E-government, also known as electronic government, e-gov, Internet government, digital government, online government or connected government, is a new alternative for interaction between citizens (natural persons) and businesses (legal persons) and the state, regional and local administrations and town councils, among others. It is based on the use of the information and communication technologies (ICT) to design, develop and implement digital tools and environments enabling communication and administrative procedures between citizens and businesses with the administrations and is supported and motivated by constant organizational and legal changes.
What is e-government?
Some tools to define and understand e-government.
Regulations and jurisprudence
Compilation of regional and state regulations supporting and promoting e-government.
Representation of bodies and institutions, support documents, legislation, etc., that can help us understand the gradual implementation of e-government in Catalonia and Spain, and the state of the art in Europe.
E-government in Catalonia
E-government in Spain
European overview of e-government
Administration and open government
An objective derived from e-government is the achievement of open administration, open government or good governance. A transparent e-government and with open access to public information (open data).
One of the foundations of open government is the transparency of the public administrations. Citizens are entitled to know about the decision-making processes of the public administrations, who participates in decision making, who receives funding, and so on. Moreover, they are entitled to have access to multiple information and public documents. The more access citizens have to everything related to the administrations, the more transparent these administrations will be considered.
Open data are datasets produced or compiled by the public administration and available to citizens in accessible and reusable digital formats.
Interoperability is the capacity of the information services, in this case of the public administrations, and the procedures they support, to share data and enable the exchange of information and knowledge, thereby fostering inter-administrative collaboration with the objective of facilitating citizens’ administrative procedures.
Interoperability networks are those inter-administrative collaborations that ensure the right of citizens not to provide documents that are already held by the different public administrations. They foster exchange of information between the different administrations and there are different types of initiatives at a national and autonomous community level, among others.
Electronic signature and electronic certificate
The electronic signature is a system of electronic identification based on a digital signature stored on a software support. It has a legal validity equal to that of a handwritten signature. It is important to differentiate between electronic signature and digital signature, which is the ciphered mechanism that gives authenticity to the attached digital information. For its part, the electronic or digital certificate is the computer file generated by a certification agency that links identity data to a natural or legal person and confirms his/her digital identity.
What is the electronic signature?
Some tools to define and understand what the electronic signature is.
Agencies in charge of issuing the digital certificates used in the electronic signature. These agencies must guarantee the principles of authenticity, integrity, confidentiality and non-repudiation of digital information.
The electronic or digital certificate is the computer file generated by the certification agency that links identity data to a natural or legal person and confirms his/her identity. Digital certificates operate with signing and ciphering processes, known as public-key cryptography, and are based on the use of the public-key, present in the certificate, and the private-key, linked to it but which is not contained in the certificate.
The spread of e-government is linked to the trust that the communication through electronic means with the administration generates among citizens. For this reason, the security of the shared data is paramount.
Driven by the efforts to implement e-government, the Justice Administration has recently been investing great efforts to achieve open, agile and efficient justice; based on the renewal of the judicial infrastructures and the computing systems.
Support resources on e-government
Many periodical publications, books and videos address e-government from different perspectives.