Digital-ready legislation streamlines access to adult education and continuing training
On 29 October 2017, the Danish government and representatives of industry and labour unions entered into a “tripartite agreement on enhanced and more flexible adult education and training (2018-2021)” (The tripartite agreement).
The tripartite agreement indicates that although the adult, vocational education and training system is well developed, there is a need for changes to ensure a targeted, more flexible and high quality of adult and continuing training. Both employers and employees need to experience an accessible and appropriate training offer that encourages the use of the system by those who need adult, post-education or in-service training.
A number of principles of digital-ready legislation are relevant for the bill:
Principle # 1 on simple and clear rules
The first principle of digital ready legislation proscribes that, when legislation is drawn up, the aim of the legislation is to be taken into account with the aim of ensuring that legislative provisions are as clear and simple as possible. The implementation of principle # 1 will thus often have the character of regulatory simplification and administrative streamlining.
Principle # 2 on digital communication
The second principle of digital ready legislation requires communication with citizens and businesses to be carried out digitally, as far as possible, while at the same time taking care to ensure that those who are not digital are provided with the necessary help.
The Act will make it possible to establish and maintain a database of evidence of formal qualifications for adult education and continuing training, so that the information can be made available digitally to employers and workers as necessary.
Principle # 3 on automatic decisions based on objective criteria
The third principle for digital ready legislation proscribes that rules shall, as far as possible, be designed using objective criteria, so that it becomes possible digitally to support or automate workflows and case management.
The Act introduces new provisions for the payment of allowances for participation and the cost of transport. Looking ahead, the main principle will be that the payment of allowances and reimbursement of travel expenses is paid to the company, assuming, in principle, that the participants receive a salary for training and reimbursement of expenses
The provisions are an example of legislation that allows citizens and businesses to benefit from automated case handling and rapid decisions while maintaining the possibility of a specific decision on the basis of particular individual circumstances.
Principle # 4 on consistency across and reuse of data and concepts
The fourth principle of digital ready legislation proscribes that concepts and definitions that already exist elsewhere in the drafting of the provisions of a legislative act are reused as far as possible, as this would increase coherence and re-use of data across the board.
Taking advantage of the centralization of administration the act simplifies the application and reimbursement process in that it allows applicants to apply for reimbursement at the same time as they register to attend a reimbursable course. In the past, trainees had to apply separately for reimbursement and could not do so until having actually attended the course. After attending the course, trainees had to file an application within a period of 4 weeks of attending the course, which many trainees forgot to do. The legislative proposal provides a legal basis for the reuse and cross-checking of data regarding the course participant with other registers — including terminal access to information in the government’s income register — in order to support the processing of reimbursements and to carry out checks
The act’s relocation of the administration of the allowance to Employers’ Reimbursement System is an example on how digital-ready rules can help to streamline workflows for the most frequent cases based on knowledge of typical behaviour of citizens and the businesses, while at the same time maintaining the possibility for citizens to have their case assessed on its own merits.
Process and organisation
Within the Ministry of Education it is the responsibility of the National Agency for It and Learning to assess the extent to which a draft act complies with the principles for digital-ready legislation. The agency involves the relevant product owners, data specialists etc. as necessary in connection with the assessment of an act’s compliance with principles for digital-ready legislation.