Rendering governments and administrations more efficient and more effective is one of the major priorities of the Action Plan. Actions include the reduction of administrative burden and introduction of the topic of organisational change on the European eGovernment agenda. The latter includes the horizontal integration of processes across administrative boundaries, the vertical integration of back and front-end processes as well as the collaboration with private and civic parties. In addition, this priority expresses a legitimate concern to make the best use of ICT to reduce the carbon footprint.
It is clear that improving organisational processes is key: ill-defined institutional boundaries and working processes represent a net extra cost to administrations. Making changes is not getting easier when confronted with an austere economic climate: sharing knowledge and information between administrations in different member states is one of the roles the European Commission takes upon itself.
Another aspect has to do with reducing administrative burdens; this is considered the 'raison d'être' of eGovernment. The development of services based on workflows instead of the traditional 'silo' approach of public administrations can lead to substantial efficiency gains and reduction of administrative burdens.
In the context of the Action Plan, the European Commission will actively promote the principle of once only registration of data through eGovernment in all Member States, under the condition that data protection and privacy protection requirements are respected. In addition, the European Commission will support Member States to reduce administrative burdens, in particular where electronic procedures and communications can replace paper-based procedures.