The eGovernment benchmark 2017 report reveals that the top performer is Malta

The eGovernment benchmark 2017 report reveals that the top performer is Malta

From a study of the European Commission – eGovernment services 2017, a new digital single market in Europe



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The latest eGovernment benchmark report shows significant improvement on cross-border availability of digital public services and accessibility of public websites from mobile devices in EU Member states. The study also indicates a need for improvement in transparency of public services delivery and use of supporting technology like eIDs or eDocuments.

The eGovernment benchmark 2017 report reveals that the top 5 overall performers are Malta, Denmark, Sweden, Estonia and Norway. These countries lead the way forward to fulfil Europe’s ambition of creating a Digital Single Market.

Country performance: How do individual countries perform

map of Europe with different colors showing the performance of each country

Performance is measured as an average of scores for four top-level benchmarks:

  • user centricity (how fast and easy to use public information and services online),
  • transparency  (of government authorities’ operations, service delivery procedures and the level of control users have over their personal data),
  • cross-border mobility (the extent to which people can use public services outside their country),
  • key enablers (the availability of eID, eDocuments and Authentic Sources, etc).

Europe appears to be getting closer to the 100%-landmark with regard to user-centricity.  However, it scores less well on the other three benchmarks, especially in terms of exploiting the potential of Key Enablers  for public services.

User Centricity

This is the most advanced dimension of online public services in Europe in 2016, emphasising the focus of governments to bring more public information and services online. Europe records a 12 p.p. increase in online availability of services.  The gap between worst and best performing countries is also closing (from a 52 p.p. gap to 47 p.p. in 2016).

A positive trend can be observed in the mobile friendliness of public websites– 54% of public websites allow users to read information properly and navigate through public service websites on a mobile device.

Transparency of government organisations

The transparency of government organisations’ service processes and citizens’ control of personal data averages at 59% for the EU28+ in 2016. The study shows that the transparency of service delivery processes (e.g. informing users on how long the process will take, response times, etc.) is insufficient for 1 in 2 people. As previous eGovernment Benchmark studies have also indicated, this is a key barrier for users to continue their online journey. Some countries like Germany (+46 p.p. from 2012), Finland (+35 p.p. from 2012) and Iceland (+32 p.p. from 2012) have improved a lot in this area.

Cross-border service delivery

This dimension is essential for the Digital Single Market and records solid improvements over the years (+25% since 2012). Information and even services are becoming increasingly available to EU citizens when starting up a business or studying in another country. Results for the online availability indicator show that besides best performers Sweden and Finland (both  scoring 100%), some countries have made huge steps: Latvia (+60 p.p.) Poland (+49 p.p.) and France (+45 p.p.)  have improved their online channels for fellow Europeans. It will be interesting to observe if cross-border service delivery can continue the steep growth curve it has shown over the past years. New indicators on cross-border eID and eDocuments are in their infancy, but will be the accelerators for fully online cross-border services in the years to come.

Key technological enablers

The study reveals that the deployment of key technological enablers  (i.e. eID, eDocuments and Authentic Sources) has the most room for improvement (at 52%; EU28+). The authentic sources indicator which facilitates pre-filling of online forms, progressed slower than other indicators, with only a 3% growth since 2012. The benefits for users and public authorities are obvious (e.g. efficient, effective, timesaving) but insufficiently reaped.

Uneven progress among life events

Mystery shoppers, i.e. researchers that simulate the citizens’ journey through government websites and services, assess the features of multiple eGovernment services related to four life events ( i.e. collection of government services that fulfil a specific user’s need) each year. For 2016, these were:

  • Starting a business: a vast majority (87%, with +5% vs 2014), of people starting up a business can do so online, but only 51% of these services are mobile friendly.
  • Losing and finding a job: an online availability of services at 83% and an overall usability across Europe of 90%. This is the second best scoring event, after “starting a business”.
  • Education/ Studies: Online availability of services for studying scored 84%, experienced a good boost compared to 2014 (+5%). However, mobile friendliness of these services also scores low (52%).
  • Family event: Online services under the family event scored more than 70%, with better scores on mobile friendliness comparing to the other three life events.

An explorative benchlearning perspective

The benchlearning exercise compares the eGovernment performance of different countries in order to understand which factors hamper innovation and how the key characteristics of a country might influence eGovernment performance. eGovernment performances are measured through:

  • Penetration – the extent to which the use of the online channel is widespread among users of government services. Penetration at European level is 52%, but with a wide variance among EU countries
  • Digitisation – summarises four top-level benchmarks: user centricity, transparency, cross-border mobility, key enablers.  Digitisation is at 65% and a lower variance.

By comparing countries with similar environment-specific characteristics (i.e. users’, government and context characteristics), it is possible to determine which countries perform above expected values and which countries perform below expected values, given the country-specific context.

map of Europe with different colors showing the performance of each country

Estonia is the only country outperforming in both Digitisation and Penetration. Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and Romania are outperforming in Penetration, and in line performance in Digitisation. Austria, Latvia, Malta and Spain are outperforming in Digitisation, and show in line performance in Penetration.

Portugal performs well in digitisation, but underperforms in penetration. France, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia and Sweden perform in line with their characteristics (i.e. relative indicators). Belgium, Cyprus, Italy and Germany underperform in penetration, while they perform in line in terms of digitisation. Looking at digitisation instead, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Ireland, Slovakia and United Kingdom, underperform, while they perform in line with penetration averages.

The Czech Republic, Luxembourg and Hungary show a relative performance below the European trend, both in penetration and in digitisation.


The 14th eGovernment Benchmark report is the fifth edition of the measurement made according to the eGovernment Benchmark Framework 2012-2015.  A complete measurement of all eight life events takes two years: the former four (regular business operations, moving locations, car ownership, and small claims procedure) are measured in odd years while the latter four (starting up a business, losing and finding a job, studying and family) are measured in even years. The methodology has been updated in 2016, so making comparison with previous years are possible for only some indicators.

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Malta has been reconfirmed as leader in the delivery and performance of eGovernment services amongst 34 countries, namely the 28 European Union member states together with Iceland, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey and Montenegro.

Malta has just been reconfirmed as leader in the delivery and performance of eGovernment services amongst 34 countries (28 European Union member states together with Iceland, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey and Montenegro).  The results were published in the eGovernment Benchmark Report 2016 issued earlier today by the European Commission. (
The benchmarking study carried out by Capgemini, Sogeti, IDC, and the Politecnico di Milano measures four top-level indicators as well as compares the performance of eGovernment services between the participating countries.  As in last year, Malta has again attained an exceptional result by leading in all the top-level indicators and ranking first in the overall results.
The first indicator is User Centricity, where the report measures the online ‘availability’ and ‘usability’ of eGovernment services.  Malta has ranked first in both measurements and also in the overall indicator, with a score of 95%, 18 percentage points more than the EU average.
The second indicator, Transparency, examines the extent to which governments are transparent about their own responsibilities and performance, the service delivery process, and the personal data involved.  The EU average score in this indicator is 55%; Malta is clearly ahead of all other participating countries with a score of 97%.
Figure 1 – Transparency
(Source: European Commission (2016), A turning point for eGovernment 
development in Europe? – Background Report, p.31)
The third indicator, Cross Border Mobility, assesses governments’ ability to provide businesses and citizens seamless access to online public services when they are away from their home country.  Once again, Malta leads the rankings with an overall score of 89%, 34 percentage points more than the EU average.
Malta is also leading in the fourth indicator Key Enablers which measures the availability of a number of technical elements which are deemed important for the delivery of eGovernment services.  Malta achieved an overall score of 98%, 44 percentage points more than the EU average.
Figure 2 – Key Enablers
(Source: European Commission (2016), A turning point for eGovernment 
development in Europe? – Background Report, p.39)
Hon Emmanuel Mallia, Minister for Competitiveness and Digital, Maritime and Services Economy welcomed these excellent results.  Hon Mallia reaffirmed the Government’s support towards the implementation of the Digital Single Market Strategy, which was launched by the European Commission in 2015.  “The Government is committed to deliver innovative and secure eGovernment services aimed at opening up digital opportunities for both citizens and businesses alike and enhance Malta’s position as a leader in the digital economy.” added Hon Mallia.
Mr Tony Sultana, Executive Chairman of the Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA), said that such positive results reflect the incessant drive of the Agency to produce secure, transparent and user centric online services.  “This year, the Office of the Principal Permanent Secretary has increased impetus to make online services accessible through mobile devices.  In collaboration with the Office of the Prime Minister, MITA and various Ministries, are developing a number of mServices thus paving the way towards achieving Government’s commitment to reach out to a wider spectrum of audiences through different channels.” concluded Mr Sultana.
The eGovernment Benchmark 2016 Insight Report is available at:
The eGovernment Benchmark 2016 Background Report is available at: