Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New platform underpins flexible e-government services

23.08.2006
Finding ways to deliver services online, and so reduce costs and save taxpayers’ hard-earned money, has been a long-held ambition for many public administrations. Now a new platform for providing secure e-government services has become well established in Germany, and is being promoted across Europe.

Developed by ‘bremen online services’ (bos) and showcased at recent trials in Germany, Italy and the UK, the CERTISERV platform is designed to handle a wide range of online transactions between public administrations and other administrations, businesses and citizens.

CERTISERV uses the emerging Online Services Computer Interface (OSCI) protocol and employs Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) to ensure the security and trustworthiness of transactions. And, because it is based on open standards, the platform ties in easily with the legacy systems of public administrations regardless of whether they are running proprietary or open source software.

“The advantages of a solution such as this are evident for public administrations,” notes CERTISERV project coordinator Frank Schipplick of bos in Germany. “They are able to bring services online securely and relatively easily, and the scalability of the platform allows it to be used for a broad range of services and applications.”

The market for a platform such as CERTISERV is especially large at a time when public administrations are trying to bring more services online in an effort to reduce costs and increase efficiency. In Germany, the secure e-government solutions provided by bos are being deployed nationwide at both the regional and state level.

“The platform is being used in Germany by fourteen of the sixteen Länder to provide a range of services. In Bremen alone we have thirty to forty different services operating over it,” Schipplick notes.

In Bremen, one of these services is dealing with requests to local courts from citizens and companies for judicial orders demanding debt payments. “Previously it used to take three courts to handle the paperwork, now the service has been brought online only one court is needed to process the requests,” says Schipplick. “Across Germany around twenty percent of such orders are now being handled online.”

Schipplick points out another advantage of the system. “The local social security office in Bremen used to spend one hundred thousand euros a year on postage stamps to contact doctors by mail. Now that it is contacting them securely via the Internet, that money is being saved and can be put to use elsewhere.”

Given the system’s success in its German homeland, the goal of the CERTISERV project was to take it further afield with trials in Bologna in Italy and Sheffield in the United Kingdom. In Bologna, it was used to bring two services online, one of which consisted of a system for contacting and exchanging information with citizens. The other was a supplier portal to manage interactions between the municipality and the companies that provide it with goods and services. However, the introduction of a new Italian law on e-government services has stalled further deployment for the present.

In Sheffield, the CERTISERV platform provides three different services. “We set up an e-consultation service for citizens, and a service to allow electronic forms to be digitally signed so that municipal departments could quickly order outsourced services. The police could use the e-forms to order emergency street cleaning from the local cleaning company, for example,” Schipplick says. “The third service allows e-mails to be digitally signed in order to ensure the integrity and security of messages sent between different departments that contain citizens’ private data.”

The system’s core component is a common middleware platform that connects different service providers and handles the central functionalities of the system, such as gateway access, integrity and signature assurance. Messages and encryption are also handled by central components.

“The public administration using it does not have to worry about the technology – only the applications,” Schipplick says. “It is an application-independent technology that provides secure and legally binding communications.”

The level of security it provides can be adapted according to the needs of the service, with both software-based and smartcard certificates being used.

“What we saw is that the types of e-government services that need to be provided in different countries vary greatly. In Britain, for example, there is a lot of consultation with citizens over policy, something that doesn’t happen in Germany. In that sense, the development of the e-consultation system in Sheffield highlighted the adaptability of the platform,” Schipplick says.

Schipplick estimates that a small-scale implementation of the system by a public administration to bring several services online would cost between 50,000 and 60,000 euros. “After the initial investment, the cost savings are considerable over time,” he says.

The CERTISERV partners are now seeking partners in different countries working in the field of systems integration. “So far we have been in contact with public administrations elsewhere in the United Kingdom and in Bulgaria, Finland, France and Switzerland,” Schipplick says.

Jernett Karensen | alfa
Further information:
http://istresults.cordis.lu/

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht The TU Ilmenau develops tomorrow’s chip technology today
27.04.2017 | Technische Universität Ilmenau

nachricht Five developments for improved data exploitation
19.04.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>