Canada: E-Gov@Gowlings - January 2006

Last Updated: February 10 2006

Edited by E. Michael Power

  • British Columbia: Online Tutors to Help Students Prepare for Math Exam
  • Canada: Manitoba Candidates Meet Online for Debate
  • China: More Government Departments Open Portal Websites
  • Finland: Citizens Increasingly Go Online to Report Minor Crimes
  • France: eAdministration Predicted to Grow in 2006
  • Information Assurance Governance Framework
  • P.E.I.: Government Announces Partnership to Develop Electronic Health Record
  • Researchers Recommend Wikis for Government Information
  • U.S.: E-Gov site has Secure Computing and Personal Information
  • U.S.: Report Shows E-Gov Provides Timely, Accurate Information

British Columbia: Online Tutors To Help Students Prepare For Math Exam

British Columbia students enrolled in Principles of Math 12 will be able to get help from online tutors to prepare for the February 8, provincial exam.

Any Principles of Math 12 student in B.C. can use the tutoring service by visiting Students will have access to online lessons, practice exams and tutoring sessions with B.C.-certified teachers. Between January 18 and February 7, teachers will be available in an online classroom Monday through Thursday from 7-9 p.m. Tutoring will also be offered from 1-5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 4 and Sunday, February 5, 2006.

The program will be offered through BCEd Online, an e-learning consortium made up of 41 school districts that partner with post-secondary institutions, online learning organizations, teacher groups, private industry and government. BCEd Online supports online learning for students who learn in the classroom and at a distance.

The online tutoring program will cost $13,000, with funds coming from the $126 million in savings reported by school districts due to the teachers' job action. The Province has also adjusted the provincial exam schedule to allow students more time to study and prepare for their January exams.

Full press release is available at:

Canada: Manitoba Candidates Meet Online for Debate

Federal election candidates in Brandon-Souris took part in Manitoba's first live online election debate on January 6, 2006. Candidates won't shout or interrupt one another, and they won't give rehearsed, time-limited answers to questions. Instead, they'll type at a furious pace to answer questions posed by constituents.

Each visitor to the chat will be able to pose a question. Each of the three candidates will then have the opportunity to give one answer to that question.

Adam Sobkow, who organized the debate through his company, Sobkow Technologies, said the unique forum offers some advantages over the traditional debate format.

People interested in watching or taking part in the debate were told to visit the website and click on the "live chat" button that was to appear while the debate was underway.

Full press report is available at:

China: More Government Departments Open Portal Websites

More government departments in China have opened portal websites, but their efficiency is still relatively low, indicated a report released by the information work office under the State Council.

Altogether 96.1 per cent of the 76 government departments at the state level have started portal websites, 2.7 per cent higher than the figure in 2004, said the report.

According to the report, 81.3 per cent of local governments have their own portal websites, 8.4 percentage points higher than in 2004. Yet the performance of the websites is not satisfactory. According to the report, the performance of state level websites scored 41.5, provincial websites 44.5 points, and county-level websites 15.3.

The performance of government websites was evaluated by the transparency of policies, participation of the public, online services and website design.

Online services should be the core content of China's government websites. However, the municipal government websites lag behind and lack a sense of service in integrating resources.

Full press report is available at:

Finland: Citizens Increasingly go Online to Report Minor Crimes

The popularity of reporting petty crimes online has grown steadily in Finland, according to Finnish law enforcement authorities. First introduced in early 2003, the e-service eliminates the need for theft victims to fill out forms in person at local police stations, while providing rapid proof for insurance purposes.

The Finnish Ministry of Interior's three-year old online crime reporting service saw more than 31,000 crimes reported in 2005 – a 16 per cent increase over 2004. Supervised by the ministry's police division, the service enables citizens to report stolen items, damage to property, a stolen or lost firearm, and missing or stolen documents such as passports and ID cards. For insurance purposes, users can simultaneously have the police report on the crime sent directly to their insurance company.

Reporting is simple, requiring only the user's name, address, telephone number and e-mail address. The ministry has deliberately avoided ID-verification procedures "to keep the process as easy as possible and thus encourage as many to use it as possible," said Tiina Ferm, senior officer within the police division's biometrics and eGovernment policy unit.

Full press report is available at:

France: e-Administration Predicted to Grow in 2006

In a recent interview with Le Parisien newspaper, French Minister for the budget and State reform, Jean-François Copé, predicted that 2006 would be a key year for eAdministration in France. It will all start with the launch of a new and much-awaited service – online requests for birth certificates. Copies of birth certificates will be available electronically as of June 2006.

Other, already existing, services are also predicted to grow significantly. Some 50 administrative services are presently accessible through the internet. Electronic tax declaration has proved particularly popular, with some 3.7 million users in 2005, a number which is expected to rise to 10 million in 2006.

A major objective for this year will be the launch of a unique server for all official forms. Two-thirds of administrative forms should be available electronically by the end of the year, and 100 per cent by 2008.

Full press report is available at:

Information Assurance Governance Framework

This document is concerned with the management of information risks in government departments in order to provide Information Assurance (IA). It sets out a framework for achieving stakeholder confidence through the process of IA governance. The purpose of this framework is to explain the processes of IA governance, and to provide guidance on implementation, through references to applicable standards and statements of best practice.

The objectives of the framework are to:

  • Propose a management function hierarchy for IA within Government.
  • Establish information risk management as a core function alongside other key corporate governance functions, such as financial risk management.
  • Provide a reference guide for those implementing information risk management within a corporate governance environment.

Full text of Framework is available at:

P.E.I.: Government Announces Partnership To Develop Electronic Health Record

The Department of Health has signed a contract with Cerner Corporation to develop and implement a Clinical Information System, paving the way for the development of an Electronic Health Record (EHR) on P.E.I. The EHR will allow health care providers in P.E.I. hospitals and family health centers to have electronic access to a patient's complete medical record including information such as medical test results and medication history.

The EHR project is funded by Canada Health Infoway and six Island hospital foundations. Canada Health Infoway is an independent, not-for-profit corporation whose members are the federal, provincial and territorial deputy ministers of health.

Full press release is available at:

Researchers Recommend Wikis for Government information

E-government researchers have suggested that collaborative Wiki software may be the best avenue for getting public information to the citizenry. They advocate building two-layered Web pages, with the agency providing a base layer of information and interactive pages layered on top that domain experts, volunteers and others could use to annotate and link the data.

The scholarly journal Electronic Government published a paper titled Building Semantic Webs for E-Government with Wiki Technology in its January issue describing the approach.

Researchers are confronting the problem of how agencies can manage the great volume of material they post online. Through a Google search, the research group found there are 368 million Web pages under the federal .gov domain alone. The authors propose using Wiki software to ease the burden of handling all this material.

Full press report is available at:

U.S.: Report Shows E-Gov Provides Timely, Accurate Information

The federal government offers more timely and accurate information to the public and government leaders through e-government initiatives, according to a report by the Office of Management and Budget. The report, sent to Capitol Hill on January 06, 2006, comes as a new law requires congressional approval of e-government initiatives.

The report details President Bush's 24 e-government initiatives and the five lines of business that aim to increase government efficiency and improve services to agencies.

The report is part of a new provision in the Transportation, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development, the Judiciary, the District of Columbia, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Act of 2006, which the president signed November 30, 2005. According to the bill, an agency must submit a report to the congressional appropriations committees via OMB to gain funding for an e-government initiative.

The new law requires that the reports include the funding amount, the specific use of the money and the proposal's relevance to the agency and each of the bureaus contributing funds. The report must also describe any activities receiving funds that will not be fully implemented because of the funding transfer.

Full press report is available at:

U.S.: E-Gov site has Secure Computing and Personal Information Protection Focus

" provides practical tips from the federal government and the technology industry to help you be on guard against Internet fraud, secure your computer and protect your personal information."

Quick facts and related resources are available on the following topics: ID theft, spyware, phishing, spam scams, online shopping, P2P file sharing and VoIP. The free materials available on the site may be used or adapted "in your own communications."

Website is available at:

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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