Welcome! The World Wide Web Consortium invites all who work within governments or those who work or engage with governments to participate in the many opportunities sponsored by W3C and the Web community.
W3C's eGovernment Activity currently offers speakers, discussion forums, educational information, and guidelines focused on helping governments to publish data in open, standards-based formats so that information can be more easily accessed on the Web.
The European Commission recently published the proceedings of the 4th EU Ministerial eGovernment Conference. As mentioned in the previous news item W3C keynoted at that event. The document provides an interesting summary of the event and highlights W3C participation as follows:
Sir Timothy Berners-Lee, Director of W3C (not in attendance), stressed in his keynote address the importance of transparency and openness for the future of eGovernment. With reference to the latter, government departments are said to have an obligation to be open to others, including . Public sector openness also implies that standard formats should be adopted when publishing information on the web. This would help ease accessibility and use of data, thus the web can be a valuable tool, but only if there is quality of content. On the other hand, transparency is a delicate issue that could be ruined if misused; privacy is therefore essential and source data should ideally be traceable and trusted.
Jose Manuel Alonso, eGovernment Lead at W3C/CTIC, emphasised the importance of the Internet as the main delivery channel for service delivery; as a consequence, web technology has a crucial role to play in government and citizen (G2B) relationships. Current efforts are therefore being made to make the best use of technologies and keep eGovernment simple. Open web standards help foster innovation and competition, and increase citizen and market trust as a result of the transparency of the process. Data integration and interoperability, together with transparency and privacy, have been further tackled in the intervention. From basic interoperability through semantic interoperability, the more sophisticated level of data integration allows for mixed data coming from different sources. Nonetheless, transparency and privacy can be guaranteed only if data are used for the purpose for which they were collected. Citizens can trust government only if they feel that privacy and security are guaranteed.
eGovernment is the use of the Web and other information technologies by governments to interact with the citizenry, between departments and divisions, and with other governments.