The Danish public sector reaches ambitious digital milestone

The Danish eGovernment strategy 2011-2015 introduced a gradual move towards mandatory digital self-service and communication, and set the ambitious target that 80 percent of all correspondence between citizens and the public sector should be made digital by the end of 2015. The statistics from 2015 show that the target has been reached, which illustrates that the communication between citizens and the public sector is increasingly becoming digital by default.

In collaboration with Local Government Denmark and Danish Regions, the Agency for Digitisation has conducted an assessment of three out of the four waves of public sector service areas, in which mandatory digital communication has been introduced since 2012. The assessment also addresses the switch to mandatory Digital Post, which went into force for companies in November 2013 and for citizens in November 2014. The move towards digital communication was one of the primary focus areas in the recently completed eGovernment strategy covering the period from 2011 to 2015. The goal was to make 80 percent of all correspondence between citizens and the public sector digital by 2015, enabling the public sector to provide modern, flexible and cost-efficient services to citizens and businesses.  

The assessment shows that in 2015, citizens completed 87 percent of their applications and registrations to the public sector via the online self-service solutions. Furthermore, 77 percent of all letters to citizens and businesses from the public sector were sent digitally through Digital Post. This means that traditional letter correspondence and paper forms have been replaced by Digital Post and digital self-service on a large scale since 2011. The digitisation of the communication with the public sector has been well received by the Danish citizens: Three out of four are generally positive towards receiving letters through Digital Post and using the online self-service solutions. 

The successful shift towards Digital Post and digital self-service is the result of strong and concerted efforts and cooperation, based on the joint eGovernment strategy, across Denmark’s 98 municipalities, five regions and the central government. The authorities have gone great lengths to make it possible for the citizens to benefit from the new digital services. Workflows have been restructured, joint public sector campaigns have been held and help and guidance has been offered to citizens in need. 

The work to strengthen digital communication is still on-going. Figures from the first months of 2016 show that the number of letters sent digitally through Digital Post is still increasing. On this background it is estimated that by April 2016 the share of letters being sent digitally, via Digital Post from the public sector to citizens and businesses, has reached more than 79 percent.