The 2014 Agile Government Index: Creating a more effective government

The A.T. Kearney 2014 Agile Government Index indicates that many European officials in the countries surveyed recognize that much needs to be done to improve government agility. The scores for government agility on average rank between 4.5-6 on a scale where zero is the lowest and 10 the highest. All European countries score above average on social issues, like social security, with economic development and administrative efficiency scoring lower.

The survey is developed in cooperation with UK communications firm Dods Parliamentary Communications Ltd. It looks at three key indicators: economic, social and administration, which, together, provide a holistic overview of the governments agility as viewed by senior government officials. For Europe, this year's Index offers an analysis of four developed nations: France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom based on the survey and third party benchmark data.

Commenting on the Index findings, Branko Zibret, Partner, A.T. Kearney, said: “Agility is increasingly vital for governments. The more agile a government is – whether at the local, regional or national level – the more apt it is to successfully balance a host of complex priorities. Overall our report shows that European government officials believe their government and administrations can do more for their citizens economically, socially and in terms of administrative efficiency. Agile governments will meet or even exceed stakeholder and citizen needs by removal of bureaucratic barriers, increased policy efficiency and funding, while making strategic corrections to maintain competitiveness”.

While social development ranks highest among European officials the details behind vary from country to country. While France and UK gave the highest scores for education, Germany’s respondents rated it low.

With regards to economic development, findings show that respondents are most positive about their ability to encourage entrepreneurship, citing strength in supporting start-ups and boosting the free market. With regards to innovation, the report looked at both the direct support for innovation and knowledge-sharing as well as the use of business parks and technology incubators. The UK and Germany both rate highly for the first, while only Germany ranks highest in the latter.

Scores for administrative efficiency are lower in all four countries compared to the economic and social indicators. When comparing third party research with the survey results, it has been observed that third party data for Germany lines up closely with officials’ positive assessment of the administration, while in the UK, officials’ responses rate higher than the data. Dutch officials gave their country lower scores than third party data indicates and France’s low survey scores match with relatively low scores in the third party research.

Lingering economic difficulties in Europe have exposed structural weaknesses as governments struggle with weak growth and high unemployment. According to the report. Europe needs to renew its economic fabric around sectors that’ll lead in tomorrow’s world – where Europe can build a long term competitive advantage based on its highly educated workforce. 

Branko Zibret concluded: “European governments can improve agility and continued competitiveness by addressing countries’ strategic objectives aligned with stakeholder needs reflected in effective implementation of policies around social and economic development combined with administrative efficiency. The good news is that officials are aware of the gaps and motivated to improve.”

To read the full 2014 Agile Government Index, please go to www.atkearney.com. 

About A.T. Kearney

A.T. Kearney is a leading global management consulting firm with offices in more than 40 countries. Since 1926, we have been trusted advisors to the world's foremost organizations. A.T. Kearney is a partner-owned firm, committed to helping clients achieve immediate impact and growing advantage on their most mission-critical issues. For more information, visit www.atkearney.com.  

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