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Electronic File System (ELAK)

ELAK enables seamless digital communication between public authorities and other governmental or private sector service points

One of the most important developments of eGovernment for public administration is the Electronic File System, called ELAK. It enables seamless communication between public authorities and other governmental or private sector service points and shortens reaction and processing time by up to 15 percent.

In as early as 2001, the ELAK system was launched department-wide in the Austrian Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Federal Chancellery. Since then, ELAK has been rolled out country-wide and ELAK systems are also being introduced step by step in provincial governments.

In their function as a document and workflow management system for the electronic implementation of internal work processes, electronic file systems become a kind of data hub in which different applications and data sources can be integrated so that changes in media format can be avoided.

This is supported by a series of defined interfaces, through which an electronic record system, as a core application of an authority, communicates with clients as well as other systems and applications.

In the electronic record system of the federal administration, the most important interfaces and systems for public administration are:

  • Form server: This interface displays forms in graphical user interfaces, making it the most important interface from the citizen’s point of view. Application forms that are submitted over a Web form can be processed directly in the ELAK system due to their standardized data structure and XML syntax. The submitted application form is forwarded on to the responsible administrative unit for processing without delay.
  • EPS (Electronic Payment Standard) 2 Interface: If any fees are incurred in the procedure, they can be paid by online banking, credit card or mobile phone, as described above. The standardised electronic payment confirmation is sent directly to the ELAK system of the authority and can be stored in an electronic record.
  • Electronic delivery: In order to transmit information, notices, and documents to the intended person, the piece of correspondence must be delivered via a delivery service using the methods described.
  • Interfaces to other applications: information is often needed from citizens during procedures which they are not able to supply, either because it would require too much effort, or because it may not be possible for the citizen to do so. Instead of citizens having to chase their data around, the data should be able to be accessed by the ELAK system in an automated manner from public administration applications such as registers, SAP systems or directory services. Communication occurs over defined interfaces that support the standardized exchange of data.