Digitalisation and personnel are top issues for German public sector executives

Gerhard Hammerschmid presents 2019 “Future Panel” survey of government executives. 

Digitalisation and personnel are the two key challenges facing German public administration, according to a survey of 309 federal, state and local public administrators conducted by the Hertie School and Wegweiser Research & Strategy GmbH, under the academic direction of Gerhard Hammerschmid, Professor of Public and Financial Management at the Hertie School. Results of the report, "Future Panel State & Administration 2019" were presented on 28 November in Berlin.

Around 75% of those surveyed confirmed e-government and digitalisation measures a top challenges for the future, while 43% cited the effects of demographic change on personnel, in particular as a large proportion of employees is due to retire in the next decade.

In addition, a majority of those surveyed are clearly unsatisfied with the current progress in digitalisation at the federal and state level (both 61%) and to a lesser degree at local government level, although the report indicated advances have been made and the pace of change is quickening.  To improve digitalisation, respondents called for greater political will, better coordination in the federal system and more budgetary support, as the most urgently required measures.

More than 90 percent of the respondents see IT security as a particularly urgent issue. A clear majority said they did not believe the public sector in Germany was adequately protected against cyber attacks.

A full evaluation of the survey will be released at the beginning of 2020, and discussed at the 8th Future Congress State & Administration on 15-17 June in Berlin. The Future Panel will also be expanded to include the German-language “DACH” region of Germany, Austria and Switzerland, prior to the June meeting.

More detail numbers from the study can be found here

More about Gerhard Hammerschmid

  • Gerhard Hammerschmid , Professor of Public and Financial Management | Director, Centre for Digital Governance