Governments only recently entered an era of full-blown digital engagement with their citizens, having spent some years tinkering around the edges with online interactions. Soon, the common experience of re-telling a problem many times to different officials and departments could be consigned to history for many citizens of many countries.
The difference today is that services are built around citizen requirements rather than official bureaucracy and procedures, and that data is shared between departments. The Flemish Government’s recent transformation is an example of what is possible and was showcased at HPE Discover, in London.
At the heart of the new relationship in Flanders is a mantra, enshrined in legislation: “Only ask once”. For the citizen, that means a highly personalised experience when dealing with a government department, and accessing services or information that relates to his or her home, or salary or own family.
Frank Huynen, Public Sector & Healthcare Industry Executive at DXC Technology, talked about the quiet revolution that has been going on in Flanders and what it took to arrive at the new relationship between citizen and government: a legislative framework and a rock-solid partnership between DXC and departmental and regulatory officials.This new state of affairs is made possible by data that has to be authentic with just one source used across multiple departments. And with transactions going out from government now involving highly personalised and private data, data of course has to be secure and compliant with data privacy regulations.
Flanders’ digital journey has delivered 42 million digital transactions now executed by its Government, and 100 million Euro in savings for the taxpayers, whilst also saving the citizens’ time. Find out more about the possibilities of digital government in this conversation between Frank Huynen and me.