Citizen’s expectations of government and agencies have risen dramatically. People not only want the privacy and security protection that are part of the government mission, they also have come to insist on the same efficiency, convenience, and service orientation that they experience in their dealings with private sector companies. Added to this are the internal pressures on government to enhance cooperation and collaboration across agencies—sharing information, coordinating activities, and presenting a unified view to the public.
A key enabler of this kind of transformation is business process management (BPM) – an organisational methodology and technology that has readily been embraced by commercial enterprises and public sector bodies in the last few years. BPM software is a powerful innovation that allows organisations to automate, control, and improve critical human and system-based business processes – streamlining processes, system-to-system communication, and human collaboration by creating a single process layer across multiple systems, databases, and departments enabling organizations to close critical gaps that so often create process inefficiency.
The State of e-Government in the Nordics & the BPM OpportunityThis white paper is provided courtesy ofUntitled DocumentIntroduction: A New AgendaPublic services in Europe are at a crossroads. The EU and most of its national governments recognised some time ago that a government machine based on bureaucracies created in the nineteenth and twentieth century, with staf ng levels established in the paper age, is no longer sustainable.This realisation comes at a time of many new policy challenges emerging at European level. Some of the priorities include:" Enabling freedom of movement within the EU, based on borderless access to public services,including health." A more competitive environment for business, by decreasing red tape and enabling transparentadministrative procedures and access to markets, especially public sector ones, across Europe." Cutting the cost of public administration while maintaining and improving the quality of front-line services." Accommodating a growing awareness of the need for data protection and privacy." Enabling greater exibility and accountability throughout government organisations at all levels. Europe s high-level response to these challenges, set out in the i2010 information society programme, is to re-engineer government with the use of IT so that public services are centred on users not bureaucracies. This ambition is not trivial. It represents a signi cant step beyond rst-generation e-Government, which focused merely on making public services available via the internet and other digital media. The new agenda requires the automation of end-to-end processes stretching across tiers and between silos of government. Nordic TrailblazersAt the forefront of this transformation agenda is the Nordic region (Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden). These countries are trailblazers in Europe s rst wave of e-Government innovation. All four countries have ranked highly in international e-Government benchmarking exercises, and although the four worked at differing paces, and chose different priorities, they have a common enthusiasm for technical innovation by both citizens and public agencies. In all four countries, e-Government sophistication accompanies high levels of internet use by citizens and a tradition of openness and accountability in public administration. Some of the traits that these four countries exhibit allowing them to be innovators in e-Government are: " An established history of excitement for the web and other new media. In Finland, nearly 80% of the population are regular internet users; more than 90% of those have used e-Government services. In Sweden, more than 75% of internet users have been online to government." Well-established shared population registers, typically originally based on church registers Denmark s computerised citizen register dates from 1969. In Finland, all public authorities have access to a population register if they need proof of identity. In Norway, hospitals automatically notify the central register of births. Sweden has had a central population register since 1580, which was computerised in the 1960s. The citizen ID number based on a scrambled date of birth is used for all of cial purposes. " A climate of encouraging technical innovation in public services. Finland was one of the rst countries to attempt to integrate mobile communications and government services, by accepting 2 The State of e-Government in the Nordics & the BPM Opportunity | Metastorm, Inc.1 Leadership in Customer Service, new Expectations, New Experiences, Accenture, April 2005Untitled Documentpayments from handsets for example. Students routinely enroll for courses and exams with mobile phones. In Oslo, citizens can order a change-of-address form by text message. In Sweden, the City of Kariskrona broadcasts a town guide on the 3G mobile phone network.In theory, all four countries are well positioned to innovate in the next transformative phase of e-Government. Much, however, depends on political willingness to transform the processes of administration in a holistic way, especially the boundaries between local and central government. Transformative e-GovernmentCitizen s expectations of government and agencies have risen dramatically. People not only want the privacy and security protection that are part of the government mission, they also have come to insist on the same ef ciency, convenience, and service orientation that they experience in their dealings with private sector companies. Added to this are the internal pressures on government to enhance cooperation and collaboration across agencies sharing information, coordinating activities, and presenting a uni ed view to the public.A key enabler of this kind of transformation is business process management (BPM) an organisational methodology and technology that has readily been embraced by commercial enterprises and public sector bodies in the last few years. BPM software is a powerful innovation that allows organisations to automate, control, and improve critical human and system-based business processes streamlining processes, system-to-system communication, and human collaboration by creating a single process layer across multiple systems, databases, and departments enabling organizations to close critical gaps that so often create process inef ciency. Public agencies are increasingly turning to BPM to implement a centralised, focused approach to transformation and help them formalise and automate procedures, restructure, re-engineer or consolidate activities, adopt better management practices and discontinue obsolete services and programmes. All four governments are now looking to transformative change. Their approaches to this challenge show some similarities, but signi cant differences. DenmarkDenmark is taking bold steps to integrate e-Government with a wider programme of administrative rationalisation. This includes reducing the number of separate municipalities from 270 to 97 and the number of regions from 13 to ve. This is a signi cant step as, traditionally, municipalities have had strong independence from central government. As part of this process, procedures for collecting local and state tax have been harmonised under the national taxation agency. Central government now has one single payroll system for its 135,000 employees. The Agency for Governmental Management, part of the Ministry of Finance, is also aggressively using e-Government to drive cash savings. In February 2005, it introduced mandatory e-invoicing throughout the public sector. Simultaneously, it also cut the budgets of local administrations by a percentage of the expected savings, forcing local government to realise the bene ts. The agency is also promoting the use of digital payslips for state employees. By taking control of business processes and enforcing business rules, BPM is able to ensure compliance not only with policies and regulatory requirements but also with best practices tuned to performance objectives. BPM tools encourage reuse of process fragments throughout the organization while allowing local variations where they make sense.3 The State of e-Government in the Nordics & the BPM Opportunity | Metastorm, Inc.Untitled DocumentAdministrative simpli cation also touches the citizen. From December 2005, all adult citizens and businesses have had to designate a bank account, called an Easy Account, to handle all nancial transactions with the state. The idea is to eliminate the bureaucracy of entering payment details for every new bene t or tax refund, cutting costs and reducing errors. A new e-Government strategy due to be published in 2006 is expected to drive these ideas further, moving towards mandating the use of e-channels, at least for business. The government is also heavily promoting e-channels to citizens, in a campaign featuring two household-name TV actors and the slogan Smart, isn t it . Despite Denmark s progress, much remains to be done. One priority is to merge two existing e-Government portals into a single portal a move that typi es the more holistic approach many governmental agencies are applying to streamlining operations and cutting costs while enhancing the delivery of services to citizens by linking together silos of information and services.The Danish Government has also launched an ambitious programme to issue digital signatures to all citizens, with a view to accelerate the take-up of e-Government services. Through the scheme, Danish citizens are issued a free software-based digital signature (OCES - Public Certi cate for Electronic Services), providing suf cient security for most public sector and private sector transactions. Launched in early 2003, the scheme aims at distributing 1.3 million digital signatures after four years and ultimately at providing all Danes with digital signatures.Finally, of cials are alert to the danger that new policy priorities can con ict with e-Government. Draft legislation is automatically scanned for measures that seem to create barriers to digitisation, such as requirements that documents be signed in person. Some 17% of draft bills have been found to contain such phrases. Using BPM to automate processes like the above, the Danish government has found that e-Government 4 The State of e-Government in the Nordics & the BPM Opportunity | Metastorm, Inc.Case study: Transparent e-Government, Bracknell Forest, EnglandBracknell Forest Borough Council, in the Thames Valley county of Berkshire, wanted to be the rst English local authority to provide its citizens with secure web access to public services. The aim was to cut the cost of administering services to its 110,000 population and to create a better place to live and work by making the machinery of local government more accessible and transparent.The Bracknell Forest system was tailored so that citizens can open a personal, secure account electronically and access information about refuse collection, repair of street lights and paying local taxes. They also can offer online comments about development projects underway in the local area.The system was created by making imaginative use of business-process management. This ensures that citizens requests are automatically routed to the right back-of ce system to manage them. For the citizen, or local business, contacting the council is quicker and less stressful; for the local authority, less time is spent answering requests by telephone or mail and appropriate action is taken in much less time.Thanks to the business process management project, Bracknell Forest became the rst authority of its kind to offer a secure web portal to its citizens. In the rst two weeks after the site went live, 400 people logged on to access the planning applications tracking system of the tax payment system. An indicator of the productivity and customer service improvements achieved is that 40 % of contacts through the system have come in outside of of ce hours since the capability was implemented.Untitled Document5 The State of e-Government in the Nordics & the BPM Opportunity | Metastorm, Inc.initiatives often begin with documenting how current processes work but then progress to how they could be made simpler, faster, more ef cient and more effective. BPM technology is driving new practices, increasing ef ciency, and expanding government s ability to change to meet the demands of the market. Finland Finland likewise has moved beyond the stage of opening new electronic channels to services and is now emphasising IT s potential to rationalise administration across government departments - a core tenet of BPM. BPM technology can facilitate communication amongst systems and employees while still enforcing regulations and business laws. Electronic audit trails are automatically captured to provide records of all activities within the system. BPM is structured enough to enforce compliance and yet agile enough to adapt to the changing market.One important development in Finland is a common authentication platform, tunnistus. , developed by the Tax Agency, Social Security Institute and Ministry of Employment. These authorities will use the electronic ID By applying BPM technology, Luzern Canton, Switzerland, has transformed the process of approving building applications. The process requires many different departments, such as environment & energy, transport & infrastructure, monument protection & archaeology examining each individual application and drawing up a statement. The approval process requires intensive cooperation of and communication between all departments, so that each team is able to complete its report on time. Traditionally the preparation of reports was done manually and any communication by e-mail or internal post.The task of collating all of the reports and putting them all into a standard format fell to the Canton s approval & coordination centre, and it was very time-consuming. Deadlines were often missed and the approval process was delayed. As it is a legal requirement for the Canton to complete the approval process within 23 days, it had to nd a solution that would make it easier for employees to create reports, combine data from many sources into one document, and to meet their deadlines. At the same time, the Canton wanted to create a new level of transparency to ensure the ow of information between the many of ces concerned. Luzern used BPM software to solve the problem. Today, upon receipt of a planning application, an of cer starts the examination process by completing a form in a standard internet browser. When this is complete, all departments involved simultaneously receive the relevant information so that they can process it. The system links together communication and information tools to form a completely transparent system. When all of the reports from the examining of ces have been received by the approval & coordination centre, all the text is inserted into the appropriate Word document in the correct order at the touch of a button. Text modules aid the preparation of these reports. The nal decision is then structured into sections containing the facts of the case, deliberations and the legal ruling.A major advantage of the system is that it is now possible to monitor the length of time that the process takes and keep it within the legally stipulated deadlines. Automatic reminders and memos are sent via e-mail and escalation routines are initiated. As soon as there is a possibility of the 23-day processing period being exceeded, the appropriate heads of each department are informed.Automating the process has removed of cers in the approval and coordination centre of a considerable administrative burden. The resources freed up in this way are now channeled into specialist examination of more dif cult applications.Case study: Revolutionising Planning Permission in LuzernUntitled Documentsystem used for internet banking services for their e-services. Finland is also looking at cross-border sharing. In May 2003, the Finnish Population Register Centre signed an agreement with its Estonian counterpart to harmonise practices for digital signatures and exchanging electronic documents. NorwayIn Norway, a new Modernisation Ministry has taken over responsibility for e-Government, under the eNorge plan. The goals of the plan are to create truly citizen centred services and one of the world s most comprehensive government portals. The site, called My Site, will handle everything from prescriptions to passport applications, as well as the more usual tax and administrative procedures. To live up to its promise, My Site will require much attention to work ow between agencies. The software magic of BPM is turning plans for programs like My Site into automated implementations that deliver work to the correct people and systems, enforce the rules, and track completion against assigned deadlines. In case after case, the resulting automation dramatically reduces cycle times and allows signi cant expansion in daily work volume without adding staff. BPM has the ability to streamline your employee s duties while increasing their productivity and creating smarter workers. Ef ciency improvements are the number one source of return on investment from BPM. SwedenSweden, too, is mainstreaming e-Government into a long-term programme which has seen the number of central government civil servants fall in a decade. Because of this, a new e-Government agency came into being in January 2006. One step to transformative integration in Sweden is the decision to create a national infrastructure for data dissemination, called e-link. This program dates back to 1997 and four agencies, taxation, social security, patent and business registry, and the student loans agency use the infrastructure. As in Denmark, there is a legacy of strong local autonomy, with 290 municipalities and 21 counties responsible for most public services. Central government is encouraging initiatives to set up shared back-of ce functions so that local government can work together. In health, for example, the counties have agreed to build a joint infrastructure called Care Link. Thanks to this 45% of prescriptions are now sent electronically, and 10% of county councils allow hospital bookings online.The ultimate goal of business process management is the optimisation of programs like e-link. As part of this optimisation, government agencies must identify and automate their procedures and adopt better more ef cient management practices. This change will require the focused approach that Sweden is taking. ConclusionA striking aspect of Nordic e-policy is the extent to which responsibility for e-Government has been mainstreamed, moving it away from an IT culture to one of public service reform. Investment in IT on its own, does not transform public administration. To achieve the ambitions for 2010, with its emphasis on ef cient and transparent government, requires new ways of thinking the process centric thinking that is at the heart of business process management. 6 The State of e-Government in the Nordics & the BPM Opportunity | Metastorm, Inc.Untitled DocumentWith their public agencies increasingly formalising and automating procedures, restructuring, re-engineering activities, adopting better management practices and discontinuing obsolete services and programmes, the Nordic governments seem to be readily embracing the process centric approach and the BPM technology that can help them achieve their process improvement goals.This white paper is provided courtesy of Metastorm, Inc. As the rst breakaway BPM vendor, Metastorm is a leader in business process management (BPM) software and best practice methodologies for modeling, automating, integrating, and improving both human and system-based processes. Metastorm BPM" is a complete solution for roundtrip process improvement, designed speci cally to address complex processes that are unique to organizations. Metastorm s 1200+ global client base in manufacturing, retail, nancial services, business services, healthcare and government are achieving rapid ROI and Enterprise Process Advantage in customer service, supply chain operations, risk management, and internal operations. More information is available at www.metastorm.com. 1-877-321-META (6382) +44 (0) 208-971-1500 www.metastorm.com 2006 Metastorm, Inc. All rights reserved. Metastorm BPM and Enterprise Process Advantage are either trademarks or registered trademarks of Metastorm, Inc. Other product or company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.7 The State of e-Government in the Nordics & the BPM Opportunity | Metastorm, Inc.[References: European Commission Directorate General for Information Society and Media: Online Availability of Public Services, report of the fth measurement 2004, Booz Allen Hamilton e-Readiness survey, 2005.]