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Global e-government 23 October
Wednesday, October 23 2002
by Sylvia Leatham

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The US government is planning to develop a system to monitor the Internet's performance | The UK's Neighbourhood Renewal Unit has launched a Web site

The UK's Neighbourhood Renewal Unit has this week launched a Web site, renewal.net, as part of the government's National Strategy Action Plan for neighbourhood renewal. One of the stated aims of the Action Plan is to develop a knowledge management system to act as a guide to the information available on "what works in tackling the various problems of deprived neighbourhoods." Taking a practical and evidence-based approach, the site features hundreds of documents on how to approach neighbourhood renewal, including case studies, how-to guides and key policy documents.

The South Korean government plans to set up an e-government portal within two years. The country's information and communication ministry says citizens will be able to conduct around 180 procedures on-line in 2004, under its "Government for Customers" programme, also known as G4C. The ministry said the new system would contribute to the development of a "knowledge-based administration" and would deliver substantial savings to the government.

Computer World reported last week that the US National Communications System (NCS) is planning to develop a Global Early Warning Information System (GEWIS) to monitor the performance of the Internet. The system would also provide warnings to government and industry bodies of threats that could degrade service, such as denial-of-service attacks against the Domain Name Servers that control Internet traffic. In fact, just such an attack took place earlier this week, when the Internet's 13 root servers were targeted, as reported by ElectricNews.net.

In other news from Computer World, the US Army is attempting to create a single network and IT management structure for its more than 487,000 users worldwide. The Army's Network Enterprise Technology Command (Netcom) aims to centralise and standardise the Army's IT requirements, configuration and architecture control, purchasing decisions, day-to-day operations and network security. The Army Signal Command in Arizona will form the basis of Netcom, and the various individual Army Signal Commands around the world will now report directly to Major General James C Hylton, the newly appointed commander of Netcom.

The Internet can be used to improve the effectiveness of democracy, according to a new study by federal, provincial and municipal politicians in Canada. The report, titled "E-Government: The Message to Politicians", says the Internet could be used as a tool to include citizens in the political process and to boost voter participation, which stood at 61.2 percent in 2000. The study also advised that political parties could make use of the Internet in the recruitment of new members and in fundraising activities.

The Dubai Development Board (DDB) has launched a Web site aimed at simplifying the government's services to tenants and landlords, www.dubaidb.gov.ae. The site's main objective is to help citizens locate affordable rental housing in Dubai, but it also enables tenants to renew their contracts or report problems with their accommodation. In addition, the DDB is planning to launch virtual tours of property in the near future. The site also has special log-in areas for landlords, property owners, consultants and contractors.

Bahrain is due to complete the link-up of 100 government Web sites within the next 12 months, according to a report in Gulf News. An e-government project launched in 1997 saw an initial 20 government sites get connected via a Government Data Network set up in conjunction with Batelco (Bahrain Telecommunication Company). The newspaper says Batleco is currently working with Cisco on raising the number of ministerial sites connected to 38. The network, which will carry all government data, applications and information, is being developed on an IP telephony platform.

Two government ministries in Hungary are launching initiatives to develop local e-government services. Telecoms and IT Minister Kalman Kovacs and Minister of Domestic Affairs Monika Lamperth signed an agreement to work together to improve regional Internet access and to increase the supply of PCs and software applications to local governments. The Ministry of IT and Telecoms has also made a commitment to get involved in the Ministry of the Interior's digital signatures project.



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