Report: Improved focus on the digital impacts of new legislation


New legislation should be written using clear language and distinct concepts so it is easy for people and companies to understand and easy to administer for civil servants. The legislation must enable the allocation of resources where the value is greatest for users of public services, which requires an increased focus on implementation in the proces of legislative drafting. A new report compiles the first experiences from the ministries in making legislation that is digital-ready.

In January 2018 The Danish Parliament decided unanimously that new legislation should be digital-ready: A political agreement was entered into with assent from all parties represented in Parliament. The agreement aims to ensure that in the legislative drafting there is a focus on the subsequent implementation of the legislation and on ensuring that the rules drafted can be easily administered in a digital fashion. According to the agreement it must in all new legislation be clearly describe how the legislation should be implemented in order to prevent the emergence of unnecessary red tape following Parliament’s approval of the bill.

The first report covering the work of the ministries in ensuring that legislation is made digital-ready has just been published.

There is great potential in digital-ready legislation, because more simple and clear legislation can establish the foundation for a more coherent and modern government administration. We are pleased to see that the report shows that work is well underway in this regard and that the ministries have taken the new tools to heart.

Deputy Director-General Signe Caspersen of the Agency for Digitisation

One of the findings in the new report with the title ”Ensuring that legislation is digital-ready” is that the ministries have made significant progress in making sure that new legislation complies with the seven principles from the political agreement. Especially the principle of using clear and simple rules and the principle of ensuring safe and secure data handling have been embraced by the ministries.

The report shows that there is further potential for improvement in the description of digital implementation impacts of political agreements and of legislative proposals. This can for example entail an elaboration of the expected costs for the development of supporting information systems made necessary by proposed legislation.

The report further shows that some ministries have had good experiences with the establishment of multi-disciplinary teams comprised of generalists, it-professionals and legal drafters in order to ensure a broad consideration of relevant implementation aspects at an early stage of the legislative drafting proces.

Download the report “Ensuring that legislation is digital ready”