Contrary to what was originally planned, the federal government does not want to oblige authorities to comprehensively digitize internal processes: A draft for the “Online Access Act 2.0” leaked by netzpolitik.org in December still contained the requirement that a large part of administrative services be processed “fully electronically”. In the new draft of January 20, this requirement is no longer included.
In the justification of the new draft, which is available to c’t, it says: “The proposed regulation refrains from further obligations, such as a mandatory regulation of an end-to-end digitization of the technical procedures.” However, the necessity of such a continuous digitization is “not in doubt”. The justification does not explain why the obligation was abolished. The Federal Ministry of the Interior has so far left an inquiry from c’t on this subject unanswered.
Anke Domscheit-Berg criticizes “shop window digitization”
The digital politician Anke Domscheit-Berg (left) criticizes the lack of an end-to-end digital obligation in the new draft. It should actually be clear to all those responsible that “a shop window digitization that only relies on an online front end” is not a sensible strategy, she told c’t. Without the focus on actually digitized processes, the law “does not even allow hope for a change of course”. Domscheit-Berg referred to the reports on online student loan applications, for the printing of which new staff had to be hired in the authorities.
In addition, the member of the Bundestag is missing a “multi-channel principle” in the draft law: Regardless of the channel through which an application is made, the data should end up directly in the internal “specialist procedure” of the authority.
Praise for central user account
On the other hand, Domscheit-Berg sees the requirement of the draft law positively, that in future there should only be one user account with which citizens can submit applications and communicate with authorities, namely the user account of the federal government (“BundID”). The old online access law still provided for 17 different user accounts – the federal account and 16 state accounts. These accounts should be interoperable so that you don’t have to create a new account after moving to another state, for example.
The new draft law makes it clear that this idea has failed: the requirements for the interoperability of user accounts were too high, it says in the justification. “In addition, it is proving to be economically and organizationally increasingly disproportionate to map the constantly growing demands on the functionality of a user account in parallel in 17 accounts”.
According to the draft, the federal states should scrap their already developed user accounts, no later than two years after the law comes into force.
“In principle, a central solution makes sense, but it must be ensured that the user account of the federal government corresponds to the quality level of the user accounts of the federal states in terms of its functionalities and its user-friendliness,” said Hamburg on the subject. The requirements would therefore have to be decided in the IT planning council. The Bavarian Digital Ministry did not want to comment on the draft law when asked.
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