Nordic SmartGovernment is a vision of a new digital infrastructure for automated exchange of business data.
The purpose is to share and utilise data more efficiently, avoid manual processes and extract the full value embedded in data, digitisation and automation.
If the vision is realised, it will transform the communication between businesses and the governments with potentially enormous positive economic impact on both Nordic enterprises and governments.
The vision of SmartGovernment is a concept for an innovative digital infrastructure for automatic flow of data between businesses and government authorities, which seek to meet the wish of both effective public administration; reduced administrative burdens on the businesses; as well as access to data by the public.
The scope of the vision is the data, which according to law, is reported to the government by the individual businesses. The infrastructure will support the dataflow from the businesses to databanks, from which the government authorities themselves take the data and transform them as needed. The data will be collected in the various business systems and transferred to the databanks so that the data is up-to-date and may be used by the authorities in accordance with regulation and their field of responsibility.
Watch this video for more details on the automated data flow between businesses and government:
The preeminent reason for initiating the Nordic Smart Government project is the significant positive economic impacts an eventuel introduction of Smart Government is expected to deliver.
Accordingly, we expect that with Smart Government:
This will make Nordic companies mores cost-efficient without compromising their already high level of integrity.
This will free up governments' resources to provide better framework conditions, help out companies in distress, deliver better government opportunities for early intervention and timely support, improve agencies’ ability to identify and mitigate fraudulent business activities and essentially level out the competitive playing field.
This will make Nordic companies better prepared towards an increasingly global and digitalized business landscape.
This will increase business transparency, decrease transactional costs and improve conditions for collaboration and communication between Nordic companies, their trade partners, stockholders and stakeholders.
Businesses' digital conversion will accelerate which again will increase productivity and competitiveness.
The market for business intelligence solutions and services will flourish.
Overall, we foresee that an introduction of Smart Government will consolidate and advance the Nordic economies and companies as front runners in an increasingly digital and data-driven global economy.
In principle, the vision encompasses all reported data. This implies for instance that instead of making an annual report to the business registry, a VAT-report to the tax authority and reporting financial information to the statistics, the enterprise may let bookkeeping data be transferred to the databank, and government authorities themselves make the aggregations they need. Another example is data from production systems, such as sensor data, which may be used in environmental reporting, transferred directly from the production systems to the databank without intermediary calculations and transformations of data in the enterprise.
The potential economic benefit of making automatic exchange of financial data alone is enormous. In Denmark the administrative burdens on enterprises related to financial reporting to the government, is estimated to be reduced by 6 billion DKK annually. In Norway, estimates show that in a loan application process creditors’ automatic access to data, by consent given by the debtor in Altinn, reduces time spent in banks amounting to 500 million NOK every year. In Finland, the structuring of financial data in eReceipts alone, are estimated to save the companies 800 million euros annually.
Illustration of automated data flow. Credit: Nordic SmartGovernment:
Nordic SmartGovernment consists of five work packages delivering five specific reports, under management of the different parties involved:
1. Business case
Aims at estimating B2B benefits in the Nordic countries.
The Danish Business Authority.
2. Test of datawarehouse
Aims at specifying and demonstrating a datawarehouse for effective handling of financial data in B2B
The Finnish Association of Accounting Firms.
3. Stakeholder analysis
Aims at identifying stakeholder needs and interests in the Nordic Countries
The Swedish Companies Registration Office.
4. Report on technic and architecture
Aims at describing a possible reference architecture for an infrastructure
The Brønnøysund Register Centre.
5. Communications initiative
Aims at promoting understanding of the concept and potential among central stakeholders
The Danish Business Authority
The Nordic partners prime competence is financial data, thus the project is limited to this domain. In principle, the vision encompass all data which are reported from businesses to governments according to law.
With financial support from Nordic Innovation, the Nordic collaboration on SmartGovernment started in 2016.
Today all five Nordic business registries are engaged in the collaboration, together with the Finnish Association of Accountants. The project is in an explorative phase, thus we are still trying to describe what SmartGovernment might become, without knowing all answers.
As business registries, we are concerned with the businesses’ annual reporting. The idea of SmartGovernment arose in Denmark, motivated by a wish to, in general, remove the businesses’ administrative burdens related to mandatory reporting to the government. In Denmark there is now a particular focus on making a POC on automatic reporting of financial data, under the name Automatic Business Reporting.
In the Nordic collaboration we have worked on describing the business layer of an ecosystem for efficient dataflow between the actors involved – both small and medium sized enterprises, as well as government authorities, service providers, creditors and other actors utilising financial and economic data in their business processes, services or products.
We believe in a new digital infrastructure with both privately and publicly owned solutions, where different actors work together to ensure efficient data flow. How precisely this should be, we do not know yet, but we wish to engage stakeholders in a dialogue to further explore this together with competent and innovative actors.
Next year, 2018, we hope to be able to demonstrate that we can realise the idea of SmartGovernment. We wish to engage key stakeholders and deliver solution concepts and hopefully early products which show the effects for in particularly small and medium sized businesses.
Nordic SmartGovernment is a collaboration between the following organisations and countries: