According to the Federal Statistical Office one in three German companies use the internet in order to communicate with public authorities. Taking into account solely those companies with access to the internet this percentage of companies making use of e-government rises to 41%. Small enterprises and the retail sector, however, are still quite reluctant to contact authorities over the internet.
The above findings were the result of a survey on the usage of information and communications technology conducted in 2006 among companies and private households.
It was revealed that companies with at least 20 employees made above-average use of services provided by authorities over the internet. While in this group of companies 63% of businesses with internet access made use of public online services, in the group with less than 20 staff and internet access this figure was just 37%. Particularly frequently e-government was applied by companies from the field of research and development (92% of these with internet access). Public online services were also quite intensely used by water and power utilities (69%). Particulary little was the interest in public online services shown by companies from the retail sector (19%).
The majority of companies making use of e-government did so in order to download forms (84%) and gather information. In addition, 71% of these companies sent back filled-in forms and 17% made an online offer in response to an electronic invitation to tender.