Secours populaire calls on the government to calm down with the digitization of public services

In 2022, 250 administrative procedures will have to be implemented on the Internet. But while the pandemic is still producing its effects, the secretary general of Secours Populaire is worried about this shift, which she considers too sudden and which risks leaving people on the side.

Is the digitization of public services in France going too fast, too far? In any case, it leaves too many people behind. This is the warning issued by Henriette Steinberg, secretary general of Secours Populaire. Asked about France 2 on October 12, she invited the government to ” Stop »The digitization of public services« forced march », According to comments reported by France Info.

Henriette Steinberg stressed that during the health crisis, many people had gone under the radar and had not necessarily benefited from state aid, because they had to be found online. These populations – such as small businesses and the self-employed – have “ found with nothing at all, and no knowledge of what it was possible to do in such situations. »

Usually, these people would have gone to traditional social services, but everything was closed because of the epidemic. In addition, there is an increasing dematerialization of procedures, which can lead to a reduction in the physical holdings in which to operate. ” Computers are not the way to solve people’s problems “, She warned.

The warning formulated by the Secours Populaire recalls that whichlaunched the Defender of Rights in 2018. Jacques Toubon, who then held this position, was also critical of a movement that could turn out to be sudden for users. Thus, it has been observed that “ particular difficulties in accessing and mastering the internet [de certaines personnes] have not been taken into account. »

250 procedures to be declined on the Internet by 2022

Henriette Steinberg’s exit comes when, at the beginning of September, Amélie de Montchalin, Minister of Transformation and Public Service, held a stage point on the digitization of a number of administrative procedures. Of the 250 procedures deemed essential, 212 can be done online. In some sectors, everything is already dematerialized.

This is the case for the procedures relating to the services of the Prime Minister and concerning the independent administrative authorities, but also agriculture and food. Conversely, other ministries are still very late, such as justice or education, youth and sports. However, the public’s appreciation of the quality of online public services is not always there.

Thus, the procedures relating to the Ministry of the Economy and Finance finally get a fairly average score, as do those for higher education, research and innovation, and even culture. Digitization is not everything: the user experience and the quality of the service provided must also be there. However, there are no scores below average, according to the government.

In principle, the objective is to achieve in 2022 250 administrative procedures accessible via the Internet. Since October 2020, there have been 30 more (including the request for legal aid, enrollment in college and high school or the establishment of a voting proxy). In theory, there are still 38 procedures to be processed in just over a year. The pace had been disrupted by the coronavirus epidemic.

This objective posted for 2022 is to be brought closer to that which appeared in the campaign program of Emmanuel Macron. It was then question that ” 100% of administrative procedures Can be done from the Internet on that date, excluding the first issue of identity documents. Roadmaps and progress reports followed in particular to underline the supposed interest of teleprocedures for rural areas.

This rate of 100% of dematerialized administrative procedures, however, covers the administrative procedures which are most frequently used by the French. In fact, certain procedures are not necessarily taken into account – however, this does not mean that they will not in turn be able to benefit from a formality via a website or a mobile application, sooner or later.

Millions of people far from digital

This movement towards dematerialization, in addition to the issues it raises (what about the sustainability of reception at the counter of people? And connection or speed concerns?), Is faced with another issue: that of illectronism , that is, digital illiteracy, a portmanteau word for people who are not using the computer tool and online practices.

Their number is estimated at 13 million in France, which covers varying degrees of difficulty with computers and the Internet. It can concern very diverse profiles: seniors, people in great poverty, certain populations in rural areas, but also young people or audiences affected by a disability. This problem is regularly questioned by parliamentarians who are worried about the fate of those who are very distant.

To support them, various plans have been unveiled, in particular by the current government. In 2018, an investment of 75 to 100 million euros was announced to train these 13 million French people considered to be precarious in the digital world. As part of the France Relance plan, an envelope of 250 million euros was announced for 4 million of them to access a ” digital autonomy ».

The elderly constitute a population that is not always the most comfortable with digital technology and computers. // Stevepb

In addition to training, other systems exist, such as public service houses, which can support the public for certain new procedures. There is also a interactive voice server reachable by telephone on 3400 which can provide information on official documents (national identity card, passport, driving license, registration certificate).

This is an economic issue: given the ever-increasing place that digital technology has in society, not mastering the basics of IT and not using digital technology is seriously detrimental. Not to mention the effects on the personal level, where you can very quickly find yourself isolated – which was shown by confinement, where the internet was the only social bond that remained.

According to assessments by France Stratégie, the training of 5 million French people who are remote from digital in 3 years will generate more than 1.4 billion euros in economic benefits, including in terms of purchasing power. In addition to the autonomy regained for these people, the government also mentions the creation of thousands of direct and indirect jobs in the territory.

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