When we say that our central focus is on citizens and entrepreneurs, we specifically also mean that everyone should be able to make use of our services. We can best serve the majority of people by ensuring a digital solution that is always available. For people who are not yet able or who do not wish to use a digital solution, there are other forms of contact.
Our starting point is autonomy for citizens and entrepreneurs. This means that we aim to make sure that people are able to deal with all those issues relating to them as a person, at a single location. Consider, for example, the possibility to revise your personal details, to have access to any data that is recorded about yourself, the ability to grant consent for the use of your personal data, and the management of your digital identity and your digital login facilities.
We aim to achieve this by turning the existing MijnOverheid (My Government) gateway into a place where individual citizens can take control of their own (personal) data. This will require a complete makeover of the existing My Government gateway. MijnOverheid and MijnOverheid voor Ondernemers
(My Government for Entrepreneurs) are the places where individual citizens and entrepreneurs can correct any errors in the data recorded about them (or have those errors corrected. Any consequences of using incorrect information must be quickly rectified.
In the digital society, the role of digital identification applications is also growing. We therefore plan to investigate the possibilities of blockchain and biometric applications. This clearly also has a European component.
Some people struggle with digitalisation. We in government want to make sure that everyone can continue to participate in our society. We describe this as ‘digital inclusion’. Courses and support (also offered by other parties) should help people who are struggling with digitalisation. Citizens and entrepreneurs will be given more possibilities to issue digital authority to others who can then deal with various government-related issues on their behalf.
Everyone must be able to communicate with government in an understandable and secure manner. With that in mind, we want our services to align as closely as possible with the wishes, expectations and practical situations of citizens and entrepreneurs. We will be asking them to contribute their thoughts on improving our services. This will help improve confidence in digital government.
To the extent possible, we want government information and software to be available and accessible to everyone. Open data also offers parties other than government the capability of developing related services. Open source software increases transparency about how government systems operate, and it keeps us from being limited to one or a small number of suppliers.
Right to digital services
- Citizens and entrepreneurs will also be granted the right to submit applications and other official notifications that they currently issue in writing to government in a digital format. This will be made possible via the legislative bill on the modernisation of electronic administrative correspondence. Citizens and entrepreneurs will also be given the right to receive a digital confirmation of receipt. This legislative bill will be ready for discussion in Parliament by the end of 2018.
- To increase confidence in systems, people are entitled to information about who is accessing, using or passing on their data to others, at what moment, and for what purpose. This right is laid down in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The regulation imposes considerable demands on government organisations and may result in joint actions.
- We will aggregate general notifications in electrical bulletins at a central point and provide access to these. We will also be providing a facility enabling citizens with an account on MijnOverheid to be informed by e-mail of notices affecting their immediate surroundings. This legislative bill will be issued for consultation in the near future.
Control of data
- We are preparing a number of basic agreements for the secure and reliable exchange of data, and the control of data by the citizen or entrepreneur in question. In this process, we will take account of developments concerning the Payment Service Directive (PSD2) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) according to which people are given greater control over the data that relates directly to them, and which make it possible to use that data for other purposes.
- To enable citizens and entrepreneurs to take control of their own data, changes will have to be made to government data management, in particular in the basic registers. The correctness of data is of huge importance and calls for active management.
- We will be converting today’s MijnOverheid into a place where individual citizens can take control of their (personal) data.
- Either via MijnOverheid or MijnOverheid voor Ondernemers, citizens and entrepreneurs will be able to correct any data errors or have them corrected. We will then quickly rectify the consequences of any incorrect data.
Everyone must be able to participate
- Together with social organisations and language organisations such as the Royal Library (Koninklijke Bibliotheek) and the Reading & Writing Foundation (Stichting Lezen & Schrijven), we plan to further develop and support the existing range of courses aimed at introducing people to the digital world.
To determine whether and how the existing resources available at libraries can be improved, pilot studies are being carried out to increase outreach among the target group. Successful local initiatives at the municipal level can also help us and other municipalities to make joint advances. We support this exchange of knowledge.
- There is also considerable interest from the private sector in assisting people who struggle in the digital world with their digital skills. A number of companies would like to work alongside government in making a contribution. One of the organisations we are looking into is the ‘Good Things Foundation’ in Great Britain. This is a public-private partnership in which private and semi-public parties offer to support people with their digital skills in an easily accessible manner. In the Netherlands, housing corporations and community teams can play a similar role.
- In the new educational programme for primary and secondary education, there will be greater focus on digital literacy and practical skills, to equip pupils better for the future.
- We intend to increase awareness of the importance of acquiring digital skills and digital ‘resilience’.
- Parliament will be sent a coherent approach to digital inclusion by the end of 2018.
Accessible and understandable information and services
- Everyone is entitled to access to digital information and services, including people with a disability. We are therefore investing in the implementation of requirements derived from European Directives on (digital) access, and which have been implemented in national regulations. We make sure that we stick to the rules by turning accessibility guidelines into legal requirements and by supervising enforcement.
- Right across government, we are using the principles of ‘User Central’ (Gebruiker Centraal) for the provision of information and services. People with reading and writing difficulties will be actively involved in further developing those skills.
- We aim to establish safe learning environments in which citizens and entrepreneurs can test government services.
- We are aiming for a government-wide approach to ensure a clear focus on what people expect in their contact with government – ease of use, reliability and a personal approach. With that in mind, we are working on common principles and agreements: the interaction strategy.
- We are encouraging (the development of) user-friendly digital products and services that require minimum (digital) skills; we aim to make life as easy as possible for people.
- We will also undertake structural long-term studies into citizens’ changing preferences.
Digital identification tools and authorisations
- We want the Dutch identification system to be extremely reliable and practical, and not susceptible to fraud. We are working towards innovative solutions to guarantee these requirements.
- Over the next few years, we will be improving DigiD. Our strategy is to expand the group of DigiD rights holders, and to ensure that more people use DigiD at the ‘substantial’ level of reliability. There are also plans to offer DigiD at the ‘high’ level of Reliability. We will be authorising one or more private eID tools and will make it possible for eID tools from other EU Member States to be used in the Netherlands. This means that, in addition to DigiD, there will be other alternative login tools.
- To support businesses in transnational business, we will be organising mutual recognition of electronic identification (eIDAS Regulation 2014/910). We will also make it possible for citizens and businesses to use DigiD and eRecognition (eHerkenning) when purchasing a service from a public service provider within the European Union.
- We are launching a study into the use of automatic facial recognition and other forms of biometric identification. This includes an experiment with the use of identity data on a smartphone for people who make regular international flights. Together with the Association of Netherlands Municipalities and ten municipalities, we will be testing a range of new digital identification applications. We also intend to investigate digital identification and verification and the possible use of blockchain technology, based on data issued by individuals.
- The ICT infrastructure for passport and ID card applications will be updated. We then plan to develop options for document application irrespective of your location and the reuse of passport photographs and other biometric data in the event of loss or theft of an identification document. We plan to have this process in place by 2020.
- The Basic Registration of Persons will be adapted to the most recent wishes and requirements that have evolved from developments in society and technology. In particular, we will be focusing on the interests of the individual citizen and entrepreneur, and on improving service provision. We will make a start on this process in 2019. We will also be working together to improve the quality of the Basic Registration of Persons by continuing the National Programme for Address Quality (Landelijke Aanpak Adreskwaliteit).
- To increase autonomy, we will ensure that a reliable and practical form of digital authorisation is introduced. This will make it possible to do business digitally on behalf of another person or company. We will be drawing up an action plan for this service. The plan will also list which authorisation functions will be made available, and when. This is scheduled for 2019.
- As far as possible, we plan to make government data collections available to society in the form of open data so that the data in question can be used at multiple locations. To make this possible, we will be further improving and expanding access to the central open data gateway (data.overheid.nl).
- Based on the wide range of applications in which they can be used, open geographical data has already more than proven its value for society. We therefore intend to further develop basic geo-registration and better match the way in which these records are made available to the various types of users.
Open source software
- In order to make government less dependent on software suppliers, and in order to provide greater insight into the way in which certain software is structured, we are encouraging the use of open source software. We are therefore developing a knowledge network and will be preparing guidelines for the publication of proprietary software as open source software. We will also make it possible for government parties to operate more in line with open source principles and will reach agreements with them on this issue. As far as possible, we will remove any obstacles to the use and release of open source software.