An important political impetus behind eGovernment in Austria was the creation of the "eGovernment Platform" under the chairmanship of the Federal Chancellor. The eGovernment Platform handled the overall coordination of eGovernment activities and cooperation efforts were taken over by the newly appointed position "Federal Executive Secretary for eGovernment". In order to help eGovernment get up and running fast and to realise the goals laid out in the Initiative eEurope 2005, the platform was made available on a wide scale.
The eGovernment Platform was composed of the Vice-Chancellor, the Minister for Justice, the Minister for Home Affairs, the Minister for Finance, the Secretary for the Arts and Media, the trio of chairmen of the Provincial First Ministers’ Conference, the presidents of the municipal and local authorities’ associations, the chief association of social insurance organisations, the Austrian Chamber of Commerce, the Main Association of Austrian Social Security Institutions, the Federal CIO in his capacity as Chairman of the ICT Board, and the directors of the legal and technical eGovernment working groups of the provinces. This list provides an idea of the scope in which this platform was applied in order to exact the maximum amount of effectiveness in implementing innovative eGovernment ideas.
The eCooperation Board was also created at the same time as the eGovernment Platform. Its function was to support the eGovernment Platform in achieving its goals. The eCooperation Board, which was headed up by the Federal Executive Secretary for eGovernment, was composed of representatives from all ministries provinces, local and municipal associations as well as other interest groups. As its name
implies, the main tasks of this board were to coordinate works in progress, discuss plans for implementation, select project leaders and follow the goals laid out in the eGovernment Roadmap.
Federal Platform Digital Austria
The high level of distinction that eGovernment now enjoys in Austria is seen in the fact that the responsibility for the overall coordination of eGovernment been transferred to the Federal Chancellery. The general term for it is the Federal Platform Digital Austria (PDA), which was created in 2005. It has become the centre stage for coordination and strategy of eGovernment in Austria by the Federal Government. All eGovernment projects in Austria now run under the Federal Platform Digital Austria designation.
It coordinates all the agendas of the "Cooperation BLSG" (which stands for Federal Government, Provinces, Municipalities and Communities), formerly known as the eCooperation Board, and the Federal ICT Board. The advantages of having a single chairmanship in charge of projects are obvious. Projects are coordinated with one another so any projects which are too similar can be detected and duplication of effort can be avoided. The chairmanship of Platform Digital Austria is held by the Federal CIO.
The eGovernment Innovation Centre (EGIZ) was established at the same time as the platform. The initiative between the Federal Chancellery and the Graz University of Technology supports the Chancellery in the development of an ICT federal strategy and carries out technical research in the field of eGovernment.
The main areas of focus of the EGIZ include various topics in IT security, further education and training, strategic and technical consulting for public administration and participating in international collaborative projects. Since 2006, the Federal Platform Digital Austria has been working in close cooperation with the Centre for eGovernment at the Danube University in Krems in the areas of eDemocracy and eGovernment education and training. The Federal Platform Digital Austria’s web site serves as the main information source for eGovernment in Austria. It contains comprehensive information on the current goals and focus of eGovernment, tailored to various target audiences.