While promoting externally the use of ICT in the whole society through the i-2010 strategy, the Commission intends to lead by example by applying to its own administration the European society policy in the e-government field.
It aims in particular at offering better, more cost-effective, transparent and secure services to staff, national administrations, business and citizens.
The EU defines E-government as “the use of information and communication technologies in public administrations combined with organisational change and new skills in order to improve public services and democratic processes and strengthen support to public policies”.
Vice-President Siim Kallas stressed in Manchester during the ministerial e-government conference “Transforming public services in Europe” that the implementation of this new framework requires a clear and strong political sponsorship : “I will oversee the implementation of the 2006-2010 strategy in the Commission, and together with Commissioner Reding, we will co-sponsor communication and training initiatives aimed to raise awareness within the Commission about best e-government practices. As for our internal decision-making process, I am determined to promote the model of an efficient, paperless and secure e-college, where all concerned colleagues get on-line the information they need and can easily track back on their PCs any relevant amendment or new proposal.”
Through this framework, the Commission will step up its efforts in order to enhance its maturity in mastering ICT-supported services and reach the level of an integrated government.
An e-goverment maturity model provides guidance to define strategies for a better control of ICT supported services : the first level is simply a website, the second is online government services, the third is integrated government services, and the fourth is fully transformed and paperless government services, all built from the users’ rather than from the organisation’s viewpoint.
In line with the two consecutive eEurope Action Plans (eEurope 2002 endorsed by the Feira Council in 2000 and eEurope 2005 endorsed by the Seville Council in 2002, now followed by the i2010 strategy) and in the framework of its administrative Reform, the Commission follows an ambitious strategy to become a front-runner in the domain of e-administration. This program is called e-Commission and had initially a life span of five years (2001-2005), during which the Commission became an on-line administration.