Europe gets model in Denmark e-Invoicing
Denmark is now able to save EUR120-150mn (US$152.90-191.14mn) annually through the mandatory e-Invoicing and a good public private partnership (PPP) effort. As part of its national e-Government strategy, Denmark made e-Invoicing mandatory on 1 February 2005. Now, all paper-based invoices sent earlier to the government on all levels are now being managed electronically. The new set-up has resulted in significantly eliminating keyboarding and postal handling. e-Invoicing has been set up after successful implemen-tation of proven market solutions, including the infrastructure and the systems that are able to receive and process e-Invoices. The success of e-Invoicing in Denmark has presented the rest of Europe a good model to be replicated. Currently, the Agency of Governmental Management, under the Ministry of Finance, is handling the implementation and ongoing administration of e-Invoicing in the country.
Kazakhstan e-Gov portal by December
The Kazakhstan e-Government portal would be up and running by this December. This was informed by Askar Zhumagaliyev, chairman of the Agency for Computerisation and Communication of Republika Kazachstán (RK) at a round table ‘Development of the e-Government of RK and Kaznet’. This is in line with the strategy of the e-Government development in Kazakhstan, which is to be implemented in four phases: an informational phase (currently), an interactive phase (planned for late 2006-2008) a transaction phase (2008-2009) and ‘information society’ phase (2009). The launch of this e-Government portal marks a shift from the informational phase to the interactive phase of e-Government development.
“The transition from the informational to the interactive phase suggests an opportunity of receiving certain permitting documents, references, and licenses via the Internet and the ‘e-Government’ portal,” Zhumagaliyev stated. It is expected that by the year 2009, the number of services provided by the e-Government portal would increase to 900 services. At present, the Kazakh government portal is providing more than 500 services that are of informational nature only.
Bulgaria allocates EUR5mn for e-Government projects
The Government of Bulgaria has allocated a record EUR5mn (US$) for the implementation of e-Government projects. According to the State Administration Minister Nikolay Vassilev, the EU-initiated information technology (IT) project is intended to aid the work of state bodies, and simplify communication for people and the business with institutions. Meanwhile, intensive capacity building initiative in IT is taking place throughout Bulgaria. Some 20,000 state employees across the country are being trained in information technologies. Besides, the Bulgarian government has actively adopted the usage of the digital signature.
Senate Committee questions US e-Government drive
The Senate Appropriations Committee in its report decided not to recommend any funding for the e-Government activities for the fiscal 2007 terming the US President George Bush’s e-Government initiatives vague and realistic earnings uncertain. In its report on the 2007 Science, State, Justice, Commerce and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, the Committee said that the Bush administration was unable to quantify the benefits of cross-agency initiatives because cost-benefit analysis was conducted on a governmentwide basis only. The Committee said that it had no confidence whatsoever that the assessed amounts in any way related to the benefits anticipated to be returned.
The Senate Committee expressed concern that the transfer of funds might go beyond what the e-Government Act and other statutes regarding revolving funds allow. According to it, such transactions conceal the total costs of developing and maintaining e-Government information technology systems, and also hides government and contractor performance in meeting budget, schedule and program requirements. The report recommends that in view of the difficulties the federal government face in managing large and complex IT procurements, e-Government should be administered in a manner that does not impede congressional oversight. The appropriations bill is yet to be passed by the Senate.