As we observed in chapter three, government information and service must be made more personal. Here we are focusing on a number of important life events for citizens and businesses. We will also work to increase information protection.
It was decided in the coalition agreement that government services must be organised more from the perspective of the citizen or the entrepreneur. The WRR and the National Ombudsman have reinforced the importance of this turnaround. The Ombudsman called for particular attention for the problem of digital notices that continue to be sent to people following their death. Since 23 May last, the Mailbox at MijnOverheid has been revised so that next of kin are no longer confronted with this situation.
To ensure a better match between public services and the world in which our citizens live, we have developed a method based on life events. We started by improving services relating to three life events: moving home, starting up as a self-employed person (zzp-er) and death (targeted at next of kin).
Fifteen checklists have been produced for citizens, about life events, based on a series of questions like ‘What do I need to organise when I have a child?’ and ‘What do I need to organise when I plan to get married?’. For businesses, checklists are now available on the digital Ondernemersplein of the Chamber of Commerce. Checklists have been produced for 109 situations that entrepreneurs may find themselves facing. 26 new checklists were created last year, including ‘taking on or dismissing personnel’, ‘exporting products’ and ‘starting a business’.
Aim: clarification and simplification for next of kin
The next of kin of a deceased parent, child or partner (some of whom may also have their own business) need clear information. They need to be able to quickly and easily find out what has to be organised when and where, and when all these issues have been concluded. Ideally, this should all take place in a personal environment, in which data can be accessed and recorded.
Concrete product: checklist from the perspective of the citizen
The current checklist for ‘death’ has been supplemented to include the perspectives parent, child and partner (also for entrepreneurs). Attention will be focused on laws of succession and the question of what people can do to prepare for their own death. This checklist is available for both public and private parties.
Follow-up: expansion and optimisation
- Production of extensive checklists such as ‘My child has died’, ‘ What do I need to organise and what do I need to know as a beneficiary?’ and ‘How should I prepare for my own death?’.
- Extensive online checklists on the subject of death will also be actively promoted among funeral organisations. Active communication will also be encouraged via social media.
- We are examining the possibility of a more integrated next of kin desk/service point (covering all channels).
- We are optimising government processes following death and the efficient organisation of contact moments with next of kin.
In respect of the last two milestones, planning will still have to be arranged in consultation with partners.
The goal for citizens
Citizens want to be able to pass on information about moving home easily and quickly and arrange all related official business such as applying for a parking permit, without delay. They want to know what they have to do and what they can expect, also in other areas than the actual move itself. Who do I need to inform when I move home? Where can I find the relevant information? What are my entitlements? By providing good answers to questions of this kind from citizens, they can quickly and easily complete all the procedures relating to a change of address.
Concrete product: a chatbot
The first goal is to develop a chatbot so that a simple home move (change of address) can be dealt with end-to-end. In the future, this chatbot can be expanded to include a number of products and services related to moving home, such as a parking permit, environmental permits and provisions under the Social Support Act (WMO). An important related objective is learning about innovation together and gaining experience. The municipalities will map out the effects on the deployment of chatbots as a tool, in the municipal Client Contact Centres.
Follow-up: step by step implementation
- The first step will be to draw up a checklist for ‘moving home’, viewed from multiple perspectives: company relocation, an international move, change of address for students, moving home following divorce, moving home into a care institution. The checklist will be made available to both public and private parties as an API, in 2019.
- Implementing an interactive checklist in which information and transactions are linked will be further investigated.
- Realisation of the chatbot for the administrative handling of a home move from start to finish, with the municipal channels as the points of contact, including feedback to the checklist. An initial prototype will be ready for use in the second quarter of 2019, and the first concrete product will be introduced in the fourth quarter of 2019.
- An interim report on the effects of the chatbot for people and organisations will be published in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Government and Entrepreneurs
The Ondernemersplein business user interface has become part of the website of the Chamber of Commerce, and the information from Ondernemersplein is also available via twelve other organisations, including a number of government organisations. To improve digital interaction with entrepreneurs, the ‘Assistant’ has undergone practical testing with a small group of businesses.
Standardisation is an important tool for reducing administrative burdens on entrepreneurs. Standard Business Reporting (SBR) makes it easier for entrepreneurs to do business with government. In 2018, 42.8 million messages were sent via SBR; an 11.5 percent increase as compared with the previous year. More and more standardised financial statements from entrepreneurs appear in the Trade Register and standardised information is increasingly being made available by the Housing Corporation Authority, the Tax and Customs Administration and DUO. This makes it easier to prepare analyses and increase transparency.
By focusing on the use of e-invoicing, government is contributing to faster, more accurate, cheaper and more transparent invoicing. Because fewer errors are made in paying invoices, businesses receive their money sooner. They are also more easily able to trace the status of their e-invoice than its paper counterpart. The implementation of e-invoicing is progressing rapidly: 85 percent of government organisations are now capable of receiving and processing e-invoices. National government was ready for this method even earlier.
Increased information protection
Improving information protection still remains of vital importance to society. In October 2019, the House of Representatives was informed about a whole raft of actions and measures aimed at increasing government information protection. These actions have now been initiated and will be concluded over the coming period. One of the actions from the Letter to Parliament involved the interadministrative standard framework for information protection, the Government Information Protection Baseline (BIO), which has replaced individual baselines for each layer of government. The BIO was adopted at the end of 2018 and came into effect on 1 January 2019. The measures made necessary by this baseline are currently being implemented at various levels of the administration.
At the start of 2019, an expert group set to work guaranteeing that the requirements on information protection are also integrated in procurement requirements. The procurement requirements for safe software development will be concluded by the summer of 2019. The aim is to formulate and use purchase requirements for all layers of government, that comply with the requirements of information protection. Attention will also be focused on broadening the adoption of a range of information protection standards. To that end, preparations are underway for a Governmental Decree (AMvB) that will impose the use of the HTPS protocol for government websites intended for external use, as a compulsory requirement. The Digital Government Bill currently being discussed in the House of Representatives will open the way to such an AmvB. We are also examining how the recognisability of government websites and government emails can be improved.
The Dutch Cyber Security Agenda of the Minister of Justice and Security has underlined the importance of a nation-wide system of cybersecurity collaborative ventures aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of public and private parties. For each layer of government, a Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) has been established, that supports government organisations in tackling ICT incidents. To arrive at an actual national system a large-scale government-wide cyber exercise has been prepared, which will be held in autumn 2019.
Actions 2019 – 2020
- As part of the People First (Mens Centraal) programme, we will be aiming to harmonise government services, in relation to a number of high-impact life events.
- Together with Rijksoverheid.nl and Ondernemersplein.nl, we are working alongside the Tax and Customs Administration, the Chamber of Commerce, municipalities, Ministries and others on a single reply from government. In this way, citizens and entrepreneurs will be provided with information about their life event. Existing checklists on Rijksoverheid.nl will be expanded over the coming period. These checklists relate for example to information about dementia, study, and travelling to the Netherlands for work. This information will also be accessible via websites of other governments (among others via an API). The information on the Ondernemersplein is constantly being improved.
Government and Entrepreneurs
- In consultation with the implementing organisations, we are making sure that information flows to entrepreneurs are becoming increasingly digitalised.
- We will be digitalising information flows in a coalition involving the Tax and Customs Administration, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO.nl) and the Chamber of Commerce.
- In the framework of reducing administrative burdens and improving service to entrepreneurs, Standard Business Reporting – in accordance with the Broadening Agenda – will be expanded into other sectors. Together with private parties we are examining how the SBR approach can be implemented in greater depth, and how we can respond to the new data economy. In improving the SBR, wherever relevant, new technologies will be employed. We will also be focusing on the more widespread use of e-invoices, in particular for the small and medium-sized enterprise sector.
- We will continue to actively work to improve information protection, among others by actively organising joint exercises involving crisis situations.
- We will guarantee the correct implementation of the BIO.
- We will be imposing compulsory security standards in the Digital Government Act.