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E-government generation

Are digital tools simplifying our interactions with public authorities? From document browsing to downloading of forms as well as administrative procedures, governments in most of OECD countries now offer a wide range of online services. 

The story is mixed. Most people in the OECD area use e-government services to get information on administration-related matters, though many also use it to send filled forms, such as tax returns. E-government services are used on average by more than 45% of individuals to obtain information, but users show a relatively lower propensity to use them when it comes to filling in a document online: nearly 30% do.

The overall share of individuals using the internet to perform administrative procedures ranges from about 70% in Iceland and Denmark to less than 20% in Poland, Chile, Turkey and Italy.

This may reflect differences in internet usage rates: in 2013, 90% and more of the adult population had access to the internet in the Nordic countries, but less than 60% in Turkey. Despite a high internet usage rate, the Germans do not seem eager to perform administrative requirements online.

In any case, companies are one step ahead: e-governments services are used by more than 80% of businesses in OECD countries.

OECD (2014), Measuring the Digital Economy: A New Perspective, OECD Publishing.

©OECD Observer No 302 April 2015

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