Woman with a baby sitting in front of a laptop, BMI

Digital and citizen-centered administration - with the Federal Portal

The Federal Portal is the central access point to the administrative services of federal, state and local authorities, and is therefore an important building block in the digitisation of administration processes in Germany. It was developed by the Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community (BMI) on the basis of the Online Access Act. The BMI has commissioned Bundesdruckerei GmbH to implement the Federal Portal.

Citizens, companies and organisations can use the Federal Portal to learn about administrative services at various levels and complete many administrative procedures online. Railway passengers, for example, can submit complaints about any violation of their passenger rights directly to the Federal Railway Authority. Parents can learn about the child benefits to which they are entitled and are redirected to the application if they qualify. Airlines can apply for licenses for their pilots on the Federal Portal. Further services are constantly being added.

Series production of online forms

To digitize the authorities’ services, the BMI has partnered with Bundesdruckerei GmbH to establish a virtual “production line”. “This process is structured similarly to an industrial assembly line, enabling the efficient and standardised digitisation of online services that integrates all the basic components required for eGovernment,” explains Mathias Bieneke, Head of Digital Government Solutions Development at Bundesdruckerei GmbH. Together with the responsible authorities, the Federal Portal team is converting existing paper applications into easy-to-understand online forms.

The services offered on the Federal Portal go beyond providing digital forms. The goal is for citizens and companies to be able to manage and complete their entire application process via the Federal Portal. "Insights gained from regular user tests on what is most important to applicants, allow us to continuously improve the Federal Portal," explains Dr Otto Dietz from the BMI's Federal Portal project management team. For example, the Federal Portal can now be used to submit documents for a pending application and to pay fees via e-payment systems.

Simple application processing for Government agencies

The Federal Portal not only makes application processes easier for users, but also for the agencies. Through the Federal Portal's machine-to-machine (M2M) interface, agencies can automatically retrieve form data, significantly enhancing efficiency. The agencies’ access to the Federal Portal was developed together with the agencies themselves and offers administrative bodies a convenient tool for processing applications digitally.

The goal is end-to-end digitisation without media discontinuity, so that applications completed online, for example, no longer need to be printed out. The agency’s digital specialized procedures can be linked directly to the Federal Portal access system for Government agencies. This makes digital administration very simple: Application data is transmitted from the Federal Portal directly to the responsible agency. Agencies that use the full scope of services of the Federal Portal can also use it to send responses directly to citizens.

"We want to support authorities throughout Germany in digitizing their procedures themselves," says Mathias Bieneke in regard to the further development of the project. To this end, the team is working on a "form kit". In the future, this should enable agencies and authorities to create their own digital forms for their individual processes. “In this way, we are jointly boosting the digitisation of our administrative procedures.”

Better service for companies

The digitisation of necessary administrative processes offers companies tremendous saving potential.Many federal services used by companies can be accessed via the Federal Portal. For example, they can currently apply for broadcasting frequencies from the Federal Network Agency or air traffic licenses from the Federal Aviation Office without any paperwork whatsoever. Many other federal services are currently being planned.

Your contact

Arvind Maitra (Bundesdruckerei GmbH)
Senior Director Public Government
+49 (30) 2598-0