Improve Public Services Through E-Government and User Interaction (FR0021)
Action Plan: France, First Action Plan, 2015-2017
Action Plan Cycle: 2015
Lead Institution: Prime Minister’s Office; Ministry of State for State Reform and Simplification attached to the Prime Minister
Support Institution(s): NA
Policy AreasE-Government, Public Participation
STAKES The digitalization of user services and administration’s internal processes has become an essential element of public action. The involvement of stakeholders in the conception or the evolution of these projects, the exploitation of data produced by digital services and the opening of new channels of interaction with the users constitute important axes of the open government project.
CONTEXT & AIM In 2014, France was named by the United Nations the most advanced European country and the 4th most advanced in the world in terms of e-government29. The website impot.gouv.fr, for example, allows users to submit tax returns online and quickly, using pre-filled forms, and even to pay their council tax using a flash code system. The website service-public.fr offers centralized access to all public services, with entries corresponding to life events: "I am moving", "I am looking for a job", etc. For each category of processes (family, documents, citizenship, transport, etc.), the website sets out the procedures to be carried out, provides the link to online procedures, and references texts. Since 2014, the faire-simple.gouv.fr website has allowed public agents and users to come together to build solutions to modernize public action. One of the co-construction workshops resulted in the creation of a form intended for disabled persons, designed by disability associations and the administrations concerned. Regular consultations are held with individuals and businesses in order to determine which administrative procedures should be simplified in priority. At the last brainstorming session, 2,000 suggestions were received online and 40 simplification measures were selected for implementation. As part of its digital public services strategy, France has put in place a mechanism for listening to user requirements, measuring satisfaction, and ensuring constant adaptation based on user requirements. In particular, the Secretariat-General for Government Modernization (SGMAP) shares a digital uses scoreboard each year. It measures perception of online administrative procedures and the proportion of procedures carried out online. Every 3-4 months, the SGMAP also brings together communities of practice where participants exchange and share experiences on listening to user requirements, rationalizing modes of contact and the service relationship, and the uses of online services. The State must continue to equip itself with high-performance tools of analysis that will help it in its decision-making processes. Ongoing attention must be dedicated to the audience, the incorporation of websites into their ecosystems (deep hypertext links, inflows and outflows between public sites) and referencing. Using these tools, detailed diagnoses of difficulties encountered could be established and the actions required to correct them could be put in place.
• Improve satisfaction measurement and take into account user feedback, involve stakeholders into services design and transformation
- Launch the publication by each ministry of key figures on the use of public services on their various channels
- Map inflows and outflows, in order to measure the integration of various public sites according to theme or time of life, and, in doing so, detect websites that are not directly involved in assisting users with sufficient or relevant hypertext
- Extract statistical data from software common to government websites (around 650 sites, some of which have been monitored for over 10 years), and analyze them using data sciences methods
- Develop and roll out co-construction methods (OpenLab, design, user-civil service workshops…)
IRM End of Term Status Summary
Improve satisfaction measurement and take into account user feedback, involve stakeholders into services design and transformation
· Launch the publication by each ministry of key figures on the use of public services on their various channels
· Map inflows and outflows, in order to measure the integration of various public sites according to theme or time of life, and, in doing so, detect websites that are not directly involved in assisting users with sufficient or relevant hypertext
· Extract statistical data from software common to government websites (around 650 sites, some of which have been monitored for over 10 years), and analyze them using data sciences methods
· Develop and roll out co-construction methods (OpenLab, design, user-civil service workshops…)
Editorial Note: This is a partial version of the commitment text. For the full commitment text please see France's national action plan: https://bit.ly/2MTYhsR.
Responsible Institution: Prime Minister's Office; Ministry of State for State Reform and Simplification attached to the Prime Minister
Supporting Institution(s): N/A
Start Date:Not Specified
End Date:Not Specified
The commitment aimed to improve existing digital services by collecting and analysing key use statistics of digital services platforms, and by building new digital services in response to collaborations with users. The two objectives of the commitment are to disclose more information on how effectively these digital public services platforms are used and to create opportunities for citizen input on the design of e-government services. A central aspect of the commitment revolves around analysing website usage but the text does not specify the exact number of websites to be analysed, nor does it define the “key figures” to be published about ministry websites. The commitment does not specify which services will be addressed by user feedback, nor does it detail the collaboration involved in improving public services. This commitment was a step forward in tracking data on the use and efficacy of digital public services and toward increasing access to e-government services.
Completion of this commitment was limited by the midterm. The government had not yet started publishing key figures on the use of public services. The IRM researcher noted that during this period, there was no standard definition for “key figures” or other usage indicators for online public services, and was unable to find public evidence that each ministry had published their key figures. The government self-assessment argues that this commitment achieved substantial completion, but the evidence provided is an update to the digital public services dashboard, which took place in September 2016, outside of the period covered by the midterm report. A data science expert noted that the dashboard enables tracking the number of visitors to specific ministry websites and the frequency of visits but is insufficient to track how visitors navigate between government websites or even inside a single ministry's website. The government self-assessment confirmed that mapping activities did not take place during the first year of implementation.
Regarding the statistical analysis of data from government websites, the government made limited steps forward. While the commitment specifies “around 650 sites,” in July 2016 the government only published audience analytics for approximately 100 government websites. However, the data offers increased levels of granularity for statistical data on government websites including analytics on a monthly and daily level. The data is available only at the website level and not on individual pages, except for the 50 most visited ministry web pages per day. The same goes for referrals, sources and supports used to visit the website. Data related to 97 different websites is published on a daily level.
Lastly, the SGMAP had organised multiple and regular open labs for Simplified Public Procurement projects; the labs allow collaboration between stakeholders on project construction. It also organised similar co-design workshops during the creation of the France Connect project, the national single sign-on service. At the time of the midterm report, there was no publicly available information with specific metrics regarding the attendance of those workshops, feedback from the participants, or how exactly those workshops ultimately impacted the project.
End of Term: Substantial
The completion of this commitment is still considered limited by this end-of-term assessment. The government self-assessment does not provide any evidence of new developments for this commitment.
The main development in the second year of implementation were updates to the digital public services dashboard published in September 2016 (3rd edition) and in May 2017 (4th edition). The dashboard helps administrations adjust their digital services to meet users' needs. The dashboard contains the results of an annual telephone survey of 1006 private individuals and 600 private companies. The survey asks for users' habits and satisfaction, and, for 30 specific services, administrative statistics on the actual portion of digitalised services undertaken in the last year. The IRM researcher could not find the dashboard data in open data format and the methodological note lacks detail, especially regarding information taken from the administration.
The government also started to provide data on total visits, visit frequency, and the audience of ministry websites through a dashboard and .cvs datasets on data.gouv.fr. There are three datasets on monthly visitors to the prime minister's website, gouvernement.fr: (i) a dataset for webpages on governmental actions, decisions and policy; (ii) a dataset on audience by theme; and (iii) a general dataset on the audience. These contain very limited information and the granularity is low (e.g. the latter merely contains the pages viewed, visits, cumulated visits, pages/visit, duration, and bounce rate). There is also a dataset of the daily visits to all governmental websites.
The IRM researcher did not find any evidence that the data provided by the government could allow mapping of web traffic or a measure the integration of governmental websites.
Lastly, the Secretariat for the Modernisation of Public Action (SGMAP) has developed multiple tools to better serve the end-user when developing or reforming services. They use various methodologies to measure user satisfaction, such as an opinion barometer for instance. The SGMAP's role is to assist other administrations in changing their work methods and they have developed a kit to better measure and account for user feedback[Note144: Available here: http://www.modernisation.gouv.fr/la-qualite-des-services-publics-sameliore/par-la-consultation-et-lecoute/kit-satisfaction-des-usagers.] and a list of guidelines for taking the user into account in digitalised public services.[Note145: Available here: http://www.modernisation.gouv.fr/ladministration-change-avec-le-numerique/par-des-services-numeriques-aux-usagers/les-10-principes-dune-demarche-en-ligne-exemplaire.] The SGMAP also functions as an incubator for developing new digitalised public services.[Note146: More information available here: https://beta.gouv.fr/.] The team also developed a co-construction method that can be used by other administrations.[Note147: Available here in beta version: http://comment-faire.modernisation.gouv.fr/index.html.
Did It Open Government?
Access to Information: Did Not Change
Civic Participation: Did Not Change
The objective of this commitment was to digitalise public services and provide an opportunity for end-users to influence this digital transition. It relates to OGP values as far as it had the potential to track user data and increase access to public services. Given that the government failed to complete most milestones, this commitment did not open government practice with respect to access to information and civic participation.
The IRM researcher did not find any evidence that these activities created an opportunity for the public to influence decisions. The digital public services dashboard provides information on user satisfaction but at a very general level. The questionnaire asks users if they were satisfied with their experience when they opened an account or searched for information; the IRM researcher did not find evidence of an opportunity given to users to provide more precise feedback. The lack of information provided on the co-construction events and methods further support coding the changes to government practices and openness as ‘did not change' since these participation opportunities were one-off events and do not seem to indicate a change in government practice to include regularly user co-construction and feedback in public service design.
The government does provide information on the audience of governmental websites or on the use of digital public services. The data is general and insufficiently granular to be useful. The IRM researcher did not find any public information regarding the reuse of these datasets. It is thus hard to assess the relevance of the information provided. As such the changes can only be considered as minor.
This commitment was carried over to the next action plan, with a focus on the development of a list of services accessible online, on the publication of an open and collaborative dashboard on digital public services and on the publication of civil society and user feedback.
Transparency of Public Services
FR0030, 2018, E-Government
Transparency of Public Procurement
FR0031, 2018, Access to Information
Transparency of Development Aid
FR0032, 2018, Access to Information
Expand Open Data
FR0033, 2018, Access to Information
Improved Data Policies and Administration
FR0034, 2018, Access to Information
Transparency of Public Algorithms
FR0035, 2018, E-Government
Open Data at Sub-National Level
FR0036, 2018, Access to Information
State AI Lab
FR0037, 2018, Automated Decision-Making
FR0038, 2018, Capacity Building
Public Service Incubators
FR0039, 2018, Capacity Building
Streamline Data Flows
FR0040, 2018, Access to Information
Open Etat Forum
FR0041, 2018, E-Government
Online Procedures Dashboard
FR0042, 2018, E-Government
FR0043, 2018, Capacity Building
Improve Public Consultation Mechanisms
FR0044, 2018, E-Government
International Transparency and Citizen Participation
FR0045, 2018, Aid
Public Pariticipation in Sustainable Development
FR0046, 2018, Access to Information
FR0047, 2018, Access to Information
Citizen Involvement in Cour Des Comptes
FR0048, 2018, Access to Information
Transparency of Interest Representatives
FR0049, 2018, Access to Information
Access to Information on Public Officials
FR0050, 2018, Access to Information
Open Regional and Local Authorities' Data
FR0001, 2015, Access to Information
Publish Municipal Council Decisions and Reports Online
FR0002, 2015, E-Government
Publish Building Permits in Open Data Format
FR0003, 2015, Access to Information
Increase Transparency in Public Procurement
FR0004, 2015, Access to Information
Improve Transparency in International Development Aid
FR0005, 2015, Access to Information
Open Access to Public Policy Evaluations
FR0006, 2015, E-Government
Involve Citizens in Cour Des Comptes Work
FR0007, 2015, Access to Information
Access to Public Officials Transparency Obligations
FR0008, 2015, Access to Information
FR0009, 2015, Anti-Corruption
Transparency in Extractive Industries
FR0010, 2015, Anti-Corruption
Transparency in International Trade Commercial Negotiations
FR0011, 2015, Access to Information
Fix My Neighborhood
FR0012, 2015, E-Government
FR0013, 2015, Access to Information
Co-Produce Data Infrastructure with Civil Society
FR0014, 2015, Access to Information
Open Legal Resources
FR0015, 2015, Access to Information
Reform Participatory Mechanisms
FR0016, 2015, Public Participation
Mediation and Justice
FR0017, 2015, Access to Justice
Open and Circulate Data
FR0018, 2015, Access to Information
Open Calculation Models and Simulators
FR0019, 2015, Access to Information
Open Platform for Government Resources
FR0020, 2015, E-Government
Improve Public Services Through E-Government and User Interaction
FR0021, 2015, E-Government
Empower Civil Society to Support Schools
FR0022, 2015, E-Government
Diversify Recruitment Within Public Institutions
FR0023, 2015, Capacity Building
FR0024, 2015, Capacity Building
Spread Public Innovation
FR0025, 2015, Capacity Building
Protect Against Conflicts of Interest
FR0026, 2015, Anti-Corruption
Civil Society & Transparency in COP21 Conference Planning
FR0027, 2015, Environment and Climate
Open Data and Climate/Sustainable Development
FR0028, 2015, Access to Information
Collaborate with Civil Society on Climate and Sustainable Development
FR0029, 2015, Environment and Climate