As Information Technology Commissioner for the state government
of North Rhine-Westphalia, Hartmut Beuß is in charge of … … the digital administration project. His core task
is to digitize the state administration. We can’t do it on our own; everyone must join in. But we are responsible for
the process overall. That is the one main issue, and it always involves IT … … security. The more we digitize, the more attractive we become for hackers.
And there have been incidents – the second main issue. The third, which is … … related to the first two, is to control and coordinate
information technology pure and simple. We still run too many different … … IT solutions alongside each other and too few uniform, standardized solutions –
with all of the problems that that involves. We really need to make headway there. The timetable for digitizing the state administration is clearly defined
in North Rhine-Westphalia’s eGovernment Act. By the beginning of 2018 … … Beuß and his team had to set up an automated system, the so-called “access hub,”
that relayed enquiries and information to the relevant government department. In 2018 we must, for one, by the year’s end have the basic ePayment
component up and running as a service so that, … … for instance, I don’t have to pay in five euros in person
at the council office in Cologne where I live – that being … … the only reason why I have to go to the council office: to pay five euros. Open Government is another construction site
for Beuß and his team. Their task is to promote … … electronic cooperation between the authorities
and the public by means of Open NRW, a portal … … aimed at integrating the public as closely as possible. But we are convinced that work will also become easier for our colleagues.
It will certainly do so for customers of the administration, which is … … the principal objective, given that administration is not an end in itself but
a service provider. So nowadays we have to present what we do in such a way that … … in a digital world everyone says “Yes, you can work with the administration”.
But we also want our colleagues in the administration to feel able to say … … “Yes, I am proud of my workplace. I like working here because I have
a modern workplace – from telework to research options, from online … … to mobile working. I no longer have to trudge around with document folders,
I have it all at hand on my tablet. That surely is an objective. So the digitization of public administration has not just begun;
it is well under way. Hartmut Beuß has identified great potentials on which to work. But a public authority cannot cope with this task on its own. It is quite clear that a service provider, especially
a technical one with a wealth of experience … … will always be valuable for us. It works the way it always works for us.
We cannot simply hire somebody … … as an external consultant, we have to put the assignment out to tender.
But I think I can safely say that our relationship with … … T-Systems is a good one – and has been for many years.