Review: New legislation enables responsible digitisation to an increasing degree


When ministries propose new legislation the question on how to subsequently implement and administer the legislation is increasingly in focus. Accordingly, subjects such as data protection and the rights of citizens have come to the forefront. However, there is still potential for making much existing legislation easier to administer in a digital fashion. Those are the results of a recently conducted review of the initiative to ensure that legislation is made digital-ready in Denmark.

Since 2018 it has been a requirement that new legislation presented before parliament is digital-ready. This means that in the preparatory phases of drafting new legislation there is an increased focus on the subsequent implementation and on drafting rules that enable smart, digital administration of the new rules. The use of data, digital solutions and new technologies are meant to ensure an efficient and trustful public administration.

A review has recently looked into the first two years of efforts to ensure that legislation is digital-ready.

"I am pleased to see the review indicates there is an increased focus on the applica-tion of new digital possibilities while maintaining a focus on data protection and the safeguarding of citizens rights. In general, when the digital implementation aspects of new legislation have been carefully considered, the legislation is the most likely to be easy to understand and to administer as well as to ensure a coherent public sector.”

Signe Caspersen, deputy director at the Agency for Digitisation.

The review concludes among other things that the seven principles of digital-ready legislation are finding ever greater use and that the implementation impacts such as consequences for citizens and with regard to data protection are increasingly as-sessed and described in legislative proposals.

Existing legislation and early policy reviews can strengthen the effort

The review suggests that while the effort to ensure digital-ready legislation may be well under way it is yet to realize the vision in full for all aspects of legislation. One of the obstacles is that legislation presented before parliament before 2018 has not been systematically reviewed to ensure that it is digital-ready. This complicates the possibility as much new legislation is to some extent dependent on existing legislation.

The review further indicates that several ministries find it advantageous to describe and incorporate digital solutions and possibilities in the early stages of the political decision-making process. If digital-ready legislation has been considered as part of a policy proposal or in the negotiation of a political agreement, the foundation for incorporation digital-ready principles and consequence considerations into legislation drafts improves. By doing this, the chances increase that legislation becomes easier to digitally administer and implement into society.

Read the review of digital-ready legislation.