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Public Authorities Must Become Ready for “Digital Post” – the Digital Letter Box

30-09-2013 Column

In a few weeks, it will be mandatory for companies to be able to receive digital letters. It is a monumental transformation, and we still have a long way to go before we reach our goal. The campaign to inform companies about the transition is up and running, and the Danish Agency for Digitisation as well as municipalities, regional and central government authorities are making a great effort to ensure that also public authorities become ready to send and receive digital letters.

As appears from the Danish press coverage over the last few weeks, public authorities are far from finalising the implementation of Digital Post. Four out of five municipalities and only one out of five central government authorities answer the digital mail sent to them. That is not good enough!

The positive aspect of the matter is that a particular focus has now been placed on the work required from public authorities to make use of Digital Post. At the Danish Agency for Digitisation, we are doing everything in our power to support this work in the form of guides, check lists, information meetings and workshops. And, naturally, our focus all along is on what we can do to improve our performance – it is also our responsibility to make Digital Post a success.

Are the companies ready?

We have recently received updated statements from public authorities regarding their readiness for Digital Post, and we are currently analysing the information received. Naturally, it is my hope that public authorities have made significant progress regarding their readiness since their first statements. After 1 November, we will again follow up on the authorities’ implementation. We must ensure that the companies also have their justified expectations fulfilled in terms of actually receiving letters in their digital letter boxes and, not least, that they are able to write to and receive digital replies from public authorities.

We are in the midst of a monumental transformation for the companies that are to incorporate altogether new routines in order also to check their digital letter boxes.  I am fully aware that we need to tie up many loose ends before we reach our goal of having Digital Post for companies on time – on 1 November 2013. However, with some elbow grease and marketing efforts we will succeed in getting public authorities to send and answer by Digital Post and in getting the companies to use their digital letter boxes.

Lars Frelle-Petersen