eGovernment can only function efficiently when public authorities work closely together and cooperate on an administration-wide scale. This happens when government portals team up with each other to form a portal group and share the existing infrastructure.
The advantage of the portal group concept is that many applications are available from a single entry point. The user only needs to identify himself once when he first logs on to the portal in order to access various resources, information sources, or "digital offices". The technical term for only requiring the user to sign in once is called "single sign on".
Participation in the portal group is governed by a Portal Group Agreement. This agreement sets out the rights and duties with which the joining partners must comply. This agreement creates an environment of trust between the application providers and the base portal providers, who take care of user management. Communication within the portal group is managed, both technically and organisationally, by the portal group protocol (PVP) and the use of
security classes. Application providers determine which of their applications will be available over which portals.
Keeping in accordance with all data protection regulations, they specify which administration units and employees are authorised to access which applications and define user roles with according access.