Free eGovernment – the Open Source Components
Citizen cards or mobile phone signature and electronic delivery applications are implemented in the form of freely available software components. In order for eGovernment to be accepted and used in the private sector, open source components have been made available which can be used by businesses. The term open source means that the source code for a piece of software is freely available to the public and may be further developed and distributed.
Businesses in Austria that are interested in using the citizen card concept for their own purposes can integrate the components into their systems free-of-charge. They make it easy to develop and customise applications according to their own requirements. This not only supports the efforts of public administration, it also allows businesses to develop their own trend-setting services.
With the use of the components, also known as MOA (Online Application Modules), applications can be made more citizen-friendly. When citizens sign their online application forms, public authorities and businesses can verify them using the MOA components on their site. When a public authority sends an official notification or a piece of correspondence, it will be signed with help from the MOA and delivered electronically in RSa letter quality. Even in the private sector it can be used in many different ways, from providing login access using the citizen card to signing official contracts, or even sending contracts electronically using electronic delivery.
The following MOAs currently exist:
The server signature MOA SS is used for creating electronic signatures. This allows documents such as notifications or invoices to be signed in batch format and protected against manipulation.
Signature verification is carried out by the MOA SP. This module helps not only with the verification of electronic signatures, but also in checking a document’s point of origin and its authenticity. Documents that have been forged or tampered with are recognized immediately by the MOA SP.
The MOA ID is used for identification purposes. This module enables secure login via the citizen card (card-based or mobile phone signature), as is already offered for example by “FinanzOnline”, officially approved delivery services and the Association for Social Insurance. This can be used e.g., by businesses to offer secure remote access to e-mail or documents. The mobile phone signature option offers the most flexibility in the use of the infrastructure.
The delivery module, MOA ZS, ensures that documents can be delivered electronically and securely. Using this module, documents of any kind can be delivered in RSa letter quality to recipients by electronic means, as long as the recipient is registered with an officially approved delivery service.
MOA AS offers a simple web service that allows PDF documents to be affixed with an official signature by the public authority.
The existing projects were transferred to the European JoinUp platform where the software elements are available as a download.