OECD – The COVID-19 crisis creates an opportunity to step up digitalisation among subnational governments
OECD – The COVID-19 crisis creates an opportunity to step up digitalisation among subnational governments. Recent decades have seen rapid growth of advanced digital technologies, including high-speed computing, big data, artificial intelligence, the internet-of-things and blockchain. This “digital revolution” creates significant opportunities for all levels of government to improve the delivery of public goods and services, and to raise more and better revenue. This is particularly important in the context of the COVID-19 crisis. Fighting a pandemic while minimising the associated economic costs calls for appropriate digital infrastructure for the design and enforcement of containment measures, as well as to ensure access by the population and enterprises to critical government services. After all, subnational governments (SNGs) account for about 40% of government spending on average in OECD countries; they also play an important role in the delivery of key services that are at the heart of the policy actions being taken to slow the spread of the pandemic, including on health care and social protection. By Luiz de Mello, OECD, and Teresa Ter-Minassian, OECD Fiscal Network.