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eGovernment Principles

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

Citizen-oriented

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 procedures should make life simpler and more convenient: no need to show up in person, no closing times, no waiting in line, or being sent back and forth between offices, just uncomplicated procedures and "intelligent forms" that are logically designed and can be filled out intuitively, or even pre-filled with the necessary information. Public authorities must optimise how forms are processed through the use of automated systems in the back office.

Trust and security

Citizens have to be able to trust electronic public authorities as much as they do the traditional ones. Citizens must be able to verify that electronic versions of official documents have not been altered in transit and that they really were sent by the proper authority. Public authorities can make sure that the documents received from citizens have arrived in their original state and that they were really sent from the given person.

Transparency

New technical advancements are only successful and accepted when all those affected by them are involved in the development process and they 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, so that it cannot come to a "digital divide“. Not just the solutions but also the Websites themselves must be accessible to all. Additional solutions, such as public Web terminals, should ensure that everyone is able to take advantage of eGovernment offerings.

Usability

The range of electronic services offered must be organised in an easily comprehensible, clear and straightforward manner. In order to gain acceptance and approval from users, forms and portals need to have a consistent design. Navigation and menus need to be structured in an intuitive and logical way.

Data security

Data protection is a fundamental right. Citizens place much value on the protection of their privacy. Sector-specific personal identifiers, or ssPINs, were developed specifically for the purpose of identification to conform to data protection standards. They ensure that public administration employees only have access to personal data from various public administration areas for which they have authorised access rights.

Cooperation

eGovernment functions best when all levels of government work seamlessly together, from the local authority up to a city, from the subsidiary bodies right up to the ministry. 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 administrative authorities jointly develop and release 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 desirability as a location for businesses.

Interoperability

Diverse types of systems need to be able to communicate with each another. Therefore, eGovernment solutions are only designed using 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 in any other area. Products that are new today are already outdated by tomorrow. eGovernment must therefore be open to new developments and not insist on only using one particular type of technology. It must not allow itself to become dependent upon a specific software or hardware monopoly.

Firm establishment in the leading group at European and international level

 Austria is not an “island” and this applies particularly in the field of eGovernment where geographical boundaries are only of little importance. The said principles ensure the best possible positioning of Austria in the European and international range. The Austrian eGovernment solutions take their international applicability into account right from the outset. Austria works actively to shape European developments and in turn also consciously aligns the Austrian strategy to the joint European objectives (e.g. Digital Agenda, eGovernment action plan, eGovernment minister declarations).