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The Budget and digitisation

28-08-2013 Column

In the last week of August, the Danish Government published its 2014 Budget Proposal: Denmark in growth and balance. A budget in which also digitisation plays an important role. Digitisation is presented in the budget proposal as a tool for efficiency enhancement. Similarly, digitisation is used in several areas as a lever for modernisation.

Digitisation is a tool for efficiency enhancement and modernisation of the public sector. Continued balanced growth in public spending and sustainable public finances are part of the Budget reform tracks up to 2020. At the same time, work is being intensified on the modernisation of the public sector. The target is to free up DKK 12 billion up to 2020 for improvements of public service, among other things through increased digitisation.

Mobile NemID

With the Budget, financing has been ensured for the further development of NemID – the common public sector digital signature solution, which is central in the shared public ICT infrastructure. From the second quarter of 2014, the solution may also be used on mobile platforms such as smartphones and tablets. This will give banks, other private enterprises and public authorities much better opportunities to benefiting from the Danes’ mobile competencies. The new solution builds on the existing NemID solution, which means that it utilises the advantage of one shared national solution that all Danes are familiar with and use. The development and implementation of mobile NemID is financed jointly by the banks and the central government, regions and municipalities.

Enhanced welfare through digitisation

The Budget has also left a huge digital imprint on the area of primary and lower secondary education.  A total of DKK 130 million has been allocated for 2014 and 2015 respectively for co-financing digital teaching material and ICT. This is to contribute to freeing up teachers’ time and boosting academic standards of primary and lower secondary education. It will contribute significantly to the government’s wish to strengthen future generations.

The Danish government, Local Government Denmark and Danish Regions are finalising a strategy for digital welfare that will set a binding course and, consequently, give fresh impetus to the digitisation work in the years ahead. The strategy for digital welfare covers the health, social and educational areas. With this work, we focus on rolling out the solutions that have maximum effect on the economy and quality, to make good welfare affordable in all areas.

Lars Frelle-Petersen