What is the Digital Constitution?
The Digital Constitution is introduced by the Act on the Right to Digital Services, promulgated under Act no. 12/2020 Coll., which actively influences public administration towards digitization. In particular, it enshrines the rights of natural and legal persons to communicate with public administration bodies in a digital way and the obligation of these bodies to provide digital services.
Entities are thus entitled to perform digital acts, for example, through:
- data boxes,
- contact point of public administration,
- electronic communications networks with a document signed by a recognized electronic signature or provided with a recognized electronic seal under the conditions set out in other laws, and
- information systems of public administration enabling proof of identity of the service user with the use of electronic identification – eObčanka.
The law further stipulates:
- the possibility to demonstrate legal facts by reference to data in the registers or an extract from the public administration information system in electronic form, so it will not be necessary to prepare a written extract from the register, instead it is sufficient to download a document with the electronic signature of the relevant public administration body,
- an obligation to provide information to users of the service, which draws attention, for example, to the expiration of documents such as driving licences, identity cards, etc.,
- the right to electronic identification and authentication, or
- the right to technological neutrality, which means independence in selecting a platform from which the user intends to communicate with the authorities, that their right to communicate digitally will not, for example, depend on the user’s operating system.
However, the changes will come gradually, because the effective date for some parts of the law has been deferred for up to 60 months. The digitization of the public sphere is thus planned gradually – during a five-year interval, when the so-called catalogue of services provided by public administration should first be created, while the government will draw up a timetable within 12 months of the law’s entry into force on how the services will be transferred into digital form.