Civil service career: What I'm doing

Major projects for the Flemish e-government programme

Defining the necessary IT architecture, standards
and guidelines & policies for the Flemish e-government back-office
I am one of the senior architects of the Vlaams Integratie Platform (VIP, Flemish Integration Platform), a service-oriented architecture (SOA) for delivering generic services that support the exchange of data and the integration of applications in the Flemish e-government back-office, leading to a more simplified and better integrated service delivery. A first set of generic services will support "once-only data collection, multiple data usage" by accessing authentic data sources in federal, regional and local government. Flemish authentic data sources that are being constructed are the Verrijkte Kruispuntbank Ondernemingen (VKBO, Enriched Crossroads Bank for Enterprises) and the Verrijkte Kruispuntbank Personen (VKBP, Enriched Crossroads Bank for Persons). These generic data exchange services are now being provided by what I've called the Magda (Maximale gegevensdeling tussen administraties / agentschappen - Maximum sharing of data between administrations / agencies) platform, a first installment of the VIP platform. The Flemish administration is now slowly learning how to effectively use this infrastructure, since this requires considerable organisational and technical changes in the delivery of services to citizens and companies.
Read also: document Persbericht ter gelegenheid van de lancering van het Magda platform Feb 21, 2006 [PDF 68 KB]
Stimulating the uptake of the generic services
developed as part of the Flemish e-government back-office
in order to stimulate the usage of the two crossroads banks and the generic services developed as part of the Flemish e-government back-office, I create the appropriate promotional materials (presentations, hand-outs, leaflets, ...) and I organize the necessary promotional activities (management briefings, awareness raising sessions, introductory and advanced workshops on functional & technical features, ...). I devote particular time and effort to convincing upper management and senior IT staff in the different departments and agencies in the Flemish administration to consider the use of our generic services in their e-government back-office infrastructures. In order to steer the development of the two crossroads banks and the generic services that use them, I started and now co-ordinate the Magda programme (Maximale gegevensdeling tussen administraties / agentschappen - Maximum sharing of data between administrations / agencies), which consists of a number of workgroups with senior experts that meet on a regular basis to discuss the technical, organisational and legal issues involved in setting up these services.
Read also: presentation Doel en opzet van het MAGDA programma [PDF 213 KB]
Participating in applied e-government research projects
the Co-ordination Cell Flemish e-government works closely together with the IBBT (Interdisciplinary institute for BroadBand Technology) to advance the state-of-the-art in e-government technology. The IBBT is a research institute founded by the Flemish government, focusing on information & communication technology (ICT) in general, and on applications of broadband technology in particular. I am the research director from the government side in two applied e-government research projects, IDEM and INDEX. In the IDEM project (Identity Management for e-government) Flemish ICT and legal research institutes work together with the Flemish and Belgian administrations to solve the main challenges of electronic identity management (eIDM) in a government context, in order to prepare for a large-scale roll-out of privacy-friendly eIDM in e-government. The project aims to define an overall conceptual model (including the issues of roles, mandates, delegation, trusted agents) that can be used to build a generic architecture for eIDM in a multi-level e-government context. In the INDEX project (Intergovernmental Data-Exchange and Process Integration) the goal is to develop a multi-level service-oriented architecture that will support the integration and orchestration of long-running e-government business processes that span different levels of the Belgian administration (local, regional and federal). The goal is also to develop novel ways of interactively monitoring and visualizing these cross-organizational processes so that multi-party business activity monitoring (including logging, billing and auditing) can be performed.
Read also: presentation E-government research projects together with IBBT [PDF 173 KB]

Major projects for the Belgian
and European e-government programmes

Chairing the Belgian public e-procurement workgroup
I am the chairman of the intergovernmental workgroup on public e-procurement, responsible for the co-ordination of the activities and initiatives undertaken by the different Belgian government levels in the field of public e-procurement. The mission of this workgroup is to assure that Belgium is capable of respecting the European directives 2004/18/EC and 2004/17/EC of March 31st 2004 on public e-procurement. It's mission is also to achieve the ambitious goal set in the Ministerial Declaration at the Manchester eGovernment Conference 2005 of "By 2010 all public administrations across Europe will have the capability of carrying out 100% of their procurement electronically." To accomplish this, the workgroup devotes particular effort to the joint specification and development of the basic building blocks (eNotification, eTendering, ... solutions) required for the support of a cross-governmental public e-procurement infrastructure.
Participating in the eEurope eGovernment Subgroup
I am a member of the eGovernment Subgroup of the eEurope Advisory Group (set up by the European Commission as part of the Modinis programme), consisting of leaders and representatives of national e-government initiatives from 30 European countries. The mission of this eGovernment Subgroup is to formulate recommendations that help the European Commission in developing policy proposals for the future of pan-European e-government within the i2010 ("European Information Society 2010”) initiative. In this Subgroup I am active in the ad-hoc working group on electronic identification & authentication, which is responsible for defining goals for the introduction & use of interoperable means of electronic identification and for the introduction & use of mutually recognized and properly authenticated electronic documents. The ad-hoc working group is also responsible for specifying the actions needed to achieve these goals (developing a federated, multi-level electronic identity model; agreeing on an European framework for the secure administrative use of electronic documents, ...)
Participating in the FAST working group of the eTEN project P*P*P*
I am actively involved in the P*P*P* (Provide eGovernment Good Practice Portability) project, supported by the European Commission through the eTEN programme, which aims to explore concrete methods of concluding agreements between administrations, in order to see established e-government good practices exchanged across Europe. Four working groups have been set up to explore ways of transferring good practice: electronic identity, secure infrastructure, cross border portals and citizens’ portals. In each case, the working group is centred around a recognised and functioning example of e-government good practice. Participants in working groups benefit by gaining a detailed insight into the operation of the good practice, and by understanding the technical, legal and organisational barriers it has overcome. I am member of the secure infrastructure working group, examining the best practice provided by FAST (Fournisseur d’Accès Sécurisés Transactionnels), the scalable and secure electronic document exchange system that enables French cities to communicate electronically in confidence and providing a complete set of e-administration services to the French Administration.
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