WORLD NEWS: eGov March 2012

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Latvian Smart card holders  go smart

The holders of the smart card version of the secure Latvian eSignature, can now apply for a virtual eSignature certificate and receive it from the comfort of their home.

The virtual eSignature certificate allows one to sign a document electronically on the Latvian eSignature portal  without having to use a smart card. Applying for the virtual eSignature requires few minutes for smart card-based eSignature users; they will simply need to fill out the application form at, save it and sign it with their smart card signature, and email their application to

The Latvian eSignature (eParaksts) enables a user to access many eGovernment services provided by Latvian authorities. A list of the mainly used services and entities requiring the use of the eSignature is available in English at The eParaksts portal was developed by the Latvia
State Radio and Television Centre (LSRTC), the only certificate authority that is fully responsible for public key infrastructure.


Switzerland develops E-Gov application

The eGovernment Switzerland Programme Office, an administrative unit of the eGovernment Switzerland Steering Committee, has developed the ‘E-Gov-App’ for a popular smartphone and tablet computer.

A three-minute video on the eGovernment programme and its objectives as well as an overview on the concept of eGovernment, is accessible via a popular videosharing site and the eGovernment Switzerland portal.

This new app, the benefits of eGovernment projects can be measured anytime and anywhere. It is based on the ‘Utilitas’ model for benefit calculation. In addition to the compact ‘Utilitas’ kit (spreadsheets) which is available for download at the eGovernment portal, a simplified version of ‘Utilitas’ is now also available via the ‘E-Gov App’. This utility assessment model helps IT project and programme managers in the public and private sector to measure the qualitative benefits of a project when financial data on cost effectiveness is lacking. Furthermore, it enables to set strategic priorities.


Dubai eGovernment and CBD launch “Cash Online” to support Direct Debit

In a bid to provide the public and business community with an efficient and secure mechanism for instant payment of government fees without having to waste time and effort, Dubai eGovernment and Commercial Bank of Dubai (CBD) have launched “Cash Online”, a virtual account for both CBD and non CBD account holders to pay their government payments online.

The service is a new CBD product designed and developed for individual and corporate non-CBD account holders to open a free virtual account within minutes without the need to have a minimum balance following the submission of the required official documents.

This service supports the use of Dubai eGovernment’s ePay portal to settle the fees of government transactions, either through credit cards or through direct debit from the customer’s account with the aim of providing more convenient options for customers in line with the Dubai eGovernment’s “Customer First” strategy.

Austrian Tax office goes mobile

The mobile phone signature, which is the mobile version of the Citizen Card, was first introduced in Austria in December 2009. Two years later and in order to make the assessment of income tax easier, all tax offices in Austria provide the activation of the mobile phone signature, free of charge.

The only thing that citizens need to bring to the tax office to have their mobile phone signature activated is an official photo ID, such as a passport photo, and their mobile phone.

Mobile phone signature is one of the most secure methods available for identification over the internet. It is a user-friendly, fully-fledged citizen card with qualified signatures. It requires no card readers or installations; just the Short Message Service (SMS) on the mobile phone. Upon activation, users may use a plethora of electronic services, which meet the highest safety standards. These services include application for certificates, information about pension and health insurance, disability assistance, digital libraries etc. Users can even legally sign documents such as contracts, receipts, cancellation notices or forms electronically.

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