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‘Federal Administration 4.0’: Digitisation transforms processes and tasks

How is the work of Federal Administration staff changing in today’s world. What new challenges will they face in the future? The Library Am Guisanplatz takes a closer look at these questions below.

27.02.2019 | Manuel Bigler, Library Am Guisanplatz

Guidelines for digital government – The e-government strategy of the Federal Council (Copyright FDF)
A symbolic internet with numerous lines and intersections running across the abstract surface of Switzerland

More interconnected, more transparent and more open – this is how a survey (pdf) by the Zurich University of Applied Sciences describes the expectations of citizens and businesses about how government should work. Authorities should automate and simplify their processes as far as possible to strengthen the position of Switzerland.

For the digital transformation of government to succeed, the survey says that staff must take on a new role; they should make processes more efficient ‒ in the spirit of New Public Management (NPM). They should also include citizens in the process of improving government services. In this way, both sides would benefit: citizens could bring their concerns directly to government, and government could benefit from citizens’ ideas.

Federal government pushing ahead with digitisation

The Federal Council attaches great importance to digitisation in its objectives for 2019. These are based on the plans for the 2015-2019 legislative period. The Federal Council also published a strategy in 2018 on how Switzerland should approach the topic.

The most significant part of this innovation is digitising services and processes under ‘e-government’. The Confederation’s aim in its e-government strategy is that in future citizens can access public services online, anytime and anywhere.

Through e-government, citizens can become involved in political processes. The Federal Chancellery compiled a report (pdf) to the Federal Council on this topic back  in 2011. The following year, an interdepartmental working group published a status report on the theme of e-consultations. And the Confederation and the cantons are working to introduce e-voting for elections and ballots.

The Confederation is working to meet citizens‘ demands for transparency, as mentioned at the beginning, by means of Open Government Data (OGD). This is where government services make their data available online to citizens and businesses, provided it is legally and practically possible (examples: Geodatenportal, or VoteInfo).

The Library Am Guisanplatz is committed to digital transformation too:

  • Our catalogue and other information is available via the web-based search interface;
  • We provide federal and armed forces staff with fee-based databases.
  • We offer online access to millions of scientific articles for our users.
  • Our catalogue data and the library’s metadatabase swissbib is available online.
  • We digitise our special collections and make them directly available to citizens.
  • We are involved in projects on retro-digitising magazines from its archives for the the e-periodica platform of the ETH Zurich.
  • On request we digitise documents not subject to copyright as eBooks on Demand (EOD).


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