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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Explainers, Reports & Interviews

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Best-Practice Showcase

  • - Ongoing

    Estonia

    Since 2002, Estonian citizens can file their taxes using automated tax declaration forms with the Republic of Estonia Tax and Customs Board. This system has continously matured over the years to become more once-only: Since 2015, taxpayers can use the one-click tax returns where the data already known and gathered from different registries is displayed to the citizen automatically without having…
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  • - Ongoing

    Germany

    The Refugee Digitisation System was implemented in February 2016 in response to the approx. 1,1 million refugees who arrived in Germany in 2015. Due to the immense new data influx, authorities had to establish a coherent, uniform system to register and process refugee data. All relevant authorities now have access to a single core data system which is administered by the Federal Office for…
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  • - 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. The application first went live in 2003 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

3 Jul 2018
On July 1st 2018, Austria took over the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union for the next six months to further promote digitalization and the once-only principle across the EU.
25 Jun 2018
The Digital Assembly 2018 starts today in Sofia, Bulgaria. The event is co-organised by the European Commission and the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

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