So far are the digital projects of the federal government

So far are the digital projects of the federal government

Robert Habeck (left) and Volker Wissing

The Economics Minister and the Digital and Transport Minister speak at the Digital Summit.

(Photo: dpa)

Berlin A look at the list of speakers at the digital summit on Friday is enough to recognize the dilemma of German digital policy. The high mass of the federal government and companies, which takes place annually in Berlin, has two masters of ceremonies in this first year under the traffic light government.

While the Chancellery was previously responsible for the organization, today Digital and Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) and Economics Minister share it Robert Habeck (Green) the task. Both are allowed to speak for exactly 15 minutes on Friday. After all: Digital Minister Wissing can start.

But the divided organization symbolizes the central promise that the traffic light has not kept: to centralize responsibilities for digitization. In addition to digitization, Wissing has to deal with the traffic chaos on the rails, Habeck with alternative energy sources.

Nevertheless, according to the German press agency, Wissing promised on the sidelines of the kick-off program for the digital summit on Thursday that he would “quickly achieve results”. “International competition never sleeps. We simply have to get faster with digitization,” says Wissing.

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Bad grades for progress coalition

But after a year in office, it is above all the lack of speed that makes the citizens dissatisfied. This is from a survey by the digital association Bitkom out. The government’s digital policy only received the grade “sufficient”. About a third of those surveyed even awarded the grades “poor” or “inadequate”.

But how far along are the most important traffic light projects really?

In any case, the previous government’s promise to offer a total of 575 administrative services online by the end of 2022 has failed. The “Online Access Act” (OZG) is therefore to be reissued. So far, the name “OZG 2.0” has been set – not much more. Because a corresponding draft bill or a key issues paper by the cabinet is a long time coming.

In order to modernize the administration, a public cloud solution, the so-called “federal cloud”, is also to be made available. The aim is to move the administration data to this digital platform. Since the administration often and willingly Microsoft Office applications and the US tech companies dominate, the federal administration cannot avoid them either. So should Microsoft, Google and potentially too Amazon work with German providers to meet the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation.

management platform in three years

In addition, a cloud offer is to be provided by a German provider. However, this still requires an investment in the hundreds of millions. The company Ionos from Montabaur is considered a hot candidate to provide this national cloud solution. But other companies like StackIT are also possible. The corresponding tender has not yet started. There is still a long way to go before this strategy of the many different clouds, the “multiclouds”, works: The Microsoft authority cloud is not scheduled to be launched until 2025.

>> Read here: How SAP wants to build a cloud for the federal government

According to Digital Minister Wissing, the introduction of a digital identity is the “big step”, without which one would not even have to think about the digitization of the administration, he said at the Handelsblatt dialogue “Digital services of general interest” in November. It opens the door to a space of “virtually unlimited digital possibilities,” says Wissing.

The idea of ​​a digital identity: to be able to identify yourself online and be legally secure. Such a digital identity card is a prerequisite for dealing with authorities online.

But even this miracle weapon of digitization is a long time coming. At the moment there is a guesswork as to how to proceed. The prestige project of Wissing’s predecessor Andreas Scheuer (CSU), to set up a digital wallet using blockchain technology, has disappeared into the drawers of the ministry. Instead, they now want to concentrate on EU tenders and develop new approaches together with Brussels. But when the digital ID card will really come for citizens is still unclear.

More: This is what the traffic light coalition promises in its data strategy.

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