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What is eGovernment?

A short introduction to eGovernment in Austria

Definition of eGovernment

Simply put, eGovernment has become a synonym for a modern state.

The word eGovernment translates literally as "electronic government". However, the term eGovernment has established itself worldwide as meaning "the administration of government by means of electronic technology". In general, it means the simplification of work routines and processes through the application of information and communication technologies (ICT) in the areas of information, communication and transaction within and between state institutions as well as between the government and citizens or businesses.

Interaction levels in eGovernment

eGovernment is classified into the following areas:

  • Information: Making information available online, for example, on the Web site of a public authority.
  • Communication: The ability to interactively access and exchange information.
  • Transaction: The actual carrying out of services, including the signation of application forms and electronic delivery of official documents and notifications.
  • Personalisation: Based on personal user profiles, content is adjusted to the different requirements and life situations of people in order to make information as targeted as possible.

eGovernment is the set of all electronic public administration services available to everyone in the country. It is also a synonym for a modern and innovative land, in which quality, trust and quickness play a central role. Public authorities use technologies such as the Internet or mobile services to get into contact with citizens and businesses. They also use these technologies to carry out internal work processes. eGovernment has an impact on every citizen, business and public authority.

Modern information and communication technologies make it possible for public authorities to offer "old" services as well as to introduce new electronic ones over the Internet. Not only can these services be customized to meet the needs of citizens and businesses, they also make life simpler. Many of these services save people from having to go to the public office in person because application forms can be sent over the Internet. The use of communication technology allows citizens and businesses to communicate interactively with public authorities. The World Wide Web is practically open around the clock, which means that applications and forms can be sent to the electronic public authority any time of day or night.

eGovernment also helps the government to reach new levels: historical processes and forms are reassessed, brought up-to-date where necessary, or even disposed of entirely.

However, eGovernment does not mean that traditional offices are done away with entirely. Although transactions with public authorities can be conducted over the Internet, it doesn't necessarily have to be done that way. For all those who prefer personal contact or those who are uncomfortable using the Internet will still be able to go to the public office in person.

Further information