Create a Smart State! Digital technology affects nearly every aspect of our daily lives, and must therefore start playing a key role in the way our countries are governed. We want to fully digitise public services to reduce waste, cut inefficiencies and corruption, ensure transparency, security and to make the state a true servant of its citizens.
What would we do first?
Set up innovation teams within central and local administrations.
What’s going on?
Public administration is often too slow and unnecessarily complicated. According to the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI), there is a great disparity among EU 1 countries regarding public sector digitisation: all states are in need of further improvements. Citizens spend too much time dealing with paperwork, while civil servants and public service providers struggle to cope with digital reforms due to a lack of relevant courses that are provided.
What’s our vision?
Going digital means embracing modern technology, planning ahead for future generations, saving funds, and having better services for everyone. Basically, digitisation is a way to achieve greater efficiency and efficacy for every citizen and to positively impact all public services, which can then be allocated more of the freed-up funding. With full respect of privacy and democratic accountability, Volt wants to optimise the use of public resources, whether financial or human. Within a truly smart state, every publicly spent euro will be accounted for, and thus spent optimally. Administrative friction will be reduced to a minimum so that every citizen has to interact with the state only when absolutely necessary (i.e. for identification & ID-issuance purposes). In parallel, a digital state will be better prepared to facilitate the transition from lower-skilled, automatable, non-digital jobs to more social and educational services. The digital Smart State must be embedded in a system of human rights and the rule of law, with citizens’ fundamental rights to access and connectivity, privacy, and digital security are guaranteed.
How do we get there?
- Set up innovation-teams within local and central administrations! These 2 “i-teams” will develop digital solutions to tackle the most pressing issues for their constituency, and then monitor their implementation. These teams will combine digital and service design competences, ensuring the new tools and services really fit the citizens’ capabilities and needs. Public sector 3 digitisation must be considered as a means, not an end.
- Create paperless administration. Volt will aim to create for completely paperless processes, as well as harmonized information and communication 4 technologies (ICT) standards in order to reduce waste and to implement 5 efficient services guaranteeing increasing interoperability between databases, platforms and applications. Each action pursuing this goal will take into account three elements: organization, tools (and the external supplier providing them), and the government-citizen relationship. New and improved services will be easily usable and accessible from different devices at the same time. Public entities will reengineer their internal processes, adapting them to new tools, organisations and applications. Finally, services will be inter-connected through the use of homogeneous standards.
- Let’s teach public servants new skills! Public bodies will provide a wide range of courses to their employees, enabling them to develop the project management and IT skills that are required in such a fast changing environment. All civil servants will have these competences certified. Civil servants need to experience and learn from private sector dynamics, by participating in “public-private sector exchanges”.
- Create safe and effective digital infrastructure to enable innovation. Improvements in digital infrastructure will be prioritised to meet the future needs of the private sector and of the general public. The introduction of fiber optic networks will be accelerated to boost internet speed; internet coverage will also be significantly improved. Additionally, city sensors, community wifi, 6 7 and consolidated infrastructures will be implemented to achieve cost efficiency and guarantee service coverage. This will enable the use of shared services to provide administrative services (i.e. HR and Financial management), gain greater cost and competencies efficiency, as well as the 8 usage of the cloud. All new technologies will be experimented through Proof of Concepts to test their usefulness before implementation. To protect the backbone from external attacks, Volt will encourage cybersecurity investments.
- Make legal proceedings more accessible. Governments need to be accountable for each document that is produced with regards to legal proceedings. Volt will encourage the digitisation of administrative proceedings. It will also facilitate the right of access to document or information held by the public administration, in order to make the actions of public bodies transparent or to guarantee the protection of legitimate interests and citizens' rights. Digital tools should also facilitate the secretion in such documents or information of personal and / or sensitive data of third parties and of information concerning public order. In that case, it would be more difficult to deny the applicant’s request to access in order to protect the interests of the latter subjects. Volt will also encourage the use of digital means for civil lawsuit, in order to help defendants keep up with their court dates and, when necessary, claim their right to access documents and records from public entities.