Users of public services tend not to differentiate between levels of government. A single mother on welfare might not know that her social benefits come from central government while her housing allowance comes from local government. Consumers couldn’t care less that their sales tax goes to the state government while import duties go to the feds.

The Internet can blur these distinctions and enable a cross-jurisdictional approach to service delivery, through combined-access portals. In Germany, the federal government works in partnership with the 16 l