The word innovation relates not only to new technologies, but above all to a new approach to working. We plan to identify solutions in concert with the markets and the world of science, and by means of start-ups and other creative forms of cooperation.
The government cannot do everything on its own. By experimenting and innovating, we aim to improve the service provision to our citizens and entrepreneurs, and we are not afraid of taking risks. At the same time, we plan to broaden the knowledge of (the possibilities offered by) digitalisation among civil servants.
Innovations can help solve important problems facing society such as the growing demand for healthcare. It is therefore essential that additional funding be invested in innovation. Each year, together with other partners, we – the government departments, implementing bodies, municipalities, provinces and water boards – draw up an innovation agenda. To encourage innovation, we are examining how to create more freedom within the tendering rules. In this way, we aim to enable small market organisations and start-ups to also participate in joint innovations.
If government imposes compulsory standards and uses open data as far as possible, the possibilities for innovation will grow further. We are investigating whether the same applies to open source software. This will improve the opportunities for investment by both the public and private sector. In chapters 4 and 5, we talk about how we are going to do this.
- The Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations provides funding for businesses, government bodies and science institutions that are working towards broad-based societal objectives. With this funding, they can improve government service to citizens and entrepreneurs, and make better use of the opportunities offered by new technology. We are working towards integrated service provision and that calls for increased cooperation. As part of that process, we aim to share our experiences and to learn from one another.
- In 2018, we will further elaborate the conditions according to which parties can be eligible for this government funding. In collaboration with the private sector and research organisations, we will select the most promising projects.
Government and experimentation
- New technologies and opportunities such as blockchain, data-driven policy making and artificial intelligence can help improve government service provision. Many government organisations, both local and national, are already actively experimenting with these possibilities. The pilot projects undertaken by the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations tie in with these developments. The Ministry also plans to involve other new parties in this process in the form of challenges. Examples include hackathons during which government invites the ‘players’ to come up with innovative solutions, and the Start-up-inresidence programme, according to which start-ups are given a temporary appointment in government to work towards improved service provision.
If government imposes standards and uses open data as far as possible, the possibilities for innovation will grow further.
- In the data programme known as ‘Control’, living labs have been established to implement new service concepts that give you ‘control over your own data’.
- We are establishing a ‘digital democracy testbed’. In mid-2018, we will be submitting the local democracy action plan, which includes the testbed, to the Lower House of the Dutch Parliament.
- The Netherlands land registry and mapping agency – the Kadaster – has drawn up an initial concept for a digital building dossier, using blockchain technology. Together with the private sector, we are examining the possibilities of putting this concept into production.
- Small market organisations are extremely useful in innovation processes but are often unable to satisfy the financial threshold for participating in a tendering procedure for large orders. Within the tendering rules, we are examining ways in which to improve the opportunities for small market organisations to participate.
- We are reducing the administrative burdens for businesses that result from participating in tendering procedures.
Enabling permanent beta sciences
- ‘Permanent’ beta sciences means: continuous redevelopment without shutting down services, preferably without the general public or the private sector even noticing. We are encouraging the use of methods that enable rapid, gradual and practice-based innovations, often originating from the private sector.
Promoting knowledge and skills within government
- We plan to make it possible for government decision makers to take full account of the aspects and impact of digitalisation in their decision-making processes. The Senior Civil Service (Algemene Bestuursdienst) is already working in conjunction with various knowledge institutions. The aim is to create a community to promote leadership in this field.
- The programme of the Dutch National Academy for Digitalisation and Computerisation of Government will provide general basic knowledge modules for all civil servants, irrespective of their position or the sector in which they work. At the end of the day, we want every civil servant to have at least an absolute minimum of knowledge in this field. This specifically includes knowledge of the secure and functional use of ICT and the Internet at their own workplace. We will examine the future possibilities of expanding the Academy’s services to other levels of government and chain partners.