The digitization of the German authorities is complex and expensive. Accordingly, the federal government had planned an impressive subsidy of 377 million euros in 2022 to advance digitization in this sector. From the coming year, however, only 3.3 million euros in funding are planned. How did this enormous austerity course come about?
The digitization of administrative services is actually only progressing slowly: According to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, only 33 of the 575 possible services were also available digitally across the board in October 2022. With the BundID, citizens throughout Germany should be able to apply for applications digitally in the future. In addition to registering a vehicle or driver’s license, this also includes re-registrations, marriages or parental allowance. The original plan of the Online Access Act was to make administrative services available digitally by the end of 2022. However, the reality is far from that.
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Red pencil with consequences
Nevertheless, the federal government is making cuts. From 2024, the federal states should no longer receive financial support for the implementation of their projects within the framework of the Online Access Act. In response, several federal states have put their digitization projects on hold, for example the digital application for housing benefit in Schleswig-Holstein.
Reasons for sluggish digitization
The digitization of the German authorities seems more complicated than initially thought. This is due to the complicated cooperation between the federal and state governments. But there is also a lack of will to make decisions and assertiveness. In view of the significantly reduced funding, it is no longer to be expected that digitization will catch up quickly. Only one percent of the 377 million euros paid out in the previous year would still be available as federal funding from 2024.