Nearly half (44pc) of citizens in seven countries believe interacting with their governments is easy, and 31pc say it’s actually easier to access services from the government than private-sector companies, a new survey from Accenture suggests.
These same “digital citizens,” however, want increased access to public services and are more inclined to use digital channels, including online and mobile resources, to conduct routine government business.
In fact, more than 70pc of the survey respondents already use the internet for submitting and tracking government forms and payments and 53pc say they want to use more online channels in the future.
While 70pc of those surveyed said they were likely to use digital services, such as websites or portals, some 30pc said they were unlikely or unsure about using digital channels for public services.
One-third said they are unaware of the ways to interact with the government digitally, which gives governments an opportunity to better communicate the benefits of digital channels to citizens.
“Digital citizens are empowered in ways that previous generations could only imagine,” said Stephen J Rohleder, group chief executive, who leads Accenture’s global Health & Public Service business.
“They can initiate and dictate the dynamics of citizen-to-government relationships with a tweet, blog post or Facebook message sent to hundreds of people from their smartphones. And high-performing governments are working now to reshape the way they deliver public services to meet the new demands of their citizens.”
Rohleder said governments worldwide face a new reality of citizen expectations and need to shift the ways they deliver public services.
Accenture’s digital citizen online survey included respondents in Australia, France, Germany, India, Singapore, the United States and the United Kingdom.