Online Access Act

Online Access Act (OZG)

Digitalization in administrations & government agencies

Closing the gap between business and the public sector with OZG

Digitalization is not a long-term vision, but a fact. But where do we stand with digitalization in public authorities and governmental institutions? Citizens in Germany take the digital world for granted and no longer want to carry out activities such as applying for an identity card, passport, birth certificate etc. at the local citizen's office, but rather from the comfort of their own home via PC or smartphone. This is a challenge for the state: In 2017, the Online Access Act (OZG) came into effect. An essential step to close the gap between developments in the private and public sectors.

General conditions of the OZG

The long title of the OZG is "law to improve online access to administrative services". It was enacted on August 18th, 2017 as §9 of the Act on the Reform of the Federal Financial Equalization System and came into force on August 18, 2017. It obligates the federal and state governments that all administrative services must be available online by 2022. This applies to the federal, state and local governments and comprises a total of 575 individual services.

Individual services at state and municipal level include:

  • Car registrations
  • Relocation notifications
  • Applying for birth certificates

At the federal level, the following services, among others, are to be fulfilled digitally:

  • Applying for unemployment, housing or child benefit
  • Request for a certificate of good conduct

If you have further questions please contact us.

Booklet about OZG

Download the booklet on the Online Access Act and find out more:

  • What are the points of attack for web forms?
  • Why do APIs need special protection?
  • Why and how can a web application firewall help me?

Covid-19 makes the urgency of a digital authority even clearer

Covid-19 has made it clear that rapid and comprehensive digitalization of all administrative services is essential for the functioning of the state. For this reason, the sum for the implementation of the OZG was increased from the original 180 million to 3 billion within the framework of the Digital Pact.

'Corona has shown us the great importance of digital infrastructure and administrative services on the Internet. When the analogue door to the office is closed, the official channels must be handled through the digital door. The digital door must be opened all the more via online services.'
Dr. Hartmut Schubert, CIO of Thuringia

In addition, the previously planned portal network was simplified: It was previously planned that citizens only have to go to this portal network. Here you should apply for all your services. This would have meant a much greater effort on the part of the infrastructure and organization. You need to connect all registers nationwide. The changeover to a uniform software would be inevitable. Instead, this portal network will now be a pure search engine. In the end, the citizen will end up back on the website of his/her municipality. Everybody who is involved hopes that the implementation will be much faster.

Digitalization 4.0 in the public sector: the challenges

The matter is highly complex, as the administration in Germany is organized on a federal basis. It must therefore be implemented at federal level and then at state and local level. The central body for this is the IT Planning Council, which oversees the digitalization program on a federal level. The only requirement is therefore the law. You need to work out the corresponding process for the optimal federal IT architecture for the various levels. Ultimately, it needs to prove itself in practice. For this purpose, the Federal IT Cooperation – FITKO for short – was established.

Is the digital me safe in the hands of digital authorities?

Data protection and data security is a major challenge. Citizens rightly demand that their highly sensitive data is safe. The various requirements for the implementation of the OZG state that end-to-end encryption and 2-factor authentication as part of the electronic identity card will ensure security. However, you should consider other factors in addition to the data transmission and identity management. Find out more in our booklet or in our webinar recording (only available in German).

FAQ

1. What is the OZG implementation catalog

You can find all 575 administrative services in the OZG implementation catalogue. In order to put them into effect, you need to develop digital solutions. However, the catalogue also contains information relevant to the development of digital services. You can find the OZG implementation catalog (pdf format) here.

2. What is the deadline of the Online Access Act?

By the end of 2022, the federal and state governments must make all administrative services available digitally. In order to make the digitalized administrative services available online for citizens and companies within this period, the Federal Government and the state governments agreed in the IT Planning Council to cooperate and coordinate closely. (Result of the conference of federal and state governments leaders on October 14, 2016). Learn more about the framework conditions in our booklet Online Access Act & Data Protection (only available in German).

3. What is the OZG information platform?

The OZG information platform is the Internet site of the Federal Ministry of the Interior. Here the individual administrative services of the OZG implementation catalog are clearly listed. It also provides information on the status of implementation. To access the contents, you simply have to register here on the OZG implementation page.

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