E-government generation

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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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