Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

To exchange experience and best practice on the use of on-line information technology by administrations and on the establishment of procedures for conducting electronic administrative business between governments, companies and citizens.


During the G-7 Ministerial Conference devoted to the Information Society (Brussels 25-26 February) the G-7 members, along with the European Commission, decided to launch 11 pilot projects which are designed to demonstrate the potential benefits of the Information Society and to stimulate its deployment.

The key objectives of the pilot projects are to:

- Support international consensus on common principles for applications, access and interoperability of networks;
- Establish groundwork for cooperation among G-7 partners to create a critical mass to address the global Information Society issue;
- Create an opportunity for information exchange leading to further development of the Information Society;
- Identify and select exemplary projects with tangible, understandable, and demonstrable socio-economic and cultural benefits;
- Identify obstacles to implementing applications related to a global Information Society;
- Help create markets for new products and services.

The Government Online project offers a significant opportunity to share the effort and experience among G-7 members through collaborative projects, which will enable participating countries to use existing technology and know-how to achieve several objectives. These include:

- Making appropriate government information widely available;
- Improving the service to the public;
- Facilitating information exchange between governments;
- Reducing the number of paper transactions involved in government operations.


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The United Kingdom and Canada are responsible for the operational coordination of the Government On-line pilot project.

The project aims to promote collaboration in the area of best practices and to improve public services through the increased use of on-line systems. The implementation of the project is centred on three main themes:

- The increased use of electronic mail for communications with and within government;
- The provision of fully interactive, on-line services for more complex transactions, allowing the public to both obtain and provide information from a variety of locations;
- The development of on-line transaction processing for the support and delivery of routine services.

The first formal meeting of this project group was held in London on 27 and 28 March 1995, attended by Canada, the European Commission, France, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US. Whilst Germany was not able to attend the meeting, it has, nonetheless, indicated its intention to participate in the project.

Following the London meeting, eleven projects were proposed. Three of these projects were collaborative, illustrating messaging between G-7 project members, videoconferencing, and the delivery of government information electronically. The remaining proposals were national examples of initiatives that illustrate the objectives of the G-7. Each participating country submitted at least one demonstration proposal.

Several non-G-7 countries have already expressed an interest in participating in the project. It was agreed that, while other countries may participate in specific sub-projects or receive information about projects, the G-7 group would act as the steering/coordination group for the overall project. Ground rules for the participation of other parties in elements of the pilot project are to be established.

The strategy is to deliver measurable results by the year 2000 and to provide indicative demonstrations of projects by mid-1996.
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