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Prof. Dr. Sabine Kropp on “Digitalization of Public Administration in the German Federal System” at the University of Ottawa

News vom 03.05.2023

Sabine Kropp gave a presentation on “Digitalization in the German Federal System: Progress at a Snail’s Pace?” at an author’s workshop at the Centre of Governance, University of Ottawa, on April 27-28, 2023.



Germany’s performance in the digitalization of public services has remained modest. The country’s federal structures, featuring neatly entangled responsibilities, have often been considered a major obstacle to the progress with digitalization. Exploring the Online Access Act, this analysis reveals that Germany has adopted a complex coordination procedure to digitalize its public services. This case is contrasted with the digital pact in school policy, by which the federal government co-finances the digitalization of schools and aims to interfere into exclusive Länder jurisdictions. The paper argues that while digitalization has changed the federal order gradually, federalism is only one out of several interplaying factors decelerating the pace of digitalization. Its effects should also be assessed in the light of the legalistic administrative culture, the fragmented cabinet organization, and other detrimental factors.

She also took part in an international panel discussion on the same topic: Digitalization of Public Administration in Federal Countries | Research and innovation (uottawa.ca)

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SFB 700