Taxes & Law

The Online Access Act in the Mediation Committee

Fatih-Kağan Taşkoparan

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The Bundestag has taken a groundbreaking step for the digitalization of Germany and passed the bill to amend the Online Access Act (OZG) in February. These innovations mark a milestone in the digitization of the administration and underline the efforts of the Federal Government to modernize the administration, remove barriers to digitization and strengthen Germany's competitiveness in international comparison. However, the Digital Administration Act has now failed in the Bundesrat. In response to this, the coalition government now wants to bring the matter before the Bundestag and Bundesrat Mediation Committee. Call.

What does the new version of the Online Access Act provide for?

A key element of the OZG amendment is the introduction of the "BundID" as the central citizen account for everyone in Germany. This not only enables uniform identification, but also digital application and communication with authorities as well as the digital delivery of notifications. This makes going to the authorities superfluous for many issues. At the same time, administrative processes are much more efficient and user-friendly. The "once-only principle" will put an end to the annoying "paper chase" by making it possible to retrieve the necessary evidence electronically from the relevant authorities, provided the applicant agrees. This simplifies the application process considerably and saves time and resources for everyone involved.

The new law also brings groundbreaking changes for companies and legal entities: the introduction of a digital organization account for administrative services will enable companies to process these services easily, securely and transparently online. Furthermore, "digital only" offerings will become mandatory for business-related administrative services provided by the federal government, which in turn will further promote digitalization in the economy. In order to standardize and accelerate digitalization, binding technical standards and uniform interfaces will be specified. The aim is to standardize end-to-end digitalization in order to ensure seamless administrative procedures and increase administrative efficiency.

Federal Council rejects amendment to the Online Access Act

The extension of the OZG is intended to create the framework for the further digitalization of the administration as well as central requirements for user-friendly and fully digital procedures. This would lead to more standardization and a wide range of online administrative services. However, confidence in the legislative resolution did not last long after the Bundestag's successful decision: At the end of March the Federal Council put the brakes on administrative digitizationThe bill was surprisingly rejected by a majority. The federal government now wants to renegotiate the OZG amendment act and the bill will now go to the mediation committee.

"Germany needs a modern and digital administration. Our law is a very important step in this direction", said Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser (SPD). It is therefore important to find a solution quickly in the mediation committee with the federal states. Ultimately, the aim is to save citizens from having to go to the office and to enable standardized digital procedures. It is also about freeing companies from a lot of bureaucracy with fully digital procedures.