eGovernment Principles

  1. Proximity to citizens
  2. Convenience through efficiency
  3. Trust and security
  4. Transparency
  5. Accessibility
  6. Usability
  7. Data security
  8. Cooperation
  9. Sustainability
  10. Interoperability
  11. Technological neutrality

The Austrian eGovernment strategy is based on the following important principles:

Proximity to citizens

Government should be at the disposal of the people and not the other way around. Online services need to be easy to find and available at all times.

Convenience through efficiency

Online processes should make life simpler and more convenient: not having to show up in person, no closing times, no waiting in line, or being sent back and forth between offices, just uncomplicated processes and "intelligent forms" that are logically designed and can be filled out intuitively, or even pre-filled with the necessary information. Processing forms using an automated system also optimizes work processes in public authorities.

Trust and security

Citizens have to be able to trust the electronic public authority as much as they do the traditional one. A citizen must be able to verify that electronic versions of official documents they receive have not been altered and that they really were sent by the proper authority. Conversely, public authorities are able to check if the documents received from citizens arrive in their original state and that they are really sent from the given person.

Transparency

New technical developments will only be accepted if all those affected by it, from employees in public authorities to those in business, are involved in the process and developments are carried out in a transparent fashion.

Accessibility

Public authority services must be accessible to everyone without discrimination. eGovernment must be available to all classes and sections of the population. A "digital divide", meaning a separation between those who are comfortable using new technologies and those who find it difficult, must not be allowed to exist. The solutions offered as well as the Web sites themselves must be barrier-free and accessible to all. Additional solutions, such as public Internet terminals, should make it possible for everyone to be able to use eGovernment.

Usability

The range of electronic services offered must be structured in a clear and straightforward manner. In order to gain acceptance and approval from users, forms and portals will have to have a consistent design. Navigation and menus will need to be intuitive and logical, with a familiar structure so that users are able to quickly find what they are looking for.

Data security

Citizens place a high degree of confidence in the Austrian administration with regard to data protection. Citizens put a high value on the protection of their privacy. Sector-specific personal identifiers, or ssPINs, were developed specially for the purpose of identification to conform to data protection standards. They ensure that only authorised persons within the administration have access to personal data.

Cooperation

eGovernment functions best when all levels of government work seamlessly together, from the smallest local authority up to federal ministries. Existing applications and infrastructures will have to work together in order to reach the desired level of efficiency. Only through cooperation will it be possible for eGovernment to run in an efficient manner; organisationally, financially and administratively. The basis of this cooperation are interfaces that government agencies jointly develop and present to the public.

Sustainability

eGovernment has a modular structure which allows new components to be integrated immediately into the system to keep up with the latest technology. A modular structure offers more than just sustainability. It also increases Austria's ability to compete in the market and strengthens its position as a location for business.

Interoperability

Diverse types of systems will need to be able to communicate with each another. Therefore, eGovernment solutions will only be designed according to internationally recognized standards and open interfaces.

Technological neutrality

The speed with which systems, solutions and devices are developed in the information and communication branch is faster than any other area. Products that are new today are already outdated tomorrow. eGovernment must therefore be open to new developments and not insist on only using one particular technology. It must not allow itself to become dependent upon a specific software or hardware monopoly.