Digitalisation is a key characteristic of the 149 public services that competed in the 2017 European Public Sector Award (EPSA). Digitalisation allows public services to focus on citizens’ priorities, deepen ties with other public sector organisations and others, and co-create policies with citizens, says the final report of EPSA 2017.
One of the overarching trends described in the 2017 report is the digitalisation of services to make them more accessible: ”The potential for the transformative effect of digitalisation of services [is] represented in many projects, including in areas which have had variable application in the past but are of high priority to citizens, such as the administration of justice, education and healthcare.”
For all the national projects competing in EPSA, and almost half of the regional ones, digitalisation is a key characteristic. For the supralocal and local public sector projects, digitalisation is the fifth attribute, after modernisation, education, health, and employment.
Digitalisation is not a defining characteristic of any of the winning projects. However, one of the three winners, the Cooperation Fund of the European Intellectual Property Office, is inherently digital: it promotes sharing and reuse of IT tools and services that allow online access to trademark and design rights.
The European Public Sector Award, which has taken place every two years since 2007, has assessed and made accessible over 1000 public practices from 39 European countries and the European institutions. EPSA encourages governments to modernise their administrative structures and practices, and to address the essential topics of administrative reform in Europe.