The UK improved its digital public services during 2014 but still lies 11th out of 28 European Union countries for its performance, according to new research.
The European Commission yesterday released the latest update to its Digital Economy and Society index, ranking digital performance of member countries across a number of areas.
In the digital public services section, the UK improved its rank by five places over the previous year.
The report said: “Digital public services is the dimension where the United Kingdom has made significant progress.
“However, provision and use of some use of eGovernment/eHealth services can be improved.”
The report found that 37% of internet users in 2014 used forms on government websites to submit information, compared to just 24% in 2013.
However, the UK only scored 8.6 out of 100 for the use of pre-filled forms, leaving it in 25th place in this category.
This indicator shows the extent to which data that is already known to the public administration is pre-filled in the forms that are presented to the user.
In better news, the UK came top on the open data ranking, scoring 580 out of 700.
On health, the report showed that 21% of general practitioners use ePrescriptions, below the EU average of 27%.
The survey also shows country rankings for broadband connectivity, internet skills, internet use and integration of digital into businesses.
Overall, the UK came 6th out of the 28 EU member states.
Schellion Horn, director in consultant Deloitte’s telecoms team, said: “The index highlights that the UK has made significant digital progress over the past year. The UK has continued to see one of the highest increases in fast broadband connections, contributed to by the falling broadband prices observed in the index.”
He added that the large increase in the number of people using government online services could translate into cost savings for the UK government organisations.
The index has been published as the European Commission prepares its Digital Single Market strategy, set to be unveiled in May. The strategy is aimed at enabling the free flow of online services across European borders.
Andrus Ansip, vice president for the Digital Single Market, said: “These figures show Europe is going digital, and Europeans enjoying great new services. The vast majority of Europeans are going online: citizens want to access online content, we need to make it easier for them.”