New agreement will make legislation ready for digitisation


The Danish government aims to cut red tape with a new way of drafting legislation. In 2018, it becomes mandatory for ministers and their ministries to draft legislation that can be fully or partly administered digitally.

All parties in the Danish parliament on board

The Danish government and all parties in the parliament agree that the public bureaucracy should be trimmed in order to free up time and resources for servicing citizens. Digitisation-ready legislation will underpin an easier everyday-life for public employees and a more efficient and effective public service for both citizens and businesses. That is the message of the political agreement which has been adopted by government and all political parties in the parliament.

An agreement is important step forward

The agreement has been negotiated by Ms. Sophie Løhde, Minister for Public Sector Innovation. Ms. Rikke Hougaard Zeberg, Director-General of Danish Agency for Digitisation, warmly welcomes the agreement:

The agreement will help ensure that our future legislation will support a more efficient public sector, where ICT and the use of new technologies will provide citizens and businesses an easier interaction with the public sector. Therefore, the agreement is an important step towards getting simple and clear rules that are easier to under-stand and manage – also when the legislation meets the requirements of a digital public administration.

Ms. Rikke Hougaard Zeberg, Director-General of Danish Agency for Digitisation

Seven principles for digitisation-ready legislation

The political agreement commits the government and the Danish parliament to draft new legislation according to seven principles, which will ensure that the administrative consequences of the legislation become clear early in the policy-making process. With the seven principles, it will become an integral part of the legislative process to assess whether new legislation is ready for digitisation.

At the same time, the Danish government is launching a number of initiatives that will weed out unnecessary and complex rules. This will contribute to making future legislation digitisation-ready. In addition, a governmental unit for digitisation-ready legislation will be established in early 2018 as part of the Danish Agency for Digitisation. It will, among other things, conduct screenings of draft legislation and assist ministries with guidance and recommendations.

The agreement ensures that all new legislation must be ready for digitisation by July 1st 2018. 

Box 1 - Seven principles for digitisation-ready legislation

Principle 1: Simple and distinct rules

Legislation should be simple and distinct, thus contributing to a more uniform and digital administration.

Principle 2: Digital communication

Legislation should underpin digital communication with citizens and corporations.

Principle 3: Enable automated digital case processing

Legislation should underpin fully or partly automated digital case processing while still taking into account the legal rights for citizens and businesses.

Principle 4: Consistency across public authorities – uniform concepts and re-use of data

Data and definitions of concepts are re-used across public authorities.

Principle 5: Safe and secure data management

Data security should be prioritised.

Principle 6: Using public ICT infrastructure

Public ICT solutions and standards should be applied.

Principle 7: Legislation should prevent fraud and errors

Legislation must be designed to support the use of ICT for purposes of control.