Creating simple digital solutions for complex processes
We are the Federal Government's central digitalization unit
With our interdisciplinary teams, we provide in-house software development capacities for the Federal Government. The digital applications we create using agile methods place the focus on the needs of users. Our Tech4Germany & Work4Germany fellowships send external digital talents and transformation experts into ministries to help staff to personally experience and reap the benefits of new working methods and implement digital projects more effectively. DigitalService was established in 2020 as a federal limited liability company (Bundes-GmbH). It emerged from the non-profit start-up 4Germany.
We are working for a digital Germany.
Our mission is to create digital applications for the state that put the needs of citizens at the heart of it all and which work better for everyone.
Chief Executive Officer
Chief Financial Officer
Chief Product Officer
Chief of Staff & Strategy
Head of Engineering
Head of People
Head of Communications
Head of Design
Head of Finance
Head of Transformation
Head of Product
The 4th Work4Germany cohort starts with 20 fellows working on 19 selected projects. For the first time, these have two thematic focuses: They are either digitalization projects or deal with ministerial legislative preparation.
The Federal Ministry of Justice and the team “Digitale Rechtsantragstelle (Digital Legal Application Office)” launch a beta version of a first online service for legal aid. On the website “Justiz-Services – Rechtsinformationen und digitale Anwendungen” (Justice Services – Legal Information and Digital Applications), citizens can find information and tips on how to apply and use a simple tool to check in advance whether they are entitled to legal aid.
The German federal cabinet decides on key points for Digitalcheck (German only) and thus underlines that digital-ready laws are essential for the successful digital implementation of political projects. It is particularly innovative that instead of defining measures and solutions in advance, the cabinet agrees on an iterative, user-centric method and a cross-departmental approach – as practiced by the Digitalcheck team since the start of the project.
Work4Germany has an unlimited temporary employment permit. Fellows enter into a fixed-term employment relationship with the DigitalService. They are assigned to a ministry for the entire duration of the contract - six months of the fellowship - and are legally equal to the employees there in all essential working conditions.
The Digitalcheck, which we are developing in cooperation with the BMI, is being applied to new regulatory projects at the federal level. It sets the basic conditions for new laws to be digitally implementable in the future.
The BundesIdent app is integrated into the online service “Grundsteuererklärung für Privateigentum” as an identification option – in addition to the ELSTER account or an activation code by letter. By the end of January 2023, the share of identifications with BundesIdent will increase to 19.9%.
Virtually and on site in our office in Berlin we come together to celebrate that our team at DigitalService has now grown to over 100 employees.
The 5th Tech4Germany year starts with more than 60 fellows and project partners. Together they will work on eight projects for three months.
The online service “Grundsteuererklärung für Privateigentum (Property Tax Return for Private Property)”, developed jointly with the Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF), is live. It supports private owners in filing property tax returns.
The 3rd Work4Germany cohort starts with a record participation of 30 fellows and change projects in 13 ministries and federal agencies.
"DigitalService4Germany GmbH" becomes "DigitalService GmbH des Bundes".
The DigitalService team starts work on the first application for the BMJ and develops NeuRIS (New Legal Information System), a central place through which laws, ordinances and judgments at the federal level will be openly - and above all easily - accessible.
The DigitalService software team is working on a second project for the BMF: As part of the property tax reform, we are developing a simplified digital tax service for determining property tax value - the "Property tax declaration for private property".
The Tax Guide - the simplified, pre-filled online tax form for people in retirement - is now available for the 2021 assessment year.
Chancellor Merkel pays a virtual farewell visit to DigitalService.
Tech4Germany and Work4Germany closing event with more than 300 guests from politics, administration, media and digitalization. Presentation of the results from 27 projects in 19 federal ministries and agencies.
The team continues to grow and moves from a co-working space to its first own office in Berlin Kreuzberg.
Start of the 4th Tech4Germany cycle with 28 fellows and digital projects in 7 federal ministries and agencies.
The first application of the DigitalService goes live. The Agora collaboration platform is designed to enable employees in the public health service to better network and exchange information with each other.
The second application, this time directly for citizens, is launched. Steuerlotse guides taxpaying seniors through a simplified online tax declaration in just a few minutes.
Start of the 2nd Work4Germany year with 20 fellows and change projects in 12 ministries and federal agencies. For the first time, with “Re-designing ministerial legislative preparation” a cross-departmental project is set up .
Two more projects with the DigitalService software teams are launched: UseID aims to increase acceptance of the eID function of the ID card. Together with the Federal Ministry of Justice and the Federal Office of Justice, the development of a legal information system is being prepared.
The Supervisory Board has been established and is meeting for its constituent session. Representatives from the Federal Chancellery, the Federal Ministries of the Interior and of Finance, as well as from academia, the entrepreneurial community and digital civil society are represented.
The software unit starts with the development of 2 digital applications: With the Federal Ministry of Health and the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the collaboration platform Agora is being developed. With the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Steuerlotse (tax pilot), which originally arose from a Tech4Germany project, is being continued.
DigitalService4Germany starts its work. Build-up of the software development unit begins.
4Germany is turned into a Bundes GmbH and renamed to DigitalService4Germany GmbH with the mandate to build an inhouse-software development unit for the German state.
#WirVsVirus hackathon final presentation with Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, Helge Braun, Doro Bär and Minister for Education Anja Karlizek.
Tech4Germany year 3 with 32 fellows and 6 ministries.
Federal president Frank Walter Steinmeier and Elke Büdenbender visit Tech4Germany and Work4Germany during the German Digital Day.
Work4Germany year 1 with 10 fellows and 10 ministries.
Initiation and organization of #WirVsVirus Hackathon der Bundesregierung with 28,000 participants.
Organization hires the first 8 employees.
Tech4Germany presentation in front of all members of cabinets in Meseberg.
Tech4Germany final presentation in front of 400 guests.
Sonja Anton, Christina Lang and Andrej Safundzic found 4Germany UG and secure state funding.
First conceptual draft for Work4Germany by Christina and proposal to the Federal Chancellery.
Idea for Work4Germany and presentation at the Chancellor's Office.
Tech4Germany final presentations in front of the Head of the Federal Chancellery and Ministers of State.
Tech4Germany year 1 with 9 fellows and 2 projects under the patronage of the Head of the Federal Chancellery Helge Braun.
Dr. Julia Borggraefe is a lawyer and has worked at Metaplan since 2022 as Associate Partner and Co-Managing Director of Metaplan Gesellschaft für Verwaltungsinnovation. Before switching to consulting, she was Head of Department at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS), where she built up the department of Digitalization and World of Work as well as the Policy Lab Digital, Work & Society. Before that, she held several leadership roles in HR departments at various companies in the automotive and service sectors. She advises on strategy and organizational development as well as innovation and transformation processes, with a particular focus on digital transformation issues.
Dr. Markus Richter is a fully qualified lawyer. After working at the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees in the areas of personnel, organization, at the President's Office, and in the area of policy issues, he became Group Head of IT at the Federal Office of Administration (Bundesverwaltungsamt) and, in 2018, Head of Department for Infrastructure and IT as well as CIO at the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees. In 2018, he became Vice President at the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees and then, in May 2020, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of the Interior, for Construction and Home Affairs and Federal Government Commissioner for Information Technology.
Julia Elisabeth Kloiber holds a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences degree from the University of Applied Sciences Joanneum in Graz (Austria), with a focus on Information Design, and a Master of Arts from Utrecht University (The Netherlands), with a focus on New Media and Digital Culture. She founded the Germany-wide civic tech network Code for Germany and initiated the BMBF-funded Prototype Fund – she led both as Director until 2018. Since 2018, she has been a Senior Fellow at the Mozilla Foundation, focusing on future technologies and open source. Finally, in 2019, she founded Superrr Lab gGmbH, for which she now functions as the Managing Director. The institution researches the challenges and opportunities of new technologies for society.
Prof. Dr. Peter Parycek is, among other things, Head of the Department for E-Governance in Business and Administration at Danube University Krems and a member of the advisory board of the Austrian Research Foundation (Austrian: ÖFG). At the same time, he heads the Competence Centre Public IT (German: ÖFIT) at the Fraunhofer Fokus Institute Berlin in Germany. As a legal informatics specialist, he works at the intersection of legal policy, social and technological developments. From 2018 to 2021, he also was a member of the Federal Government's Digital Council.
Tabea Roessner has been a member of the German Bundestag for "Bündnis 90/Die Grünen" since October 2009. The politician dedicated herself early on to topics related to new media, the internet, and digital society and was a deputy member of the Digital Agenda Committee in the past two legislative periods. She has chaired the Digital Affairs Committee since December 2021. Before moving into politics, the Humanities graduate worked as a freelance journalist, author, and editor for ZDF, RTL, and various magazines.
Stefan Schnorr has been State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Digital Affairs and Transport (BMDV) since December 2021. Before joining the BMDV, he was Head of the “Digital and Innovation Policy” department at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, now BMWK. Stefan Schnorr is a trained lawyer and began his career as an administrative judge in Trier. In 1994, he moved into administration. Digital topics did accompany him since 2010 when he took over the management of the “Information Society, Media” subdivision and later the “Budget, Personnel, Organization, Information Technology (CIO)” subdivision in the then Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.
Heike Zirden joined the Federal Chancellery in March 2022 as a group leader in Department 6, where she is responsible for fundamental issues of transformation and digital policy and social dialogue. Previously, she established and managed the Digitale Arbeitsgesellschaft (Digital Labor Society) think tank at the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs. The think tank tested new forms of collaboration and developed innovative solutions for the future of the digital working society.
Thomas Rieks holds a degree in Business Administration with additional relevant degrees, namely a Master of Science degree in Money, Banking and Finance (University of Birmingham), and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA Institute, Viginia, USA). Before working as an Investment Officer at the Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF Division VIII B 3), he worked as an Acquirer and Analyst at Landeskreditbank Baden-Württemberg, as an Analyst at Rentenbank (Frankfurt) specializing in corporate finance, and as a Credit Manager, Analyst and Authorized Signatory at DekaBank (Frankfurt).