Federal Act on the Use of Electronic Means to Conduct Official Tasks EMOTA
EMOTA creates the legal basis for conducting the digital transformation in the Federal Administration effectively and for cooperation between authorities of different communities and third parties in the field of eGovernment.
Specifically, EMOTA is intended to encourage those concerned to carry out the Confederation's business processes online (‘Digital First’). These processes include the interaction of authorities with each other at all levels of government, as well as the interaction of authorities with businesses and the general public. EMOTA in particular defines the framework conditions for the widespread use of eGovernment at federal level, for the forms of cooperation between the Confederation and other communities and organisations in the field of eGovernment, and for the Confederation’s electronic public services. The last mentioned create the basis for the free licensing of software (open-source software) and for publishing administrative data for free use (open government data). The provision and use of ICT resources as well as the binding declaration of standards are also regulated. Furthermore, the bill provides that tasks relating to administrative support activities can be transferred to organisations and that the Confederation can participate in organisations in the field of eGovernment. The principle of automated electronic data exchange by means of interfaces and the operation of an interoperability platform are also regulated. In addition, in order to promote the digital transformation of the federal administration, a basis is created for conducting pilot tests. A temporary provision then provides for start-up funding to support urgently needed digital infrastructures and basic services in the period 2024-2027. Another legal basis for start-up financing allows the federal government to grant one-off financial aid to promote digitalisation projects of high public interest.
- At its meeting on 14 November 2018, the Federal Council approved the key parameters for the eGovernment Strategy Switzerland from 2020-2023 that were developed by the interfederal organisation eGovernment Switzerland. By adopting the guiding principle of Digital First, the Federal Council underlined the importance of the electronic channel, through which the Administration primarily intends to offer its information and services in the future.
- On 30 January 2019, the Federal Council commissioned the drafting of legal principles for the Confederation's participation in eOperations Schweiz AG. eOperations Schweiz, founded in 2018, aims to enable the joint development and operation of IT solutions for digitalised services provided by federal, cantonal and communal authorities in the field of eGovernment. A legal basis is required for the Confederation to participate in eOperations Schweiz AG. The Federal Council supports the participation of the Confederation and has instructed the FDF to draw up the required legal provisions.
- At its meeting on 9 April 2019, the eGovernment Switzerland Steering Committee advocated more binding cooperation between the levels of government in order to accelerate the implementation of eGovernment.
- The Federal Council adopted the eGovernment Strategy Switzerland 2020-2023 at its meeting on 20 November 2019. With its implementation, the digital channel should become the first choice when contacting the public administration.
- On 3 April 2020, the Federal Council and the plenary assembly of the Conference of Cantonal Governments (CCG) approved a comprehensive project to strengthen cooperation between the Confederation, cantons, communes and cities in the development and management of the Digital Administration. Building on the existing structures, a new joint organisation should make rapid progress, especially in the area of cross-cutting challenges.
- The consultation procedure on EMOTA ran from 11 December 2020 to 25 March 2021.
- From 11 August 2021 to 11 November 2021, an additional consultation procedure was conducted on a provision inserted subsequently concerning start-up financing to promote urgently needed digital infrastructures and basic services in the years 2024-2027.
- In the course of 2021, the new organisation Digital Public Services Switzerland (DPSS) was set up with the aim of being operational from January 2022.
- The Federal Council adopted the dispatch on EMOTA on 4 March 2022.
- On 17 March 2023, the draft EMOTA was adopted by the Federal Assembly.
- The referendum deadline was 6 July 2023.
- EMOTA will come into force (at the same time as the implementing provisions in the EMOTO) on 1 January 2024.
The population and the economy can use digital methods to conduct their business with the authorities
Digital public services
Public authorities offer their services digitally as standard (digital first).
Laws are designed in such a way that they encourage digitalisation instead of inhibiting it. Authorities at all federal levels conduct their business digitally whenever possible and wherever practical. If necessary, non-digital solutions are also offered.