How can the Information Society bring government closer to the people? How will industry benefit from increasingly efficient and telematics-based administrations? These and other questions relating to the role of public administrations in the Information Society were discussed during the first conference on the Community's Interchange of Data between Administrations (IDA) programme held in Rome on 20-21 June 1996. The primary role of the IDA programme is to support the development of Europe's internal market by encouraging the creation of trans-European telematics networks and services for the public sector. IDA also acts as a facilitator, to help public administrations create links with their counterparts in other European countries. IDA projects already under way include EURES, the European online job-search network, FIDES, a service aimed at European Fisheries Ministries to exchange fisheries information (catch quotas, movements and customs), and CARE and REITOX for exchanging information on drugs and communicable diseases. There are also a number of information exchange networks in areas such as social security, tax and VAT, all of which are aimed at creating pan-European services for the European citizens of tomorrow. At the invitation of Mr. Martin Bangemann, Commissioner responsible for industry and telecommunications, the Rome conference brought together approximately 400 policy makers and key figures from public administrations and the information technology industry all over Europe. They discussed priorities and information strategies aimed at enabling public administrations to provide more efficient services to citizens and industry, and highlighted the opportunities this rapidly emerging market offers to IT service providers.