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July 5, 2011

European governments using IT to lower costs of public services: research

New Logica-PAC research finds that UK tends to outsource, while Germany aims for simplification

By CBR Staff Writer

A new research by IT consulting firm PAC and technology service company Logica has found that governments across Europe are transforming their public services through the creative use of IT.

The new survey Transforming Government , was conducted by PAC to study of public sector transformation in the region. It shows there are marked differences in approach and attitude.

Logica sponsored the research.

The study looks at best practice across Europe, in particular current projects and the views of over 180 public servants and policy makers in the UK, Germany, France, Sweden, Netherlands and Finland.

PAC research director Philip Carnelley said every European government has a transformation strategy but the programmes and focus vary.

Carnelley said, "Most are trying to do similar things but the emphasis is different. Broadly, France has big projects, Germany aims for simplification, the UK tends to outsource, Sweden tries to increase its competitiveness through digital skills and jobs, while Finland sees IT providing economic growth and the Netherlands seeks out a stronger role for citizen rights."

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Logica global director Monique Mulder said, "What’s interesting is the many and varied examples we have found across Europe of how governments are doing ‘more for less’.

"IT is the key enabler and coupled with innovation, policies and more citizen engagement we can see how governments are transforming rapidly," Mulder added.

The study found that common demand to get "more for less" is driving European governments towards two ways to reduce costs: more use of IT for automation and different types of sourcing.

Individual countries are at different stages in their transformation journey and there is innovation going on all around Europe, found the survey.

The Netherlands is creating a standard platform and innovations include using reverse auction technology.

In Finland they are committed to shared services and seeking to integrate their many small municipalities.

France is deploying Chorus, a government-wide financial management system based on SAP and Germany has the P23R project that automatically generates processes to help companies do business with government.

The study said that all governments are changing the way they deliver services to their citizens and 29% of those surveyed felt that in five years time self-service online will be the main means of citizen interaction with government, with face-to-face meetings, post and email lower at around 20%.

Surprisingly, social network sites and mobile applications were both below 10%, said the study.

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