In the context of the overall Hamburg Metropolitan Region project, it became clear that joining forces in the field of e-government would be a chance to strengthen the Metropolitan Region. But it was also recognised that the only way to do this would be through intensive cooperation between the local authorities and Länder involved. Since then, work on the "e-Government in Hamburg Metropolitan Region" project has been going in this direction: very practical and very intensive.
The objective of the project: To create a common e-government infrastructure
Joint IT infrastructure to form the basis for a whole range of e-government facilities is being developed at the moment. The nucleus is the Metropolitan Region network, which links all local authorities of the Metropolitan Region into the same system. This is being done by hooking up already existing networks: many local councils are linked to local government networks, which are connected to district networks, and they in turn are integrated into intrastate networks. The Metropolitan region network is made up of parts of all three Länder networks. The end result will be an e-government Metropolitan Region for around four million people in three federal states (over an area as big as Rhineland Palatinate).
The potential for its use is – literally – boundless. A start will be made by realising "Moving House" – an application very useful to many people faced with this situation. In future, the bureaucratic processes of "Change of address registration” and “Car registration transfer” currently shared between different authorities can be reduced to one step at a local authority of choice – one-stop government, irrespective of any formal jurisdiction.
Goal: Contributing to modernising administration
The project is a contribution to efficient IT-based modernisation of administrations – putting an end to stand-alone solutions. Synergy effects will be created by optimising technical and organisational processes: digitalisation and integration as well as bundling of bureaucratic procedures (one-stop government) and combination of back-office structures.
This leads to advantages in cost/time/quality, which enable statutory obligations and political goals to be realised better, and also cooperation with other administrations.
As a result public authorities will be able to execute business processes across inter-state boundaries without data integration gaps. Looking ahead, inclusion of communication partners external to public authorities and the creation of overlapping online services are also on the cards.
Favourable starting conditions: Feasibility study ranks the project as "economically sensible and politically advisable!”
The project’s main challenges lie in legally and technically bridging local and state boundaries to create free access to local authorities of their choice for all citizens of the Metropolitan Region – without disregarding administrative competence. We are confident that these challenges can be mastered, for the following reasons:
A feasibility study set in motion earlier has been completed and came to the conclusion that the project makes sense both economically and politically. It examined the technical preconditions, existing legal hurdles in state and federal law, and made recommendations as to its organisational practicability. The results of the study can be downloaded as an attachment here.
In addition, we have already had some very positive experience of inter-regional cooperation. All the partners are very motivated and keen to find solutions. The project can to build on the joint IT service “dataport” for Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein.
The outcome will benefit many
First and foremost of course it is the four million inhabitants of the Hamburg Metropolitan Region who will benefit from it. Anyone facing moving home within the region in future can complete all the necessary administrative paperwork in one visit to a local authority of choice – instead of having to make separate visits to each public department in their home town. Problems with opening times of public departments will no longer exist. As well as being useful to tens of thousands of commuters, it is also good for people who can maybe reach another local authority more easily, e.g. by public transport, than the one on their home patch, or who want to combine shopping with a visit to the authorities. But the 190 local authorities also benefit enormously from lower administrative and IT operating costs.
Transferability is high: know how from this project could also be put into practice in other states and local areas. In this instance, Hamburg Metropolitan Region represents all Metropolitan Regions in Germany.
The project is in line with the intentions of the Deutschland-Online federal e-government strategy and is having an important trigger effect on it.
Contact: Hamburg Finance Ministry and pilot rural districts of Harburg and Segeberg,