Whether as an employer, in matters of environmental protection, whether due to reporting obligations or in construction and real estate matters – companies have a large number of contacts with authorities every year. In order to make paper forms, faxes, e-mails and letter post a thing of the past, fully digital administrative services are needed. The basis for this is to be the uniform ELSTER-based company account. The basic building blocks of the joint project were presented to the public at the beginning of June. mgm has been supporting the project in its implementation from the very beginning.
Sometimes simple sentences contain tremendous potential, unimagined change and scope. This is also the case with a resolution of the IT Planning Council in February 2020, sentence 3: “The IT Planning Council agrees to the establishment of a uniform enterprise account on the basis of the basic concept with building blocks 1-6 submitted by the enterprise account coordination project. “
Behind the no-frills decision is the future of eGovernment contacts of companies and organisations. This is because the corporate account is to become the digital authentication and identification system for economically active organisations in Germany, i.e. also for associations and public authorities. For this purpose, the Free State of Bavaria and the Hanseatic City of Bremen were simultaneously commissioned with the implementation at the beginning of 2020.
At the beginning of June, the official go-ahead was given for the nationwide standardised corporate account. Bavaria’s Minister of State for Digital Affairs, Judith Gerlach, Bremen’s State Councillor for Finance, Martin Hagen, and the Federal Government’s IT Commissioner, State Secretary Dr Markus Richter, presented the account at a press conference in Berlin. Website for the new service: www.das-unternehmenskonto.de
Four building blocks for one system and one goal: Simplification of 200 authority contacts
The potential for change of the unified corporate account is immense. While private individuals only have a few contacts with authorities per year on average, the situation is different for companies: They have around 200 points of contact with administrations, from the employment office and licensing authorities to the Federal Motor Transport Authority, customs and the local trade office. In order to be able to offer all services digitally and as easily as possible via the internet, a central account for companies and organisations is necessary. To this end, the commissioned project comprises a total of six modules, for four of which the Bavarian Digital Ministry is responsible for implementation:
- Web application for companies “Enterprise Portal”, as a contact point for information, access to the account and, in the medium term, a central search of all connected government services.
- The actual account as a central identification service including support for various security tokens (certificate file, security stick, signature card, mobile login and ID card).
- Mailbox function for the legally valid receipt of notices and notifications from the authorities.
- Infrastructure for connecting municipalities and administrative services (specialised procedures).
Fast implementation thanks to ELSTER system as a basis
One and a half years after the decision of the IT Planning Council, the Bavarian State Ministry for Digital Affairs (StMD) has fulfilled the official mandate according to plan. The Bavarian State Tax Office (BayLfSt) as well as mgm technology partners and Secunet supported the Digital Ministry in the implementation of this project.
This sporting time frame for such a complex project was possible primarily because of the use of the largest productive eGovernment system in Germany: the identification service of the company account is based on ELSTER certificates and thus on a system that has been established for 20 years. On average, more than half of the companies and organisations in Germany already have one or more ELSTER certificates for all tax administration matters. This means that the use of the certificates is widespread.
In order for companies and organisations from Flensburg to Garmisch to be able to use their company account with all government services in the future, existing portals of cities, municipalities and states or the government services must be connected to the account system. At the start, a total of around 100 services from Bavaria, NRW, Bremen and pilot partners of the federal government are accessible. For the second half of 2021, further portals and authorities are already in the starting blocks and about to be implemented.
For interested portal operators and authorities, a self-service portal is currently being set up, which already provides further information and contact options regarding the connection.
The presented corporate account with the additional functions marks the starting signal for short-, medium- and long-term integration projects. Now it is up to portal operators, account managers and IT staff in the administrations to make the vision of the IT Planning Council a reality. The technology will be further developed and new functions implemented. The basis has now been laid and can be used by all those involved.
Further information on the launch of the corporate account (all pages in German only):
- Info page for companies and portal operators: https://service.mein-unternehmensportal.de/
- Topic page with explanatory video of the StMD: A Uniform Corporate Account for Germany – Made in Bavaria
- Award for the Enterprise Account in the eGovernment Competition2020
- Press release of the StMD of 7.2.2020: Bavaria and Bremen cut the Gordian knot on the digital company account / ELSTER technology will be the basis in future (07.02.2020)