The main objective of the MENSA project was to provide public and private Administrations with a structured methodology and a reference guide in order to rationalise their needs for the implementation of inter-European interchange of information. This was to be done in the form of an ENS Handbook based on the practical experiences of all ENS-projects.
A related objective of the MENSA project was to promote the results of the ENS programme in general and specifically by the use of the ENS Handbook. For this purpose a two-day ENS Conference was organised in March 1994 and a permanent ENS Demonstration Centre has been established.
The major achievements of the MENSA project to date are the publication of the final draft of the Handbook, the operation of the Demonstration centre and the organisation of the ENS Conference.
The Mensa project included three main activities:
The ENS Handbook was written by a small working group in which some of the ENS-projects participated. For specific issues, this group was supported by members of an expert group including a Quality Officer. Their joint work was reviewed by project representatives nominated by each of the ENS projects and by a User board consisting of representatives of the Member States of the European Union.
The handbook activities commenced with the definition of its structure and its target audience. A draft version was produced and reviewed within a large user group which provided statements of real user requirements. The handbook called STEPS, Solutions for Telematics in European Public Services, was then issued at the ENS conference. Continual updates and maintenance in general, are proceeding.
2-ENS Demonstration Centre
The ENS Demonstration centre facilitates all ENS-projects to demonstrate the techniques used within their pilot projects. It also acts as a contributor to the ENS Handbook by way of verification.
The establishment of the ENS Demonstration centre was based upon an inventory of the required technical infrastructure of all the ENS-projects. The Demonstration centre is used by the EU for demonstrating the achievements of the ENS programme and also by many of the projects for User meetings and promotional activities.
The ENS Conference is one of the major activities in the dissemination of the results of the ENS programme. A two day conference in May 1994 was seen as the starting point of a series of national conferences throughout the European Union and the EEA, bringing together the decision makers of the European public services to share and assess the results of the ENS programme and to identify the approach for work to be carried out in future programmes.