Stakeholder Community

Once-Only Principle for Citizens

What is once-only?

The once-only principle aims at eliminating the administrate burden when citizens are required to provide the same information again and again to public administrations. Instead, public administrations should have the means to re-use information already supplied by citizens in a transparent and secure way.

Benefits

When the once-only principle is widely applied, it significantly reduces the administrative burden on citizens. Also, citizens gain better control over their information when it is provided to public administrations only once. Moreover, it helps public administrations work faster, more transparently and efficiently.

Challenges

Privacy and data protection of citizen's information as well as transparency regarding the use of such information are key to sustainably applying the once-only principle. Likewise, technological interoperability between public administrations and the legislative framework are crucial for facilitating the re-use of information.

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Best-Practice Showcase

  • - Ongoing

    Netherlands

    Studielink is a single point of access for students to manage higher education enrolment data in the Netherlands. It allows students to apply to university through one single platform rather than to every university individually. The students’ data has to be entered only once and can be re-used by the institutions involved. It was implemented in January 2013 and is used by all potential…
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  • - Ongoing

    United Kingdom

    The Tell Us Once (TUO) service makes it possible for citizens in the United Kingdom to inform the government just once of a birth or death of a person without having to contact responsible authorities individually. Since 2011, the service is offered by most local authorities on behalf of the UK Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Public administrations re-use the data provided by the citizen…
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  • - Ongoing

    Austria

    FinanzOnline facilitates the access to the Austrian tax administration for citizens and businesses as well as for public administrations through an online portal. Since 2003, citizens can file their tax returns electronically without having to reenter data, as this can be automatically transferred from previous years. How does it work? The FinanzOnline portal allows citizens to file their tax…
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  • - Ongoing

    Austria

    ELGA is an information system that simplifies the process of accessing patients’ health records for citizens and their doctors, as well as other health care professionals at hospitals, care facilities and pharmacies in Austria. The IS has been gradually rolled out since 2015 and allows health care providers to re-use data. Patients do not need to re-enter health data as these can be consulted…
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  • - Ongoing

    Austria

    The Birth Registration and Family Allowance (ALF) service provides parents in Austria the opportunity to receive family allowance without any further applications to fill out. Since the 1st of May 2015, parents only need to go to the Civil Registry Office once or the needed information is already send by the hospital. This data is then shared among relevant authorities in order to reduce the…
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Recent News

12 Feb 2018
About four months after the general, national election in Germany took place in September 2017, the three political parties CDU (Christian-Democratic Union), CSU (Christian-Social Union), and SPD (Social Democratic Party of Germany) have set out their coalition agreement for the next grand coalit
5 Feb 2018
The German County Association ("Deutscher Landkreistag") published a position paper on the digitisation of public administration. One of the five demands towards the federal level claims the implementation of the once only principle. 

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