Main eGovernment infrastructure components
Last updated: November 2011
The one stop services portal is a gateway to the public sector in Norway which assists citizens in finding public information and accessing public services more easily. It offers information on the public sector structured around topics of interest, as well as a comprehensive inventory of public authorities. In addition, it contains a citizen’s helpdesk accessible via telephone, email, e-chat or SMS. The helpdesk can direct users to other public agencies as well. 'Norway.no' has been given further responsibilities on information policy in the public sector, national evaluations of public websites, supervision of conformance to accessibility guidelines and categorisation systems for public information.
Users can access the one-stop online service centre 'MyPage' from 'Norway.no'. It offers citizens a secured interaction point to: use online public services; submit public service application forms and data; access their personal data stored in public registers. The Agency for Public Management and eGovernment (Difi) is responsible for managing and developing content for 'MyPage', as well as providing guidance and information on how to use the online service centre.
Altinn offers seamless services to ease the reporting burden imposed by government agencies. It is a solution to develop and maintain forms and work processes, together with a reporting solution to facilitate information flow from business to government. Businesses file their reporting information to Altinn either through an Internet portal website, or by using their own internal information systems, or software packages. Individuals can also file their personal income tax electronically through Altinn.
As Norway's Point of Single Contact (PSC), Altinn is tasked with the provision of all information needed by any European service provider interested in starting a business in Norway.
The Standardisation portal aims to inform its users about the standards that are mandatory or recommended for use in the Norwegian public sector. The standards treated on this website are mostly related to ICT; however, standards related to areas such as public contracts, semantics and service-oriented architecture can also be found. The main goal regarding its activities with standards within the public sector is to strive towards better coordination among public authorities and services, transparency and efficiency.
The 'GeoNorge' portal is the national portal for the ‘Norway Digital’ geospatial infrastructure. It is the largest open, standards-based eGovernment component in daily use in Norway. It constitutes the umbrella for a large number of geospatial eServices, making basic geographic information and a variety of thematic information readily available. The information provided by the portal enables geospatial information to be used by different communities, including public administration and environmental management bodies. The infrastructure also includes a gateway for distributing the information to non-partners and the private sector.
Moreover, 'GeoNorge' makes available geographical data in digital format to citizens; the data is collected in a central system (Norway WEB digital download) which can be accessed by citizens via a user name and password authentication mechanism. By accessing the system, citizens can consult and download files on elevation data, administrative boundaries, transformation formulas, as well as related topics like cultural heritage, herding and many more. The system provides both county and national data.
'Regelhjelp.no' is a service to enterprises in need of a guide to the vast body of regulations. The website makes it easier for users to find out about requirements related to health, safety and the environment that government authorities have established for their industry. It gathers requirements set by many different agencies and presents them in a user-friendly manner, facilitating enterprises to easily acquire information on the requirements that apply to them without needing in-depth knowledge of the structure of government administration.
Norway has an adequate infrastructure for telecommunications networks, services and eGovernment which allows for system interoperability and data interchange between administrations. In certain areas, the Government has taken the initiative to support the creation of specific infrastructure as exemplified in the National Health Network which links five regional networks and provides a single information exchange platform in the health and social sectors. Similarly, data sharing communications services connect ministries. The Government Administration Service provides the 'government.no' portal available through the web and offers other Internet services including common archives and case handling systems.
The Agency for Public Management and eGovernment (Difi) has the overall responsibility for providing a means of secure identification in allowing citizens to use public services on the Internet. An electronic ID is used to authenticate Norwegian's identity on the Internet in the same way a passport, driving licence or bankcard does. Difi provides eID ease of use as the same logon screen is shown regardless of public agency, thus citizens need only to remember one password.
Three eID solutions are available to citizens, depending on their requirements: MinID, Buypass and Commfides.
MinID allows citizens to access public services that require a medium-high level of security. Examples of such services include: applying for a loan from the Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund; applying to an upper secondary school; changing a tax return; changing a family doctor; changing an address in the National Population Register. It is used by 2.6 million Norwegians. MinID makes use of the ID-Gateway, the common platform for eID in the Norwegian public sector.
Buypass and Commfides enable citizens to access public services that require a medium-high level of security, as well as services that require the highest level of security. This applies to health information and the signing of documents, among other services. Few services currently require the highest level of security; however, many such services are being planned.
ID-Gateway (ID-porten) is a common infrastructure for the use of eIDs in the public sector. The first version (1.0) of ID-Gateway was introduced in November 2009 and is currently used with MinID (the common log-in system for accessing online public services). This eID platform facilitates the use of several types of eID and offers more advanced electronic public services. Furthermore, it gives the opportunity to various entities to provide more person-sensitive services, related to health information.
Responsibility lies with the Agency for Public Management and eGovernment (Difi).
The Agency for Public Management and eGovernment (Difi) manages the portal for all actors involved in public procurement. It contains tools and information, and its expertise favours efficient procurement transactions with the public sector. The portal offers advanced, complete eProcurement and eCommerce services guiding all interested parties through eProcurement stages, from planning to competitive conduct, including follow-up and liquidation.
The portal has incorporated 'eHandel.no', which specialises in eCommerce. The website offers extended services and information on eCommerce, the newly-established eCommerce platforms and electronic invoice. These services aim at offering easy access to comprehensive information about eCommerce and guidance on how eCommerce services can be an effective tool for better, easier and safer purchases. The purpose of 'eHandel.no' is to give public sector entities and their suppliers easy access to a user-friendly and affordable tool for operational eProcurement.
'Doffin' aims to facilitate public authorities in complying with Norwegian public procurement regulations by allowing the creation and publication of tender notices. Since all notices are published on this platform, it is also a great resource for suppliers interested in business opportunities in the public sector. Tender publication is mandatory on Doffin, while eProcurement services are not. It is administered by the Agency for Public Management and eGovernment (Difi).
'Kunnskapsnettverk.no' is a web-based solution focusing on building horizontal knowledge and learning networks across Norway’s municipalities. Private and virtual workspaces which integrate the knowledge base with the cooperation environment are provided so as to make human capital visible and accessible. The portal includes more than 60 knowledge networks connecting participants across municipalities, ministries and many government agencies and authorities.
The Municipality-State-Reporting KOSTRA system allows municipalities and county municipalities to report electronically to the State data on the economy, schools, health, culture, the environment, social services, public housing, technical services and transport, and communication. KOSTRA focuses on two main purposes: provide better information about the municipalities at central and local government level; and strive for more efficient reporting.
Information on everyone living in Norway is gathered for tax, electoral and populationanalyses by local tax assessment offices. This information is registered in the National Register (Folkeregisteret), and is overseen by the Directorate of Taxes (Skattedirektoratet). Information from the National Register (e.g. names, addresses, citizenship, identification numbers, employment and civil status of individuals) is only accessible by authorised public sector offices. However, members of the public may apply for access to information from the National Registry for legal purposes. Applications for information from the National Registry are processed by local tax assessment offices and the Office of the National Registrar.
Centralised Public Register Systems
Centralised public register systems are well catered for in Norway. Due to the decentralised approach which has relied on agencies and local entities as being the driving forces, certain major agencies, which depend on database registers, have developed complex systems the traditional way within their respective policy sector. Interaction and exchange of information between systems has been made possible by unique identity definitionsfor individuals and business entities. Examples of such agencies which have developed centralised database register information in this manner are the Tax Directorate, the Brønnøysund Register Centre and the Norwegian Land Information System jointly developed by the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Justice and the Police.
The national archival services have provided common standards and specifications fordigital archiving, which are now used by most public organisations in the country. It should be noted, however, that compatibility between large public databases remains relatively limited.
Electronic Public Records (OEP) is a collaborative tool that central government agencies use to publicise their public records online. Public record data is stored in a searchable database. Users can search this database to locate case documents relevant to their field of interest. It aims to promote transparency and democracy within the public sector, with a view to making the Norwegian public sector more open and accessible to citizens.
’Norway digital’ is a nation-wide programme for cooperation on establishment, maintenance and distribution of digital geographic data. The aim is to enhance the availability and use of quality geographic information among a broad range of users, primarily in the public sector. All institutions participating in the programme bring their own data into the infrastructure so as to make it available to the other partners.