Continued Improvement in European eGovernment Services, but Need for Greater Customer Focus and Further Use of eProcurement (1) to Improve User Experience and Reduce Cost

| Press release
The European Commission Benchmark Measurement on EU eGovernment carried out by Capgemini reveals improved availability and sophistication (2) of services, but governments must also act to provide citizens and businesses with relevant, timely advice and functionality.

Paris, February 21, 2011 – The European Commission released today the 9th Benchmark Measurement of European eGovernment Services, carried out by Capgemini Group, one of the world’s foremost providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing services, the research institute Rand Europe, the analyst group IDC and the Danish Technological Institute (DTI). This Benchmark shows continued progress in the provision of public e-services across the European Union, yet significant differences between EU nations and even across government tiers within countries in terms of delivery and quality of service. With governments under pressure to reduce costs through a period of austerity, eProcurement must continue to be adopted by governments to drive down cost, while a clear case for improving the overall user experience was made. A key step involves improving service chains by integrating across service providers; including public, private, and third sectors3, to deliver services in new usage scenarios (so-called “life events”4).

The report describes how individual e-services have reached maturity; now the task is to manage them more holistically to improve the overall experience for businesses, citizens and public service staff. The availability of the 20 basic services5 across the EU stood at an average of 82% in 2010, up from 69% in 2009. Meanwhile the sophistication rating of services now stands at 90%, an increase of 7% since 2009. Ireland, Austria, Malta, and Portugal now all achieve maximum scores in both ratings. Switzerland, Bulgaria, Italy, Croatia and Latvia also all dramatically improved their performance since last year’s measurement. However, the report also found that most services are still delivered independently, so users must visit separate services in order to administer different aspects of their personal or working lives. In future, services from different government agencies must be aligned to the life events of citizens and businesses – and delivered such that the user is at the centre of the experience.

A major imperative for encouraging end users to utilize internet-based services is the need to reduce cost in the current period of austerity. For example, streamlining delivery of e-services to support citizens back into work and helping them to start up their own businesses will contribute to competitiveness and help reduce the number of people claiming benefit. eProcurement is another area that will help drive down cost. Adoption of eProcurement by European administrations increased from 56% to 71% between 2009 and 2010, still well short of the goal to make all procurement electronic by 2010. The greater transparency and consistency in the supplier selection process provided by eProcurement across EU nations is expected to help increase the scope for competition throughout the region and between suppliers.

The report’s recommendations around the “government as an API6” approach, point to the potential for public agencies to enable private and third sector players to develop their interfaces or portals. One such scenario could see a telecommunications provider enabling the use of public services through its network and software providers could develop applications to use on tablet PCs or other increasingly popular mobile devices. Such very different delivery models would stimulate innovative public service design, create more engagement from citizens and businesses with e-services, and reduce the burden and cost of service delivery on governments.

The foundations are in place: the continued uptick in availability and sophistication of services is promising. Focus is needed to ensure that this happens at region and city levels too. We must also bridge the gap between availability and actual use to demonstrate the value of ICT investments. We must bundle services so they are relevant to customers, which requires customer insight – a clear contemporary challenge. Additionally, administrations across the European Union must embrace new technologies and new mixed-sector delivery models to make the quantum changes that are entirely feasible, and very necessary,” said Graham Colclough, vice president, global public sector, Capgemini. “In seeking out leading practices, it is important that EU nations look outside the region. As globalization continues, Europe’s competitiveness will depend on governments’ ability to deliver effective services in an international context.”

The economic crisis and demographic change are forcing governments to rethink how they operate. Hundreds of millions of citizens not only depend on public services, they also want a new, more interactive relationship with their government,” said Neelie Kroes, European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, in launching the new 2011-15 eGov Action Plan at a conference on eGovernment in December 2010. “ICT can actually transform and improve public services while materially reducing government debt burdens. The role of the digital agenda is to support this holistically by getting rid of barriers to successful eGovernment. Both citizens and businesses must be able to benefit from online services everywhere in Europe, regardless of their country of origin. If administrations are reluctant to adopt emerging technologies, they risk alienating the younger generations, the ‘digital natives’. That is neither good for democracy, nor for innovation in government. If public administrations fail to keep up with the times, they risk becoming an obstacle for competitiveness and civic engagement.

To access the full report, please go to:

A video presenting the report is also available on:

For more information about the EU’s digital agenda, please go to:

About the 9th EU eGovernment Benchmark Measurement 2010
This Benchmark has been prepared since 2001 for the European Commission’s (EC) Directorate General for Information Society and Media on the progress of eGovernment across the EU. The objective of the survey is to provide a benchmark for the different European countries to compare progress and share best practices. The benchmark covers more than 10.000 websites within 32 countries, including the 27 member states of the EU, plus Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Croatia and Turkey. The benchmark is notably a collaborative exercise, designed by and involving both the European Commission and Country Representatives. The benchmark uses a comprehensive ranking system to identify those European countries that have implemented the most mature eGovernment services.

The 2010 benchmark includes a considerable increase in scope, including the likes of life-event measurement, regional / local service analysis, and status across nine common horizontal IT-enablers. The benchmark is now part of a continuous improvement cycle, with annual method reviews, pilot measures (Open Government and Transparency now ongoing), and Action Learning Groups amongst Member State Representatives.

About Capgemini
Capgemini, one of the world’s foremost providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing services, enables its clients to transform and perform through technologies. Capgemini provides its clients with insights and capabilities that boost their freedom to achieve superior results through a unique way of working, the Collaborative Business ExperienceTM. The Group relies on its global delivery model called Rightshore®, which aims to get the right balance of the best talent from multiple locations, working as one team to create and deliver the optimum solution for clients. Present in 40 countries, Capgemini reported 2010 global revenues of EUR 8.7 billion and employs around 110,000 people worldwide. More information is available at

Rightshore® is a trademark belonging to Capgemini

1 eProcurement: the end-to-end digitization of the supplier selection and subsequent transaction processes
2 Full online availability: the extent to which there is fully automated and proactive delivery of the 20 key public services. - Portal sophistication: identifying the most mature, user-centric and personalized portals that provide direct access to a wide range eGovernment services
3 The ‘third’ sector: non-government, not-for-profit organizations - eg social enterprises, charities and the like.
4 Life events are packaged government services which are usually provided by multiple government agencies around a subject that makes sense to the citizen. The IT systems of the participating government agencies then co-operate (i.e. interoperate) for the seamless delivery of the e-service.Typical examples of Life Events are: for Citizens (Birth, Death); For Enterprises (Creation, Modification)
5 20 basic services such as online tax filing, obtaining permits, enrolling in schools and many others
6 API: Application Programming Interface, rules and specifications that software/online services can follow to make use of certain (in this case government) services and resources