European Union member states have been mandated to increase the use of eGovernment services to citizens and businesses by 2015, according to a new action plan.
The Council of the European Union issued its action plan for 2011-2015 last week, stressing the benefits cloud computing and service oriented architectures can provide member governments to help them reach the ambitious goal.
The council invited the creation of pilot projects to support the migration of public administrations to IPv6 to aid flexible and efficient service delivery.
Apart from establishing a more open and accessible set of government services throughout the EU, the 23-point action plan wanted governments and third-party developers to involve end users in eGovernment service design.
It also attempted to mitigate the exclusion of people with disabilities and other groups from using the new services.
And it addressed environmental concerns, noting that eGovernment services could play a role in reducing the carbon footprints of public administrations.
The action plan had some similarities with the Australian Department of Finance & Regulation's draft “Vision Statement” released in April, and other Australian policy documents.
Australia's strategy focused on productivity, bench-marking and rolling out more shared service arrangements through to 2013.
Similar to the draft Vision Statement, the EU promoted a 'once-only' registration of data for public services.
The EU action plan also shared some common ground with Australia's Public Sector Information principles.
Both promoted the use of ICT to increase participation and involvement in policy making processes and increase transparency by providing public sector information online.