Digitaler Staat
Foto: Philipp Plum, Illustration: Lennart Andresen/ Fraunhofer FOKUS

Digital Governance

In the town hall of the future, administrative services will be accessible online. They will also be secure, barrier-free, and user-centered. By the end of 2022, the federal, state, and local governments must also provide their administrative services digitally via administrative portals under the new Online Access Act. To this end, 575 services have been identified for which digital processes are being developed. The public sector at all levels is thus in the midst of an upheaval in the digital transformation.

Fraunhofer FOKUS supports government, administration, and industry in the digitalization process and, thus, in the strategic implementation of interoperable and secure ICT solutions in the public sector and public administration. Current research focuses on using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automated administrative processes, data sovereignty, the quality of metadata, as well as usability and accessibility of applications for citizens.

Numerous pilot projects involve close cooperation with the public administration representatives: Currently, work is underway with the Senate Chancellery of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg on the integration of a data protection compliant AI language assistant into the online service “Kinderleicht zum Kindergeld” (Easy access to child benefits). A further research project is “Qualifica Digitalis” for the qualification of employees in digitalized public administration initiated by the IT Planning Council.

“For the European Data Portal, we have contributed essential technical components, such as locating new data sets and convenient further use of the data. For the continuous improvement of the published metadata, we have also developed a tool that documents deviations in the metadata and provides an error report to the data responsible parties.”, explains Dr. Jens Klessmann, who together with Jan Ziesing heads the Digital Public Services business unit at Fraunhofer FOKUS. “With our 'piveau' data management ecosystem, we offer components and tools to support the entire processing chain from data collection, aggregation, and delivery to usage”, adds Jan Ziesing.

The Competence Center Public IT (ÖFIT), a think tank funded by the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Urban Affairs (BMI) and based at Fraunhofer FOKUS, produces trend analyses, expert reports, studies, and impulse papers on current digital and socio-political topics such as algorithms and automation in state and society, open data, machine comprehensibility of law, Internet of Things and Internet tracking.

“In the 'Deutschland-Index der Digitalisierung', we have been analyzing the status and development of digitalization at the level of the German federal states since 2017 in the areas of infrastructure, use of digital opportunities in everyday life, business, and research, as well as citizen services and the digital community. A new edition is planned for 2021.”, says Prof. Dr. Peter Parycek, head of ÖFIT.

ÖFIT's research work always focuses on a holistic approach that considers technical as well as social, legal, and economic aspects and influencing factors.