January 2019, https://meti-journal.japantimes.co.jp/2019-01-11/

Bureaucrats reveal that most official emails are not kept properly, The Mainichi, 15 January 2018, https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20180115/p2a/00m/0na/017000c
Slovakia
Slovakia lags behind many EU member states with regard to digitalization. In October 2017, the government published the Detailed Action Plan on the Digitization of Public Administration. The government aim is to develop an e-government system for citizens, public administration, businesses and academia. In November 2017, an amendment to the Act on e-Government became effective which has introduced a central delivery system for official documents. As it stands, however, digital technologies play only a limited role in interministerial coordination.
Netherlands
Digital technologies are not abundantly used in Dutch interministerial coordination. Like in ICT use across government in general, different departments use different systems whose interoperability is low or absent. Although the Legis project aspires to a more integrated ICT approach in the Dutch legislative system, results have been poor. For example, it is impossible as a non-insider to trace progress in legislative work on a particular bill, let alone to have an overview of all bills in preparation. Digitalization in legislation and interministerial coordination in the Netherlands clearly lags behind that in the United Kingdom or Finland.

In 2019, two important leaders in the push for improved ICT use within governmental departments resigned, and there are severe disagreements between the political and administrative levels of the Department of Internal Affairs and the leadership of the ICT Assessment Bureau, which was established in 2015 to coordinate ICT projects and contain cost overruns.
Citations:
W. Voermans et al., 2012. Legislative processes in transition. Comparative study of the legislative processes in Finland, Slovenia and the UK as a source of inspiration for enhancing the efficiency of the Dutch legislative process, Leiden University ((open access.leidenuniv.nl, accessed 31 October 2018)

Tweede Kamer, vergaderjaar 2014-5, 33 326, nr. 5, Eindrapport onderzoek naar ICT projecten bij de overheid (accessed 4 November 2018)

Trouw, 15 May 2019. De ICT-projecten bij de overheid zijn nog steeds een chaos. (trouw.nl, accessed 8 November 2019)
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Italy
Although the government has created a digital-transformation team tasked with promoting digitalization within the public administration, there seems to be little use of digital technologies to support interministerial coordination.
Citations:
https://teamdigitale.governo.it/assets/pdf/Relazione_TeamTrasformazioneDigitale_ITA_30set.pdf
Romania
The 2014 National Strategy on Digital Agenda for Romania explicitly called on the public sector to embrace and optimize the use of digital technology for improving effectiveness in governance. This commitment was further buttressed through the establishment of a Government Chief Information Officer within the chancellery. In July 2018, the government announced plans to spend €45 million on the development of a government cloud framework to be used by all public institutions in the country. However, similar plans were announced in 2014 and 2017 without substantial results. Indeed, a 2018 report on government digitalization ranked Romania 67th out of 193 countries and last among 28 EU countries, and also noted that Romania implemented only one-fourth of all commitments it assumed in 2014. To date, the role actually played by digital technologies in interministerial coordination has been limited.
Citations:
Ministry for the Information Society (2018): National Strategy on Digital Agenda for Romania. Bucharest (https://www.trusted.ro/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Digital-Agenda-Strategy-for-Romania-8-september-2014.pdf).
 
The government makes no substantial use of digital technologies to support interministerial coordination.
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Iceland
No digital technologies are used to support policy coordination across or within government ministries. In the Prime Minister’s Office, there is a department called Office of Policy Matters (Skrifstofa stefnumála), which to some extent coordinates key issues between ministries. This office also coordinates national economic and monetary policy, manages labor market communications, and monitors cabinet policy, future developments and the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.
Citations:
Organization (Skipulag), https://www.stjornarradid.is/raduneyti/forsaetisraduneytid/skipulag/. Accessed 22 December 2018.
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