Open ICT Standards for Greater Citizen Access: Best practices in government policy and procurement practices

13 November 2007 - A Best Practice Forum on Openness in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil



Knowledge Ecology International (KEI)


ICT Agency of Sri Lanka,
Belgium's Federal Public Service for Information & Communication Technology,
Brazilian ICT Department,
Board of Extremadura

Additional Information

1. Institution Background

The Dynamic Coalition on Open Standards (DCOS) was created at the Athens Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in November 2006. Our mission is to provide government policy makers and other stakeholders with useful tools to make informed decisions to preserve the current open architecture of the Internet and the World Wide Web, and in particular, public documents and government services ("e-government) that are made available through the Internet and World Wide Web. For more information on DCOS, please see

2. Issues

Paragraph 90j of the Tunis Agenda states that WSIS stakeholders should promote "interoperability of e-government systems at all levels, thereby... furthering access to government information and services...and developing services that are available anywhere and anytime, to anyone and any device."

Traditional Internet usage centered on citizen access through an expensive and cumbersome personal computer (PC). Citizen-government interactivity was minimal and limited, particularly by cost and connectivity. Today, fueled by the continued convergence between traditional telecommunications and Internet technologies, the ever increasing growth in connectivity and bandwidth, and breakthroughs in a range of relatively inexpensive devices (cellphones, kiosks, thin clients, PDAs) and supporting business models (for example, telecommunications companies giving away cell phones to gain new subscribers), the Internet's network is fast becoming the preferred delivery mechanism for government services. Indeed, many "developing economies" have higher usage rates of mobile phones and are jumping ahead of more "economically developed" countries by delivering e-government services, such as document publication, healthcare, voting, transit ticket purchasing, and tax filing, to citizens with these devices.

However, building a government policy infrastructure that supports interoperability and the greatest possible citizen access to e-government services and public documents is a complex endeavor. Many governments have chosen to rely upon ICT standards as a key tool inensuring a reliable level of interoperability and consumer choice among ICT applications. This best practices workshop will attempt to address questions about government policy and procurement practices that rely upon ICT standards to help deliver e-government services and public documents.

We have invited speakers who can present their experience at a federal and local level as well as the perspectives of economies at different levels of development, including:

? Peter Strickx, Chief Technical Officer of Belgium's Federal Public Service for Information & Communication Technology (FEDICT),

? Reshan Dewapura, Actting CEO & Director, Information Infrastructure, ICT Agency of Sri Lanka,

? Jorge Villar Guijarro, Junta de Extramadura, Spain;

? Rogerio Santanna, Department of Planning, Budget, and Administration in the Logistics and Information Technology Department, Brazil,