Implementation and Management Approach
The project consortium consisted of universities and IT companies with experience in knowledge management and semantic web technologies as well as business processes, administrations in need of user-friendly solutions providing information and e-services for complex life events and Non-profit organisations taking into account the requirements of citizens, especially of disadvantages groups, and promoting the project via the relevant media.
The developed solution was tested in two pilot projects in Poland and Slovakia and a field test in Germany. The system was developed in close cooperation between the service providers (administrations) and the developers of the technical solution (universities and IT companies) taking into account the previous user requirements analysis from the point of view of administrations as well as citizens in the different countries.
In Poland, the city of Gliwice tested the pilot application on the example of registering a new enterprise. In Slovakia, the Kosice Self-Governing Region used the application for leading citizens through the procedure of getting a building permit and in Germany, the Ministry of Finance coordinated a field test with twelve registry offices, in which the application was tested on the administrative procedures required for getting married. After the first prototype had been developed, the system was tested by citizens and evaluated. Based on the results, the prototype was enhanced and tested in a second round.
The Access-eGov system builds on principles of semantic web technologies. Semantic descriptions of individual government services are created by administrations, can be found and interpreted by semantic web applications and, based on a knowledge model containing a workflow description of administrative processes as well as required inputs and outputs of individual services, are combined for citizens into a personalized life event scenario.
At the basis are resource ontologies for government services containing formalizations of all relevant elements (concepts, attributes, relations, workflow structures, etc.) that can be used for modelling and semantic annotation of governmental services. By means of their semantic description, existing governmental services - both electronic as well as the traditional non-electronic ones - can be integrated.
An Annotation Tool, a web-based application, is used by public administrations for describing their governmental services using concepts from the resource ontologies. The Annotation tool is used for example to specify the type of a service and automatically imports the service description into the knowledge model of the system. Although the Annotation tool was initially designed for governmental services, it can be used for the annotation of any services, offered for example by a private company. Alternatively to the annotation tool, administrations can use a web service interface to add their service descriptions to the Access-eGov system.
A Personal Assistant Client, another web application, is the interface visible for by citizens. It guides the citizens through a specific life event, for example starting a new enterprise or getting married.
The Personal Assistant client (PAC) asks the citizen a number of questions and based on the answers provided, it generates a workflow (list of tasks or to-do list) for the user to follow. The workflow is tailored to the particular case, i.e. the country where the service is located and the characteristics of the citizen. The selection of life events that the Personal Assistant supports is not set or predefined. The Personal assistant has been designed as a dynamic application capable to support almost all possible life events. Support of new life events can be introduced by using the Annotation services described above.
All the Access-eGov components are delivered as open source solutions.