The UK has lost its top spot in the latest e-Government Survey published by the UN, falling into fourth position behind Denmark, Australia and South Korea.
It has scored 0.899, compared with 0.915 for the top performer, in the composite index of crucial factors in e-government that includes the scope and quality of online services, the development of telecommunications infrastructure and the strength of human capital.
The report, the previous edition of which was published in 2016, attributes the UK’s slip to a relative decrease in its individual rankings for human capital and online services. But it hints at a positive outlook by pointing towards the Government’s Transformation Strategy as setting the course for further developments and producing the right culture, skills, tools, processes and governance.
It says Denmark has risen to top spot due largely to the implementation of its Digital Strategy 2016-20, and the national Government making digital interactions with citizens mandatory without excluding those unable to use digital services. This is ensuring that public bodies at all levels and the private sector are taking advantage of opportunities in digitisation.
Services for the vulnerable
Among the report’s broad findings are that an increasing number of countries are providing online services targeted at the most vulnerable groups, and developing services using SMS/RSS feeds, mobile apps and downloadable forms.
All 193 member states of the UN had national portals and back end systems for core administrative tasks, and 140 have at least one transactional service online. The most commonly used are payment for utilities, submitting income taxes and registration of new businesses.
It also says that, in general, higher income countries come in higher up the e-government rankings.
Other countries in the top 10 are Sweden, Finland, Singapore, New Zealand, France and Japan.
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