The Netherlands is in the top 5 of European countries with the most versatile digital government services. This is shown by the eGovernment Benchmark 2022. This annual study commissioned by the European Commission evaluates the availability and quality of digital government services in 35 countries. The research is led by Capgemini and Sogeti and conducted in collaboration with IDC and Politecnico di Milano.
The 19th edition of the eGovernment Benchmark presents the latest trends in government digital services. Digital government services have become indispensable at a time when online and offline interactions are increasingly merging in our society. An analysis of more than 14,000 government websites in 35 European countries shows that more than eight out of ten (81%) of the evaluated services are available online.
The Netherlands in breadth at the European vanguard
With a fifth place, the Dutch digital government is one of the leaders in Europe. Only the digital services of Malta, Estonia, Luxembourg and Iceland are at a higher level. In the Netherlands, we see that entrepreneurs, students and parents in particular can rely on services available online. The versatility of the Dutch digital government is apparent not only from the number of services available online, but also from the implemented digital building blocks.
For example, 94% of government services in the Netherlands are digital. And the Netherlands, after Austria and Luxembourg, has the highest percentage of proactive services: 13% of the services are automatically provided to citizens and entrepreneurs without them having to request these services themselves. In more than nine out of ten cases, services for which users do have to fill in an online form are pre-filled with (personal) data that the government already knows. The Dutch Message Box is also available in all measured government domains. This gives entrepreneurs, students, car owners, parents, job seekers, consumers and residents online access to government mail in one central place.
From versatile to familiar
Despite the versatility of digital government, the provision of information on services in particular could be improved. Dutch public websites are too limited in describing how and when online services are provided. This while users want to know how long it takes to request services, what the status of their request is and when they can expect a response or decision. In particular, consumers with a legal dispute are still often dependent on (partially) written procedures in which the expectations of users are not sufficiently focused (33% compared to 51% as a European average). However, Dutch government portals such as Rijksoverheid.nl offer help to users in Dutch and, for example, English. This way, Dutch and international users can post their questions, feedback and complaints.
Sem Enzerink, Senior Manager for the Public Sector at Capgemini Invent states: “Due to the gradual improvements, we do not always realize how the Dutch digital government has grown. The user-friendliness, transparency, digital building blocks and international services could be even better, but are now ahead of Europe. Intergovernmental cooperation forms the core where governments face the same challenges. Together with users and with the latest technologies, we are working towards an openness that we rely on and build on.”