We are testing if laws and regulations actually work
When we make a new policy, we test whether this new law or these new regulations actually work. Such a test is called a capability test [doenvermogentoets] . If the new law or regulation does not work, we change our plans.
We are funding the Gebruiker Centraal programme
Gebruiker Centraal is a group of people who want to make government services better. They do this by really listening to the wishes and needs of users.
They also find out how the services need to change. All government departments can use the programme. That’s why the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations will also be funding Gebruiker Centraal in 2019.
We are campaigning for understandable language
Everyone must be able to understand communications from the government. We are trying to achieve this through our Merkbaar Beter programme. Within this programme, the campaign Direct Duidelijk started on 31 October. This campaign helps government organisations to communicate in an understandable manner – by offering tips for creating understandable websites, for example.
We talk to people who have problems with reading and writing
Talking to people who have problems with reading and writing can help to make digital services better. Various organisations have told me that. These conversations help you understand the practical problems that these people face . We will use this knowledge to improve services.
We are starting programmes to learn more from each other and get a deeper understanding
Organisations can learn from each other by sharing their experiences with going digital.
That’s what I am going to focus on. We do this with the Mens Centraal programme, for example. Mens Centraal is where central government, towns and cities, provinces and water authorities all work together. Together they look at the person receiving information from the government. We make things clearer and easier for people by offering combined information from government organisations.
We tell public-sector bodies they have to make their websites and apps better
Everybody has to be able to use websites and apps, also if they have a physical disability that makes it harder for them. This is called accessibility. Since 1 July 2018, there is a law that says that websites and apps have to be more accessible . This law applies to towns and cities, provinces, ministries and other government organisations. Public-sector bodies also have to explain what they have done to make their websites and apps more accessible. They must give this explanation in a special statement called the ‘accessibility statement’ [toegankelijkheidsverklaring].
We are supporting the public sector in making their services more accessible
For public-sector bodies that want help, we will assist them in making their websites and apps more accessible. We do this, for example, with the DigiToegankelijk platform (www.digitoegankelijk.nl).
Accessibility forms the basis for new systems
When developing new digital services, it is important to take into account from the very start that the services must be accessible to everyone. This will save us money. Because if we make sure that a website or app is properly accessible right from the start, we avoid the need for (expensive) changes at a later stage.
Public-sector bodies must provide appropriate support
We are going to improve a lot of things. But even with all these improvements, many people will still find it difficult to communicate digitally with the government. We have a responsibility to give this group extra help. Therefore I want to make it a legal obligation for public-sector bodies to provide that help. In order to do this, I want to amend the General Administrative Law Act [Algemene wet bestuursrecht].
We are starting a programme to make it easier to appoint someone to help
For various reasons, some people find it difficult to manage their own affairs. They would like someone else to help them. It is like this in the real world as well as in the digital world. We need to give these people extra help. We are doing this, for example, with the Authorisation programme [Programma Machtigen]. This makes it easier for people to give permission to someone they trust to manage their affairs digitally with public-sector bodies on their behalf.