Making France’s government truly digital is key to its modernisation, according to a report written for the Minister of State for State Reform and Simplification. The use of ICT should not be limited to this process, but should change habitual routines, especially in management, the report says. The authors cite United Kingdom as an example of such a digital transformation.
France’s higher civil servants are far removed from a ‘digital culture’, writes the working group responsible for the 124-page report, made available online in April.
The report’s conclusions and recommendations are based on workshops and debates held over the previous months.
A truly digital government will allow France to reaffirm its role as public actor and assert its general mission, the authors argue in their introduction. “(The report) is helping to revitalise confidence in public action.”
Digital tools facilitate better management; the authors write, and the digitisation of society allows for a profound change in interactions between public administrations and citizens.
The best advocates of France’s public services are the modernisers, presenting success stories, the report argues. Most of these include a change from the bottom-up, getting stakeholders to participate and use digital tools. The challenge is to move from experiment to practice, they warn.
Specifically, the report recommends making available online all government services that do not require a physical visit to a public administration. France should help its citizens to use the Internet to take deal with most tasks involving public administrations. Already 90 per cent of France’s citizens say they are ready to use the Internet for this.