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PLENARY ADDRESS: FRANZ-JOSEF PSCHIERER
"Building Efficient, Open and Transparent Government Services"
Mr. Franz-Josef Pschierer, Secretary of State, Bavarian State Ministry of Finance
Mr. Franz-Josef Pschierer welcomed everyone and stated that he was proud to present Bavaria’s commitment and achievements in the field of e-government. He stated, "Bavaria has held a strong focus on IT in the public sector" in order to enhance the efficiency of public services and boost productivity and competitiveness in the Bavarian economy.
Mr. Pschierer talked about the history of Bavaria’s online strategy starting with the Bavaria Online Initiative in 1994 where the focus was on the quality of online services delivery. This led to the introduction of the Bavarian e-government initiative in 2002, integrating businesses and local authorities that provide government services to their customers. "By implementing this strategy, we were able to expand and improve our e-government services in terms of quality, usability, and efficiency," Mr. Pschierer said.
Mr. Pschierer went on to describe the dramatic changes that have arisen during recent years such as the global financial crisis, unstable economic growth, excessive public debt, harsh globalized competition, an aging society, the increased need for higher-level skills, and rapid technology innovation. He said that these challenges require a comprehensive and cross-national response aligned to the Europe 2010 strategy that focuses on technology and e-government.
Germany has begun this process by organizing its nationwide governance and management of public IT and e-government policies. An IT council was instated this past year to initiate balanced e-government and IT policies across all levels of government.
"The IT Council already is at an important milestone by adopting a national e-government strategy, going in line with the declaration of the European Union for the development of smarter public online services for citizens and businesses by 2015."
The objectives are to benefit citizens and service providers and to create efficient services by streamlining digital processes. At the same time, Mr. Pschierer said, these services need to provide transparency, security, and protection of individual data.
Mr. Pschierer went on to talk about how Germany is implementing these European strategies. He cited a recent example, the Government 2.0 Camp, which took place in Berlin in September 2010. This event featured in-depth discussions and workshops on the new paradigms of open data and e-participation.
"Nevertheless, according to the digital agenda, there is still a strong need for further action. And this is predominantly the case in the field of electronic inclusion. The take-up of new e-government paradigms and increased use of digital services can only be achieved within an Internet-friendly framework, and if there is no digital divide in society," Mr. Pschierer said.
Mr. Pschierer pointed out that fast Internet access is now a requirement so they developed a web portal to disseminate useful information about broadband in Bavaria, with topics ranging from funding and promotion to best practices, implementation, and consulting services. In addition, this portal provided a comprehensive and detailed documentation of communication network components as well as the up-to-date plans from network providers.
Mr. Pschierer went on to talk about another key issue concerning the increased use of e-government services--security and user confidence. To address this, IT project implementation, hardware and software procurement, and software applications and systems undergo a consistent process of quality assurance, establishing IT security and data protection.
"Currently, we are working on the utilization of the new electronic German identity card, whose rollout started at the beginning of November. Our new identity card contains the digital identity of the holder, which can be used for secure authentication by online applications. This will significantly contribute to raising security levels of online services, and therefore has the potential for a powerful boost of e-government and business service use," Mr. Pschierer said.
To conclude, Pschierer said that technology alone will never be successful without user adoption and an increased level of media literacy. Therefore, it is necessary to promote media competence in our society. Accordingly, the Deutsche Bundestag has set up a dedicated commission and Bavaria has launched an initiative to promote IT and media skills in school. "Since human know how is the most important factor of productivity in an economy and public service, continuous promotion of IT and media competence must play a key role in school, education, and professional life," Mr. Pschierer said.
Browse more GLF 2010 content:
Keynote Speakers Overview
Keynote 1 - Nelly Kroes
Keynote 2 - Nick Clegg
Keynote 3 - Steve Ballmer
Plenary address 1 - Carlos Zorrinho
Plenary address 2 - Theodoros Pangalos
Plenary address 3 - John Dalli
Plenary address 4 - Mario Monti