Public implementation impacts

As of 1 July 2018, it is compulsory for the Danish ministries to assess and describe the public implementation impacts of the legislative proposal in the explanatory notes.

The assessment of public implementation impacts

The assessment of public implementation impacts includes the following elements:

Organisational conditions, as well as transition and operational consequences, can present significant risks in the proces of appropriate implementation. The comments on implementation impacts in the legislative proposal should therefore include an assessment of the organisational, administrative and operating consequences for the state, regions and municipalities. If the legislative proposal is not considered to have such implications this should be reflected in the remarks to the legislation. The Agency for Modernisation has published guidelines on Impact Assessment, which describes a procedure for assessing public implementation impacts in more detail.

The Agency for Modernisation have developed an Impact Assessment Guide, which describes a procedure for assessing public implementation implications in more detail.

Organisational conditions, as well as administrative and operating consequences, can be described in a broad sense as changes in the activities and operation of the public administration and are divided up into transitionary consequences, which are of temporary nature and operating consequences, which are usually of a lasting nature.

In determining such consequences for the State, particular attention shall be paid to whether the proposal involves the creation of new administrative authorities or significant changes to the existing authorities. In these cases an estimate of the expected additional or lower administrative costs, including for staff, IT systems and premises, shall be provided.

When drafting new legislation, efforts should be made to use existing administrative units and structures wherever possible. This is because, both in terms of expenditure and administrative policy considerations, it is not appropriate for the public sector to be unnecessarily complicated by administrative “proliferation”. For individual citizens, such developments may also lead to the public sector being perceived as more opaque and less accessible.

The ministry should be aware of how the legislative proposal is designed to support the use of IT solutions. It is therefore essential to pay attention to the possibility of using digital solutions. Digitalisation can be a means of providing citizens and businesses with a better public service of high quality. Conversely, the use of IT and new technologies is not an end in itself.

The ministry should assess the implications of the legislative proposal in relation to existing IT systems or the development of new IT systems. It should be described whether the legislative proposal requires the adaptation of existing IT systems or the development of new IT systems. In the case of a central government IT system, the government's IT project model should be followed and it should be indicated if the IT solution is covered by the government's IT Council procedure for projects to DKK 10 million and DKK 60 million respectively, cf. The Danish State Budget Guide of 2016.

In addition, the ministry should be aware of whether any changes in IT support within the Authority’s territory could, as a result of the legislative proposal, have knock-on effects for other authorities’ IT systems, which would have to rely on data or functionality from those systems.

The overall implementation impacts should be quantified as far as possible. It may therefore be appropriate to clarify the facts in the legislative proposal, including costs for IT systems/case management systems. Here it may be appropriate to collect knowledge from outside parties, including case handlers in the managing authority and IT providers to the existing systems. Please note that it should not be specified how the specific IT systems are to be developed, including technical choices on open source technology.

Finally, it should be assessed and described whether the scope of the legislative proposal gives rise to a reflection on the relationship with administrative law, for example in relation to the conduct of the consultation of the parties.


Public authorities have to handle citizens’ data in accordance with the otherwise applicable law, including data protection legislation. This also applies to possible sharing of data and the sharing of data between public authorities. The Ministry should therefore assess whether the handling of data, including any data sharing, is taken into account in accordance with the legislation. Where the processing of personal data takes place, it may be relevant e.g. to describe the legal bases of the processing, or whether the legislative proposal involves the matching of records or control actions. Where there are particular points of attention and risks to the use and sharing of data, this should also be described in the legislative proposal.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) states that, in specific cases where high risk can be identified, public authorities have to prepare impact assessments, identifying the impact of concrete data processing on the protection of personal data. Such analyses shall be carried out e.g. when personal data are processed by public authorities in such a way that it can be classified as being of high risk to citizens’ rights and freedoms.

The GDPR allows for an assessment of whether such an analysis is already necessary when new legislation is adopted, which forms the basis for the processing of personal data by public authorities. In addition, impact assessments can be drawn up “once and for all” when ministries are drafting legislation rather than authorities acting individually. The Ministry could therefore usefully consider drawing up such an impact assessment in the drafting of the new bill.

It is essential that the ministry is particularly aware of whether the legislative proposal has impacts that are directly affecting citizens. This could include, for example, legislative proposals in the fields of education, labour, health, tax or the social domain, where the legislative proposal may contain case-related cases, which should be supported directly by both citizens and case workers who need to use the IT system.

In the case of an area where there is a need to take specific account or discretion, consideration should be given to whether there is a need for special collection categories linked to objective main categories to ensure e.g. the rights of vulnerable citizens. The ministry should assess benefits, as well as disadvantages for citizens through the introduction of new digital procedures in legislation. This may include e.g. changes concerning the consultation of the parties, the right to a right of appeal or the like.

Note that consequences for citizens should not be described under the point on public implementation impacts, but under the standing point on “administrative consequences for citizens” in the general remarks.