Citizens have an appetite for more digital government worldwide, survey shows

The global public would welcome expansion of digital government services to include things like electronic mailboxes and emergency alerts but people have less interest in government-sponsored mobile websites and mobile applications, according to a new survey by Accenture.

Accenture surveyed 1,400 citizens in seven countries, including the United States, to determine how they are currently using digital government services, and what could come next. The Digital Citizen Pulse Survey summary was released on April 25, along with a news release that had more details.

More than 70 percent of the respondents said they are already interacting with governments through websites, and 53 percent said they want even more public services accessible online in the future.

The new digital public services most likely to be used included:

  • Electronic reminder services, 70 percent;
  • Emergency alerts, 69 percent;
  • Electronic mailboxes, 60 percent;
  • Secure identification-as-a-service, 59 percent.

Government-sponsored mobile websites and applications were last on the list of new services reported as likely to be utilized. Those services were cited by 52 percent.

About 30 percent of the respondents were unlikely or unsure about using a range of digital channels for public services, Accenture said in an April 25 news release about the report. A third were not aware of the ways to interact with governments digitally.

"Digital citizens are empowered in ways that previous generations could only imagine," said Stephen Rohleder, group chief executive and director of Accenture’s global health and public service business, said in the release. “High performing governments are working now to reshape the way they deliver public services to meet the new demands of their citizens."

Other findings of the report included:

  • 82 percent of citizens in Singapore use websites to access government services, the highest in the survey; the United States was in second place with 75 percent of citizens using government websites routinely.
  • Only 40 percent of Americans surveyed said they currently use government websites that are available on mobile devices or mobile apps.
  • 60 percent of U.S. citizens and 65 percent of Australians surveyed said they would not use social media to contact a government official, but nearly 70 percent of respondents in Singapore and India said they would use social media for that purpose.
  • Allowing government to have access to personal data is a top concern for about 29 percent of citizens surveyed in the United States and 30 percent in the United Kingdom. In Germany, 48 percent identified this as the biggest barrier to digital public services.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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