Hamburg takes over chair of IT Planning Council

Federal and state government body to drive forward digitization in Germany - Hamburg to set priorities
11 February 2021
City Hall Hamburg

All administrative services in Germany are to go digitial by 2022 to give the public and companies easy online access to them. Hamburg is chairing the national IT Planning Council, which is tasked with developing and standardising those digital services for the public. The potential for accentuating and reaching innovations in the field of digitalisation nationwide is huge, according to the Senate Chancellery.

Closer co-operation between administration and startups

The new chairman of the IT Planning Council and head of the Senate Chancellery, Jan Pörksen, remarked: "We must aspire to a good, simple, digital service for everyone regardless of where they are in Germany. We want to strengthen the sovereignty of citizens, who want and should know and be able to determine where their data is and who uses it." The IT Planning Council faces several tasks between now and 2022. The public and companies will only have to give authorities certain standard information once in future. The data is then exchanged among the authorities. The plans also foresee developing online services by one federal state, and making the data available to all other states based on a "one for all" model.

During its presidency, Hamburg will introduce standards and clear framework conditions for digitalisation, according to the Senate Chancellery. The aim is to raise the quality of administrative applications and make it more attractive for innovative providers. The City of Hamburg also seeks improved co-operation between the administration and external service providers especially startups.

E-invoices to become standard for public contracts

The City of Hamburg has been accepting e-bills, which now account for around 40 per cent and rising, since 2016. Electronic invoicing is set to become standard for public contracts according to a solution submitted by the senate in early February. Business associations had in the past expressed concern, but have since been consulted and involved in the process. If the Hamburg State Parliament agrees, public sector customers such as the City of Hamburg itself, as well as institutions and companies in which the city has a stake or are under its supervision, will have to accept electronic invoices in future.