Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein draw up standards for online services

7 July 2023
Federal states relying on modular system for digital administration as part of KERN project

The states of Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein have launched the KERN project to come up with a modular, digital management system and to develop high-quality online services, a press release said Tuesday (June 27, 2023). The project should benefit all 16 federal states and municipalities as well as IT service providers. The first parts of the system are due to be published this summer. 

Milestone in service-oriented administrative modernisation

"The digital state must become simpler and more intuitive," said Dirk Schrödter, Minister of Digitisation and Head of the State Chancellery of Schleswig-Holstein. "Clearly, digitalisation is doomed to fail without real user-friendliness." People should be able to use administrative services as easily and conveniently as shopping online. "KERN focuses on standardising online services in terms of usability and structure," said Jan Pörksen, State Councillor and Head of Hamburg' Senate Chancellery. "Thus, we are working with Schleswig-Holstein and experts on user-oriented design to come up with a solution for the whole of Germany. This nationwide project is a milestone."

KERN components available in open source design system

User experience (UX) designers have developed user-oriented components for KERN that are available in an open source design system. The individual components can be freely combined and the digital administrative processes adapted as needed. This should create uniform online services from the municipal to the federal level, according to the Office for Information Technology and Digitalisation. KERN has a growing community consisting of several federal states, federal authorities, initiatives and companies. Interested parties can exchange information and follow developments on the federal OpenCode platform.

Hamburg leading digitalisation across Germany

Coupled with Hamburg's digital strategy, the project is making the city a pioneer of digitisation, according to the Germany Digitisation Index 2023. Of five services examined, German municipalities offer on average between six and 100 per cent. Hamburg and Berlin lead the way as all five services can be applied for online.

Sources and further information

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