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UK not in the premier league for e-government



Despite the efforts of the Government Digital Service, the UK still scores relatively poorly in the official EU measure of e-government progress around Europe.

The fifth benchmarking survey, published by the European Commission DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology, examines services in 28 EU and neighbouring countries, classifying performance in four stages of maturity: insufficient, moderate, fair and good.

The UK fails to score any "goods". It UK scores "fair" on user centricity; 13 countries, including Estonia, Ireland and Portugal are in the "good" category. Only four countries do worse than the UK.

On cross-border mobility the UK is also "far", but ahead of the pack, with only Malta, Finland and Estonia scoring "good".

On transparency, the UK is "moderate", behind 15 countries, including France, rated "fair". Only Malta rates "good". The UK is also "moderate" on "key enablers", behind 16 countries in "fair" and "good". Malta, Estonia, Portugal, Austria and Spain score the highest.

Overall the report paints a mixed picture of European progress. It notes that: "The diversity and ingenuity of Europe can be a great asset. It offers multiple sources of innovation and collective resilience." However firm action is needed to prevent fragmentation of services.

The survey warns that new efforts are needed to encourage the uptake of digital public services. "Even if every European were to have access to the internet and possess the skills to use it, a significant group of non-believers (38%) refuses to use the online channel for public services." Improving the user-centricity of services will help fill that gap, the report says.

One area where Europe could have an advantage is in cross-border services for nationals of another country. However these are 30 percentage points behind public services for country nationals. "This is pre-eminently the area where Europe could have an advantage, but this is regrettably still far from reality."

The study Delivering on the European Advantage? was published by the European Commission DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology.

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