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Sweden

Citizen-Centered e-Government (SE0013)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Sweden Third National Action Plan 2016-2018

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry of Finance (since May 2016); previously, Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation.

Support Institution(s): Government Offices, the Swedish National Financial Management Authority, the Swedish mapping, cadastral and land registration authority, the National Board of Housing, Building and Planning, the National Food Agency, the Swedish Board of Agriculture, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth, the Swedish Companies Registration Office, the National Archives, eGovlab, Stockholm University. The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, individuals, businesses and civil society organisations.

Policy Areas

Environment and Climate, Infrastructure & Transport, Land & Spatial Planning, Open Data, Public Participation, Public Service Delivery, Science & Technology, Subnational

IRM Review

IRM Report: Sweden End-of-Term Report 2016-2018, Sweden Mid-Term Report 2016-2018

Starred: Yes Starred

Early Results: Marginal

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information Civic Participation

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

National strategy: Bringing the Citizen to the Heart of Government (Med medborgaren i centrum). Implementation programme: Digital First; Lead ministry/agency Ministry of Finance (since May 2016); previously, Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation.; Other actors involved: Government agencies: Government Offices, the Swedish National Financial Management Authority, the Swedish mapping, cadastral and land registration authority, the National Board of Housing, Building and Planning, the National Food Agency, the Swedish Board of Agriculture, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth, the Swedish Companies Registration Office, the National Archives, eGovlab, Stockholm University. CSO, private sector: The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, individuals, businesses and civil society organisations.; Status quo or problem/issue to be addressed: The biggest driver of the open data agenda is the economic potential of re-use since Sweden is already a very open, transparent and lowcorruption country. The challenge is to increase digital openness without limiting the long and deeply rooted paper-based tradition of openness.; Main objectives: Government objectives are expressed in the strategy Bringing the Citizen to the Heart of Government (2012): An increasingly open government that supports innovation and participation. It should be easier to find and re-use open data and possible for others to provide government digital services as part of their service offering. Transparency and participation must increase.; Main activities: - Improve whole-of-government governance of open government activities. This includes a new unit dedicated to eGovernment and improved frameworks for follow-up and benchmarks. - Specific government assignments to seven pilot agencies in four sectors that need extra governance. The following value chains have been targeted: smarter planning and building process, a smarter food chain, smarter use of environmental information and simplified entrepreneurship. The agencies are required to work on open data, data maturity and open innovation. - The pilot agencies are called to the Government’s council for the digital transformation of the public sector. The council holds an ‘open council’ once a year to take in advice from digital change leaders in civil society, and from businesses and citizens. - An agreement has been made with the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions to strengthen collaboration around eGovernment and open government. The agreement includes a commitment by the Association to appoint pilot municipalities in the four targeted sectors. - Spontaneous activities in terms of labs, hackathons, tech-fests and innovation hubs emerging from Sweden’s current digital transformation are being supported by e.g. Vinnova.; OGP challenge addressed by the commitment: - More effectively managing public resources.; Is it relevant to the advancement of: Transparency Accountability Public participation The Government has given specific assignments to digitise and open up several value chains where work is needed. With increased openness, accountability in all phases of the value chain will increase. By opening up value chains for smart cocreation, public participation is enabled for citizens, businesses and organisations.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

1. Implementation programme: Digital First

Commitment Text:

The current programme, Digital First, is designed to implement the goals of the government strategy Bringing the Citizen to the Heart of Government, [Note44: Link to the e-government strategy in Swedish: Med medborgaren i centrum, Regeringens strategi för en digitalt samverkande statsförvaltning Diarienummer:

N2012.37, http://www.regeringen.se/informationsmaterial/2012/12/n2012.37.] and is structured around three focus areas: governance, smart solutions and infrastructure.

Main activities:­­

Improve whole-of-government governance of open government activities. This includes a new unit dedicated to eGovernment and improved frameworks for follow-up and benchmarks.

Specific government assignments to seven pilot agencies in four sectors that need extra governance. The following value chains have been targeted: smarter planning and building process, a smarter food chain, smarter use of environmental information and simplified entrepreneurship. The agencies are required to work on open data, data maturity and open innovation.

The pilot agencies are called to the Government’s council for the digital transformation of the public sector. The council holds an ‘open council’ once a year to take in advice from digital change leaders in civil society, and from businesses and citizens.

An agreement has been made with the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions to strengthen collaboration around eGovernment and open government. The agreement includes a commitment by the Association to appoint pilot municipalities in the four targeted sectors.

Spontaneous activities in terms of labs, hackathons, tech-fests and innovation hubs emerging from Sweden’s current digital transformation are being supported by e.g. Vinnova.

Please note that the commitment text has been shortened for reasons of space. For full text, please see the Swedish Action Plan 2016-2018: https://www.opengovpartnership.org/documents/sweden-third-national-action-plan-2016-2018.

Responsible institution: Ministry of Finance

Supporting institutions: Government Offices, the Swedish National Financial Management Authority, the Swedish mapping, cadastral and land registration authority, the National Board of Housing, Building and Planning, the National Food Agency, the Swedish Board of Agriculture, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth, the Swedish Companies Registration Office, the National Archives, eGovlab, Stockholm University, the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions.

Start date: 2015 End date: 2018

Editorial note: This commitment is clearly relevant to OGP values as written, has transformative potential impact, and is substantially or completely implemented and therefore qualifies as a starred commitment.
Context and Objectives

Sweden is an advanced e-government nation and the public sector invests around SEK 45 billion (USD 5.5 billion) on information technology (IT) every year. [Note45: Ardalan Shekarabi (Minister of Civil Affairs), 'Digitalisation of the public sector should now be accelerated on' DN Debate (Government Offices, 2 Dec. 2016), http://www.regeringen.se/debattartiklar/2016/12/digitaliseringen-av-offentlig-sektor-ska-nu-snabbas-pa/.] In international comparisons, Sweden ranks very well in terms of internet usage, both by individuals and by businesses. However, the Swedish government lags behind other advanced economies in their use of digital technologies [Note46: In terms of overall ranking, Sweden ranks number three on the Network Readiness Index 2016. However, Sweden ranks less well on government readiness – 'government usage' (23rd place) and on 'government ICT vision' (20th place). Global Information Technology Report 2016 (World Economic Forum, 6 Jul. 2016), http://www.weforum.org/gitr.] and 'business executives feel that it (Sweden) has somewhat been losing sight of the digital agenda.' [Note47: Id.; Webpage for Sweden: http://reports.weforum.org/global-information-technology-report-2016/economies/#indexId=NRI&economy=SWE.] The Swedish government is aware of the untapped digital potential in the public sector. [Note48: 'Ett program för digital förnyelse av det offentliga Sverige’’ (Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation, 28 Apr. 2016), http://www.naringsbloggen.se/digitalt-forst/2016/04/28/ett-program-for-digital-fornyelse-av-det-offentliga-sverige/.] Since the mid-1990s, the government has appointed numerous investigations, councils, commissions, delegations, collaborative projects, and organisations to improve e-government in Sweden. Nevertheless, issues have not been fully addressed. [Note49: Lilian Klasson (CEO at Stratvise, a management network in Sweden), 'Think about the Digitalisation Authority - focus on national cooperation!' (IDG, 30 May 2017), https://computersweden.idg.se/2.2683/1.683443/tank-om-digitaliseringsmyndigheten; 'Riksrevisionens granskning av den offentliga förvaltningens digitalisering. Riksrevisionen' RiR 2016:14 (Swedish National Audit Office, 2016), http://www.riksrevisionen.se/PageFiles/24636/RiR_2016_14_DIGITALISERING_ANPASSAD.pdf.] A 2016-report by the National Audit Office showed that e-government investments do not generate sufficient value for their cost and that there is room for improving digital management and coordination. [Note50: Swedish National Audit Office, 'Riksrevisionens' RiR 2016:14.] The same year, the National Financial Management Authority stressed that the monitoring of the digital development in Sweden should be improved and that public organisations must enhance their skills to manage efficiently the digital transformation. [Note51: 'Communications' government proposals for the state budget for 2017 to Parliament, submitted to Parliament 20 Sept. 2016 (PROP. 2016/17:1 UTGIFTSOMRÅDE 22) 100–102, http://www.regeringen.se/4a6638/contentassets/e926a751d9eb4c978c4d892c659ebc8e/utgiftsomrade-22-kommunikationer.]

According to the description of this commitment in the Swedish Action Plan, 'The biggest driver of the open data agenda is the economic potential of re-use since Sweden is already a very open, transparent and low-corruption country. The challenge is to increase digital openness without limiting the long and deeply rooted paper-based tradition of openness.' To address these challenges and opportunities, the government has launched a programme for digital innovation in the public sector, 'Digital First,' that runs from 2015 through 2018. [Note52: 'Digital first' (ESV, 19 Dec. 2017), http://www.esv.se/effektiv-statsforvaltning/digitalisering/digitalt-forst/.] The aim of the Digital First programme, to make Sweden the world leader in using the potential of digitisation, [Note53: 'Targeting for digitisation policy' (Government Offices, 2 Nov. 2017), http://www.regeringen.se/regeringens-politik/it-politik/mal-for-it-politik/.] is very ambitious and could have a strong impact in the long-term. The IRM designated this commitment as potentially high-impact as it both entails a whole-of-government approach, including local governments, and places priority on four key, high-impact areas. Particularly important, the digitalisation reform in Sweden concerns all public authorities, both at the national and the local level, and is conducted in cooperation with municipalities and county councils. [Note54: Shekarabi, 'Digitalisation of the public sector.']

The Digital First programme is based on three pillars: [Note55: http://www.naringsbloggen.se/digitalt-forst/2016/04/28/ett-program-for-digital-fornyelse-av-det-offentliga-sverige/]

(i) Digital infrastructure: Improving the national digital infrastructure with measures targeting access to basic data, standards, and national digital services.

(ii) Smart Sweden: Smarter and more innovative digital services. The government has mandated seven pilot agencies in four sectors to work on open data, data maturity, and open innovation (see Milestones 1.1 and 1.2). [Note56: Mehmet Kaplan, 'Now we digitise the public Sweden' (Government Offices, 29 Oct. 2015), http://www.regeringen.se/pressmeddelanden/2015/10/nu-digitaliserar-vi-det-offentliga-sverige/.]

(iii) Better governance: Establishment of governance bodies to support digitisation. A forum for multilevel coordination, the 'Council for the digital transformation of the public sector,' was established in 2015 [Note57: The council for the digital transformation of the public sector was established on 29 October 2015.] (see Milestones 1.3 and 1.4). [Note58: Kaplan, 'Now we digitise.'] The Council consists of representatives from government agencies, municipalities and county councils, including the pilot agencies mentioned above. Its remit is to discuss strategic issues, identify challenges during the implementation of the government's commitment to e-government and propose targeted measures. [Note59: Id.] The Council is not a decision-making body but purely consultative. It aims to increase the competencies of the Minister of Public Administration and help him set priorities concerning the digital transformation of the public sector. [Note60: Magnus Enzell (Ministry of Finance), interview with IRM researcher, 4 Aug. 2017.] The government is also planning to form a distinct governmental body that will have the overall responsibility for the digital transformation of the public sector as of mid-2018. [Note61: Enzell, interview; 'Regeringen utreder hur digitaliseringen i den offentliga sektorn kan stärkas genom att samla ansvaret hos en myndighet' (Government Offices, 2 Dec. 2016), http://www.regeringen.se/pressmeddelanden/2016/12/regeringen-utreder-hur-digitaliseringen-i-den-offentliga-sektorn-kan-starkas-genom-att-samla-ansvaret-hos-en-myndighet/; 'Delbetänkande av Utredningen om effektiv styrning av nationella digitala tjänster' interim report on the inquiry into the coordination of national digital services (Stockholm: Statens Offentliga Utredningar, 2017), http://www.regeringen.se/4948a6/contentassets/b1285825f50548eb83e23667b5130bc2/digitalforvaltning.nu-sou-201723.] In addition, a unit dedicated to digital government and the implementation of Digital First was created within the Ministry of Finance in May 2016. [Note62: Enzell, interview.]

The individual Digital First activities included in this action plan contribute to a larger multiyear programme, involving many other important measures outlined above. In addition to its clear aims of improving access to information, the commitment would improve citizen participation with the development of the open council (Milestone 1.4), where the Digital First programme can be debated with stakeholders. [Note63: Please note that Milestone 1.3 is not related to any OGP Value.] Open data experts interviewed in the preparation of this report describe the program as a large improvement. [Note64: Björn Hagström (Hagström Consulting AB), interview with the IRM researcher, 23 Aug. 2017; Angela Yong, interview with the IRM researcher, 30 Aug. 2017.]

Completion

Overall, this commitment is substantially completed and incomplete activities are on track for full implementation during the second year.

All pilot agencies submitted their first reports to the government 1 August 2016. According to a summary of the reports provided by the government, the reports highlight a need for developed cooperation between government institutions and for improved coordination of new initiatives. The reports also contain strategies for future work of the pilot agencies with a focus on promoting innovation, making information available, and developing data standards. [Note65: 'Communications' (2016) 100–102.] The follow-up activity of final reports from the pilot agencies was not started during first year of implementation. However, these reports are not due until 2018 and will be assessed in the second annual report.

Reporting from the council for the digital transformation of the public sector is on-going and is expected to continue through the second year of action plan implementation. In total, the council has met five times since its establishment in Autumn 2015. [Note66: The council has met five times since its establishment in Autumn 2015. The last three meetings are documented on the blog of the Ministry of Finance: 3 May 2016 about open data and promotion of data-driven innovation (http://digitaltforst.se/rad-for-digitalisering-av-det-offentliga-sverige-denna-gang-om-oppna-data); 29–30 Nov. 2016, during the DigiGov 2016 conference, where the outcomes of the open council (also held at the DigiGov) were discussed (http://digitaltforst.se/lyckat-toppledarforum-och-oppet-rad-genomfordes-pa-digigov-29-30-november ); and 10 May 2017 (http://digitaltforst.se/delbetankandet-digitalforvaltning-nu-pa-agendan-under-dagens-radsmote).] Two meetings occurred during the evaluation of the OGP action plan. [Note67: 1 Jul. 2016–30 Jun. 2017.] The first was in November 2016, during the DigiGov conference, and addressed the outcomes of the Open council (see Milestone 1.4). The second was in May 2017, where council-members discussed: the government-commissioned report on effective management of digital services; a proposal to consolidate responsibility for related issues in a single body; [Note68: The interim report on the inquiry about the consolidation of responsibility for the digital transformation of the public sector was published on 15 March 2017 and the final report is due on 31 December 2017. 'Utredningen om effektiv styrning av nationella digitala tjänster i en samverkande förvaltning' reference to the inquiry (N 2016:01); 'Regeringen utreder hur digitaliseringen i den offentliga sektorn kan stärkas genom att samla ansvaret hos en myndighet.' (Government Offices, 2 Dec. 2016), http://www.regeringen.se/pressmeddelanden/2016/12/regeringen-utreder-hur-digitaliseringen-i-den-offentliga-sektorn-kan-starkas-genom-att-samla-ansvaret-hos-en-myndighet/.] and a joint target for the development of the digital infrastructure. [Note69: Alexander Wall, 'Delegation digitalforvaltning.nu on the agenda during yesterday's council meeting' (Stockholm: Digital first, 11 May 2017), http://digitaltforst.se/delbetankandet-digitalforvaltning-nu-pa-agendan-under-dagens-radsmote/.]

The government also held a public consultation ('remiss' according to the Swedish terminology) [Note70: 'Remiss' means that the government sends the inquiry report to relevant authorities, municipalities, and stakeholders on referral to gather the opinions of concerned parties and to understand if the inquiry proposals are supported. The general public is also entitled to comment.] in June 2017 [Note71: The consultation closed on 27 June 2017.] about proposals contained in the above-mentioned report regarding a new government body coordinating digital transformation efforts. The response rate was very high; of 121 organisations invited in writing to the consultation, 107 replied. This suggests that the stakeholders consider this an important issue. All consultation replies were published openly on the government website and the Ministry of Finance is currently preparing a summary report. [Note72: 'Reference of SOU 2017: 23' Diary number: Fi2017 / 01289 / DF (Government Offices, 10 Oct. 2017), http://www.regeringen.se/remisser/2017/03/remiss-av-sou-201723-digitalforvaltning.nu/.]

An open council was held in November 2016 at the annual DigiGov 'Top Leader Forum for a Smarter Sweden.' [Note73: DigiGov is organised by the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SKL) in cooperation with the government, and is a place for discussing societal development based on digitisation. Website of DigiGov: http://digigov.se/.] The open council focused on citizen-centred development and was conducted in a workshop format, where smaller groups provided feedback about the measures planned by Digital First. Feedback was then discussed in the regular meeting of the council for the digital transformation of the public sector, which also occurred during the DigiGov forum, under the chairmanship of the Minister for Public Administration. The majority of the 300–400 participants in DigiGov represented public authorities and municipalities, but experts and leaders from academia and the private sector also participated. [Note74: Enzell, interview.] The open council activity was not fully completed during the first year of implementation but is considered on-going with full completion expected by the end of the action plan implementation period (2018).

Early Results

To date, the programme does not show many tangible results, which is unsurprising considering the time necessary to coordinate hundreds of public agencies and authorities, both at the national and local level. [Note75: There are 290 municipalities and 20 county councils or regions in Sweden. 'Municipalities and county councils' (Sveriges Kommuner och Landsting, 21 Dec. 2017), https://skl.se/tjanster/kommunerlandsting.431.html.]

The pilot reports (Milestones 1.1 and 1.2) are only a first step toward establishing Digital First. One of the reports analysed by the IRM researcher presents generic descriptions of the processes and stakeholders involved, and gives some examples of the types of initiatives that might be implemented, but lacks specificity of what will be done and how. This specificity will be decided in the next step of the process, to be carried out jointly with the relevant stakeholders in each area. [Note76: 'Digital first - smarter environmental information' (Swedish Environment Agency, 7 May 2018), http://www.naturvardsverket.se/Miljoarbete-i-samhallet/Miljoarbete-i-Sverige/Regeringsuppdrag/Digitalt-forst--smartare-miljoinformation/#.] However, the assignments received by the pilot agencies in the framework of Digital First have already had some effect, according to an open data expert interviewed by the IRM researcher. [Note77: Hagström, interview.] The pilot agencies are now leading the way for the other public authorities and the peer-to-peer collaboration among agencies has become one of the key drivers in the reform process. [Note78: Hagström, interview; Yong, interview.] For some agencies, such as the Swedish Environment Agency, the assignment has become a driving force for change and an incentive for extending cooperation to other authorities. [Note79: Hagström, interview.] The Swedish mapping, cadastral and land registration authority has also made good progress, [Note80: Id.; Yong, interview.] which is confirmed by its release of a significant amount of open data. [Note81: Yong, interview.] Beginning 1 September 2017, it will be easier to use the authority’s open geographic data, released according to the CC0 license [Note82: Creative Commons CC Zero License (cc-zero) is intended to be a ‘public domain dedication,’ i.e., a waiver of all rights including those of attribution. ('Creative Commons CC Zero License (cc-zero)' (Open Definition, 22 Jul. 2018), http://opendefinition.org/licenses/cc-zero/.) CC0 is currently recommended as the preferred method for releasing software to the public domain by the Free Software Foundation. ('Various Licenses and Comments about Them' (Free Software Foundation, 27 Jun. 2018), https://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html). CC0 is also used by major players such as Open street map on Wikipedia.] (meaning that all rights are waived), [Note83: 'Now it becomes easier to use the Lantmäteriets open data' (Geoforum Sweden, 14 Aug. 2017), https://geoforum.se/nyheter/266-oppna-data/3173-nu-blir-det-enklare-att-anvaenda-lantmaeteriets-oeppna-data.] which is expected to generate societal benefits. [Note84: Yong, interview.]

In terms of early results regarding increased civic participation, it is worth noting that the pilot agencies are trying to involve stakeholders and ordinary citizens in the implementation of Digital First. The pilot agencies have carried out consultations with stakeholders, and several of these have been open to the general public, e.g. via webinars. The agencies also provide a dedicated email address on Digital First websites and publish newsletters about Digital First progress. [Note85: See 'Digital first - smarter environmental information' (Swedish Environment Agency).]

Although the pilot agencies are trying to involve stakeholders in Digital First’s implementation, one of the experts interviewed by the IRM researcher expressed concerns about the top-down tendency of the programme, focussing on increased efficiency and minimised costs, while citizens’ needs and user-demand are potentially overshadowed. [Note86: Serdar Temiz (Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)), interview with the IRM researcher, 25 Aug. 2017.]

Next Steps

The IRM researcher concludes that this commitment should be carried forward in the next OGP action plan considering its ambition, importance, and comprehensiveness. Prior to the Digital First initiative, governance of public sector digitisation lacked coherence and coordination, and there were limited incentives for authorities to cooperate in developing standardised systems and services. [Note87: 'Delbetänkande av Utredningen om effektiv,' (Statens Offentliga Utredningar).] After a desk analysis of documentation and consultations with experts, the IRM researcher concludes that a new action plan should include a clear overall strategy with concrete targets and indicators in order to strengthen and develop the digitisation of the public sector. The IRM researcher also agrees with the expert interviewees who stressed that the Digital First programme should aim at having a stronger open data remit. [Note88: Hagström, interview; Temiz, interview.]

In terms of next steps, the IRM researcher agrees with the following suggestions made by interviewed stakeholders:

Form the new authority and provide it with adequate resources: The government should create a new authority with the overall responsibility for the digital transformation of the public sector, as suggested by this commitment. These types of (permanent) authorities are already operating in other Nordic countries that are more advanced on public sector digitisation. [Note89: 'Delbetänkande av Utredningen om effektiv,' (Statens Offentliga Utredningar).] The IRM researcher agrees with the view of several stakeholders [Note90: Per Blom and Anders Persson, 'Faster digitisation if we take care of neighboring countries' (Dagens Samhälle, 30 Mar. 2017), https://www.dagenssamhalle.se/debatt/snabbare-digitalisering-om-vi-tar-efter-grannlaenderna-32641; The Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth (Tillväxtverket, 27 Jun. 2017) response to 'Delbetänkande av Utredningen om effektiv styrning av nationella digitala tjänster' interim report on the inquiry into the coordination of national digital services (Stockholm: Statens Offentliga Utredningar, 2017), https://www.regeringen.se/4948a6/contentassets/b1285825f50548eb83e23667b5130bc2/digitalforvaltning.nu-sou-201723; Sweden’s innovation agency (Vinnova, 21 Jun. 2017) response to 'Delbetänkande av Utredningen om effektiv styrning av nationella digitala tjänster' (Stockholm: Statens Offentliga Utredningar, 2017), http://www.regeringen.se/4948a6/contentassets/b1285825f50548eb83e23667b5130bc2/digitalforvaltning.nu-sou-201723.] that the new authority should be allocated adequate resources, particularly personnel, to fulfil its mission. [Note91: The 34 FTEs for the new authority proposed by the government inquiry is probably too limited considering that similar authorities in Norway and Denmark employ 200–300 FTEs. 'Delbetänkande av Utredningen om effektiv,' (2017).]

Extend mandates to more agencies [Note92: Hagström, interview.] and develop models for joint-funding solutions: In order to deliver joint results, the new authority and relevant agencies will need sustainable, long-term funding solutions, [Note93: 'Riksrevisionens granskning av den offentliga förvaltningens digitalisering' Riksrevisionen (RiR 2016:14) (Swedish National Audit Office, 21 Jun. 2016), http://www.riksrevisionen.se/PageFiles/24636/RiR_2016_14_DIGITALISERING_ANPASSAD.pdf] including development resources and funds to cover costs (e.g. for joint licenses.) [Note94: The Swedish Agency for Public Management (Statskontoret, 20 Jun. 2017) response to 'Delbetänkande av Utredningen om effektiv,' 2017.] The IRM researcher made a similar recommendation in the previous IRM report. [Note95: See prior report’s 'Top Five ‘SMART’ Recommendations,' recommendation 4: 'Adopt a systematic approach to open data by developing a roadmap setting out what data should be open and when, and by designing a funding model for joint solutions across government entities' in the 'Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) Progress Report 2014-2015: Sweden' (Washington DC: OGP, 2015) 5, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Sweden_Eng_14-15_0.pdf. ] Several stakeholders stress that some of the pilot agencies need more funding in order to make progress, [Note96: Hagström, interview; 'Now it becomes easier to use the Lantmäteriets,' 14 Aug. 2017.] and a recent academic report affirms that a prerequisite for opening up geographic data, one of the most requested types of data, is the replacement of user fees by additional government funding of around SEK 130 million per year. [Note97: The report also states that open geographic data would give direct social benefits of at least around SEK 200 million. Moreover, it refers to a study by the European Commission pointing out that geodata is the most valuable source of data to open and make freely available. (Erik Lakomaa, 'Socioeconomic effect of open geodata' SSE Working Paper Series in Economic History No. 2016:3 (Institute for Economic and Business History Research, Department of Marketing and Strategy, Stockholm School of Economics, 2016).) Geodata is also supposedly one of the most widely requested data from the IT sector in Sweden. ('Now it becomes easier to use the Lantmäteriets,' 14 Aug. 2017.) ]

Develop assessment indicators: [Note98: The inquiry report points out the need to make sure that public bodies regularly report to the government about the measures undertaken to ensure digital access to information and to services. 'Delbetänkande av Utredningen om effektiv,' 2017.] The government should develop effective indicators for assessing the progress of digital transformation efforts, in particular measuring: (i) the user perspective (e.g. assessing ‘user journeys’ across public services); including of categories of people that have limited or no digital skills; [Note99: This is an addition identified by the IRM research.] (ii) the extent different authorities use digitisation; and (iii) the innovation potential of public bodies. [Note100: Sweden’s innovation agency, 21 Jun. 2017, response. ]

Report in an open data format: The commitment also targets the need to monitor the digital transformation process. To align the monitoring needs with the OGP values, the government should publish the expenses of digitisation as open data. This would create more transparency, legitimacy, and a better understanding of public digitalisation efforts. [Note101: Id.] The IRM researcher made a related recommendation in the previous IRM report. [Note102: See prior report’s 'Top Five ‘SMART’ Recommendations,' recommendation 1: Broaden the transparency guarantee beyond aid-specific data to government transactions in general. As a first step in this direction, Sweden could apply IATI standards to data in at least one government area….' Please note that the IATI standard is an open data standard. 'Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) Progress Report 2014-2015: Sweden,' (2015) 5.]

Prioritise personal data protection: Digitisation poses risks for protecting personal data. To prioritise data protection, the new authority should encourage the creation of codes of conduct under the Data Protection Ordinance for e-government [Note103: The title of the Ordinance in Swedish: Dataskyddsförordningen inom e-förvaltningen.] and collaborate with the Data Inspectorate, the Swedish Civil Protection Agency, and the National Post and Telecom Agency to facilitate the authorities' work on information security and to ensure uniform handling of data protection and personal privacy issues. [Note104: 'Delbetänkande av Utredningen om effektiv,' 2017; The Internet Foundation in Sweden (19 Jun. 2017) in response to 'Delbetänkande av Utredningen om effektiv,' 2017.]

Digital inclusion: One interviewed expert recommended the Digital First programme account for people who are excluded from the Internet, [Note105: Temiz, interview.] which is presently 7% of Sweden’s population. [Note106: 630,000 persons in Sweden do not use the internet. The Swedes and the internet 2016 (The Internet Foundation in Sweden, 2016), https://www.iis.se/docs/Svenskarna_och_internet_2016.pdf.]

IRM End of Term Status Summary

1. Implementation programme: Digital First

Commitment Text:

The current programme, Digital First, is designed to implement the goals of the government strategy Bringing the Citizen to the Heart of Government, [Note6: The e-government strategy in Swedish: Med medborgaren i centrum, Regeringens strategi för en digitalt samverkande statsförvaltning Diarienummer:

N2012.37, http://www.regeringen.se/informationsmaterial/2012/12/n2012.37 ] and is structured around three focus areas: governance, smart solutions and infrastructure.

Main activities:

·Improve whole-of-government governance of open government activities. This includes a new unit dedicated to eGovernment and improved frameworks for follow-up and benchmarks.

·Specific government assignments to seven pilot agencies in four sectors that need extra governance. The following value chains have been targeted: smarter planning and building process, a smarter food chain, smarter use of environmental information and simplified entrepreneurship. The agencies are required to work on open data, data maturity and open innovation.

·The pilot agencies are called to the Government’s council for the digital transformation of the public sector. The council holds an ‘open council’ once a year to take in advice from digital change leaders in civil society, and from businesses and citizens.

·An agreement has been made with the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions to strengthen collaboration around eGovernment and open government. The agreement includes a commitment by the Association to appoint pilot municipalities in the four targeted sectors.

·Spontaneous activities in terms of labs, hackathons, tech-fests and innovation hubs emerging from Sweden’s current digital transformation are being supported by e.g. Vinnova.

Responsible institution: Ministry of Finance

Supporting institutions: Government Offices, the Swedish National Financial Management Authority, the Swedish mapping, cadastral and land registration authority, the National Board of Housing, Building and Planning, the National Food Agency, the Swedish Board of Agriculture, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth, the Swedish Companies Registration Office, the National Archives, eGovlab, Stockholm University, the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions.

Start date: 2015.................... End date: 2018

Editorial note: This commitment text has been shortened for reasons of space. For full text, please see the Swedish action plan 2016-2018: https://www.opengovpartnership.org/documents/sweden-third-national-action-plan-2016-2018.

Editorial note: This commitment is clearly relevant to OGP values as written, has transformative potential impact, and is substantially or completely implemented and therefore qualifies as a starred commitment.
Commitment Aim

Public agencies in Sweden are generally advanced in digital public services. However, there is an increasing polarization among the less digitally mature and more digitally mature agencies. The same is true among municipalities. [Note7: Magnus Enzell (Ministry of Finance), comment to the draft IRM report, December 2018.] One key challenge is to improve digital management [Note8: Swedish National Audit Office, “Riksrevisionens” RiR 2016:14.] and coordination. [Note9: “Communications” government proposals for the state budget for 2017 to Parliament, submitted to Parliament 20 September 2016 (PROP. 2016/17:1 UTGIFTSOMRÅDE 22) 100–102, http://www.regeringen.se/4a6638/contentassets/e926a751d9eb4c978c4d892c65... To this end, the government launched a program for digital innovation in the public sector called “Digital First” that runs from 2015 through 2018. [Note10: “Digital first” (ESV, 19 Dec. 2017), http://www.esv.se/effektiv-statsforvaltning/digitalisering/digitalt-forst/ ] More specifically, this commitment set out to: [Note11: The aim of the commitments, http://www.naringsbloggen.se/digitalt-forst/2016/04/28/ett-program-for-d... The “Digitalt forst” blog by the Ministry of Finance seems to have been discontinued and the link is no longer valid. ]

·Develop smarter and more innovative digital services by mandating seven pilot agencies in four sectors to work on open data, data maturity, and open innovation. [Note12: Mehmet Kaplan, 'Now we digitise the public Sweden' (Government Offices, 29 Oct. 2015), http://www.regeringen.se/pressmeddelanden/2015/10/nu-digitaliserar-vi-de... ]

·Improve governance by establishing new bodies to support digitization, including a forum for multilevel coordination, the “Council for the digital transformation of the public sector,” established in 2015. [Note13: The council for the digital transformation of the public sector was established on 29 October 2015.] The Council consists of representatives from government agencies, [Note14: The Council consists of Director Generals/Heads of Municipalities that are elected members of the council, thus also establishing a true mandate to represent their organization. Sumbat Sarkis (Ministry of Finance), comment to the draft IRM report, December 2018.] municipalities and county councils, including the pilot agencies mentioned above. Its remit is to discuss strategic issues, identify challenges during the implementation of “Digital First” and propose targeted measures to the Minister of Public Administration. [Note15: Id. ] [Note16: Magnus Enzell (Ministry of Finance), interview with IRM researcher, 4 August 2017.]

Status

Midterm: Substantial

This commitment was substantially completed by the midterm review. All seven pilot agencies submitted their first reports to the government in August 2016 (Milestone 1.1), and the final reports (Milestone 1.2) are due on 28 February 2019. The Council for the digital transformation of the public sector was expected to meet four times per year (Milestone 1.3). However, it met only twice. [Note17: Two meetings are documented on the blog of the Ministry of Finance in the period July 2016-June 2017: meeting on 29–30 November 2016, during the DigiGov 2016 conference, where the outcomes of the Open Council (also held at the DigiGov) were discussed (http://digitaltforst.se/lyckat-toppledarforum-och-oppet-rad-genomfordes-... ); and meeting on 10 May 2017 (http://digitaltforst.se/delbetankandet-digitalforvaltning-nu-pa-agendan-...).] The first meeting occurred in November 2016 during the DigiGov conference, and addressed the outcomes of the Open Council (see Milestone 1.4). The second meeting took place in May 2017, where Council members discussed (i) the government-commissioned report on effective management of digital services; (ii) a proposal to consolidate responsibility for related issues in a single body; [Note18: The interim report on the inquiry about the consolidation of responsibility for the digital transformation of the public sector was published on 15 March 2017 and the final report was due on 31 December 2017. “Utredningen om effektiv styrning av nationella digitala tjänster i en samverkande förvaltning” reference to the inquiry (N 2016:01); “Regeringen utreder hur digitaliseringen i den offentliga sektorn kan stärkas genom att samla ansvaret hos en myndighet.” (Government Offices, 2 Dec. 2016), http://www.regeringen.se/pressmeddelanden/2016/12/regeringen-utreder-hur... and (iii) a joint target for the development of the digital infrastructure. [Note19: Alexander Wall, 'Delegation digitalforvaltning.nu on the agenda during yesterday's council meeting' (Stockholm: Digital first, 11 May 2017), http://digitaltforst.se/delbetankandet-digitalforvaltning-nu-pa-agendan-... ]

The first yearly Open Council (Milestone 1.4) in November 2016 at the annual DigiGov “Top Leader Forum for a Smarter Sweden” [Note20: DigiGov is organised by the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SKL) in cooperation with the government, and is a place for discussing societal development based on digitization. Website of DigiGov: http://digigov.se/ ], was conducted in a workshop format and focused on citizen-centred development. The Council then discussed feedback during its regular meeting of the Council for the digital transformation (see above). [Note21: See more details in the IRM midterm report (2018).] For more information, see the 2016–2018 IRM midterm report. [Note22: OGP commitments: Citizen-Centered E-Government, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/commitment/01-citizen-centered-e-gove.... ]

End of term: Substantial

The final reports from the pilot agencies (Milestone 1.2) are not due until February 2019. However, one of the agencies, the Swedish mapping, cadastral and land registration authority (Lantmäteriet), submitted its final report in January 2018. [Note23: “Digital First- For a smarter community-building process” (The Swedish mapping, cadastral and land registration authority (Lantmäteriet) January 2018), https://www.geodata.se/globalassets/dokumentarkiv/styrning-och-uppfoljni... ]

The Council for the digital transformation of the public sector was expected to meet four times per year (Milestone 1.3). The Council held three meetings during the end-of-term report timeframe (see below). The fourth meeting scheduled for 2018 did not take place due to national elections. [Note24: Sumbat Sarkis (Ministry of Finance), comment to the draft IRM report, December 2018.]

(1)in September 2017, to discuss the budget bill on the digitization of the public sector;

(2)in January 2018, to discuss the OECD review of Sweden's digital management and the feedback from the Open Council held in December 2017, and the legal conditions for the coordination of digital management.

(3)in May 2018, to discuss the practical arrangement of the new Agency for Digital Government, and the government assignment around basic data and information exchange.

The yearly Open Council meeting (Milestone 1.4) took place at the DigiGov on 5 December 2017 and focused on the management of digitization. [Note25: Open Council meeting at DigiGov, 5 December 2017, http://digitalainvesteringar.se/aktuellt/kom-och-ge-rad-till-regeringen-... ] The aim was to produce concrete proposals for digital transformation. [Note26: Proposals for digital transformation, https://digigov.se/oppna-radet/ ] Approximately 200-300 participants representing the state, municipal, private and civil society sectors engaged in the four Open Council thematic workshops: [Note27: Email communication from Sumbat Sarkis, the Ministry of Finance, 14 September, 2018. ] (1) improved governance of Sweden's digitization, (2) government's commitment to open data and data-driven innovation, (3) the Innovation Lab, and (4) collaborative initiatives and digital infrastructure. [Note28: Proposals for digital transformation, https://digigov.se/oppna-radet/ ]

The IRM researcher participated in the 2017 Open Council workshop and noted several drawbacks, including that most ideas were lost in the process. On the positive side, however, all participants had the opportunity to express their ideas in small working groups, and the participants were competent and listened to each other.

Considering that Milestones 1.1, 1.3, and 1.4 can be considered as completed, the IRM researcher concludes that the commitment is generally substantially complete by the end of the action plan period.

Did It Open Government?

Access to Information: Marginal

Civic Participation: Did Not Change

Sweden has faced issues with digital management and coordination for many years. A recent follow-up study by the Swedish National Financial Management Authority (ESV) found that progress towards digitization in the public sector varies significantly across different state and municipal organizations with a few excelling, while the majority lags behind. [Note29: “Digitalization of public Sweden - a follow-up”. (The Swedish National Financial Management Authority (ESV), March 2018), https://www.esv.se/publicerat/publikationer/2018/digitaliseringen-av-det... ] According to the action plan, this commitment aimed to facilitate greater access to information through the re-use of open data, and allow external actors to provide government digital services.

The assignments given to the pilot agencies in the framework of the Digital First program have led to some improvements in terms of access to information. Several agencies have released substantial amounts of open data. For example, in September 2017, Lantmäteriet released open geographic data according to the CC0 license [Note30: Creative Commons CC Zero License (cc-zero) is intended to be a ‘public domain dedication,’ i.e., a waiver of all rights including those of attribution. ('Creative Commons CC Zero License (cc-zero)' (Open Definition, 22 July 2018), http://opendefinition.org/licenses/cc-zero/.) CC0 is currently recommended as the preferred method for releasing software to the public domain by the Free Software Foundation. ('Various Licenses and Comments about Them' (Free Software Foundation, 27 June 2018), https://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html). CC0 is also used by major players such as Open street map on Wikipedia.] (meaning that all rights are waived), [Note31: 'Now it becomes easier to use the Lantmäteriets open data' (Geoforum Sweden, 14 August 2017), https://geoforum.se/nyheter/266-oppna-data/3173-nu-blir-det-enklare-att-... ] and the Environment Agency released data in July 2018 that should facilitate navigation in protected areas (for example, bike trails and restrooms), which are free to use in proprietary applications. [Note32: Geoforum Sverige, 16 July 2018, https://geoforum.se/nyheter/266-oppna-data/3484-naturvardsverket-slapper... ] However, Lantmäteriet suggests that important obstacles remain, including a fragmented and partly analogous information supply. This impedes access to information, leads to unnecessary duplication of work for stakeholders, and to uneven development and progress. [Note33: “Digital First- For a smarter community-building process” (The Swedish mapping, cadastral and land registration authority (Lantmäteriet) January 2018), https://www.geodata.se/globalassets/dokumentarkiv/styrning-och-uppfoljni... ]

The Open Council directly targeted the OGP value of civic participation. The Open Council on 5 December 2017 somewhat improved opportunities for stakeholders to inform the Council on digital transformation. Feedback from participants was documented by the workshop chairs and discussed by the Council, [Note34: Email communication from Sumbat Sarkis, the Ministry of Finance, 14 September, 2018. ] but the participation process was not fully effective (see the above section).

Carried Forward?

At the time of writing this report (September 2018), Sweden had not finished developing its fourth action plan. Based on desk research and interviews with stakeholders, the IRM researcher recommends improving national coordination in access to basic public sector information, [Note35: “Digital First- For a smarter community-building process” (The Swedish mapping, cadastral and land registration authority (Lantmäteriet) January 2018), https://www.geodata.se/globalassets/dokumentarkiv/styrning-och-uppfoljni... ] and to invest in skills necessary for public sector digitization. [Note36: “Digitalization of public Sweden - a follow-up”. (The Swedish National Financial Management Authority (ESV), March 2018), https://www.esv.se/publicerat/publikationer/2018/digitaliseringen-av-det... ]


Commitments

  1. Open Data Plan

    SE0017, 2019, E-Government

  2. Make open data accessible

    SE0018, 2019, E-Government

  3. Capacity-building in digitaI sector

    SE0019, 2019, E-Government

  4. Dialogue with civil society

    SE0020, 2019, Civic Space

  5. Starred commitment Citizen-Centered e-Government

    SE0013, 2016, Environment and Climate

  6. Re-Use of Public Administration Documents and Open Data

    SE0014, 2016, Land & Spatial Planning

  7. Transparency in Aid Management

    SE0015, 2016, Aid

  8. Developing a New Format for Dialogue with CSOs

    SE0016, 2016, Public Participation

  9. Putting Citizens at the Centre (Egovernment) of Government Administration Reforms

    SE0008, 2014, Legislation & Regulation

  10. A Step Further on the Re-Use of Public Administration Documents

    SE0009, 2014, Capacity Building

  11. Increased Access to Swedish Aid Information

    SE0010, 2014, Aid

  12. Improved Opportunities for Dialogue and Transparency in Aid Management and Implementation

    SE0011, 2014, Aid

  13. Increased Aid Transparency at Global Level

    SE0012, 2014, Aid

  14. Continuing the Development of the Openaid.Se Platform

    SE0001, 2012, Aid

  15. Ensuring Full Implementation of the IATI Standard by 2015

    SE0002, 2012, Aid

  16. Implementing the Commitments in the Busan Partnership Document

    SE0003, 2012, Aid

  17. Playing a Leading Role in the Building Block on Transparency

    SE0004, 2012, Capacity Building

  18. Contributing to Further Define the Work Towards an EU Transparency Guarantee

    SE0005, 2012, Capacity Building

  19. Engaging in the Open Aid Partnership and Promoting ICT4D

    SE0006, 2012, Aid

  20. Broadening Open Government Commitments

    SE0007, 2012, OGP