E-Government Industry Standards

The electronic government industry is still so young that it has not formed industry-wide standards, but a provider of e-Government services has announced an alliance to establish a code of e-Gov conduct.

E-Government service provider govWorks Inc. has partnered with Arthur Andersen LLP and American Management Systems Inc. to provide a “vision for best practices” for the e-Government industry in order to ensure public trust and encourage fair business practices. The company hopes others follow.

Kaleil Isaza Tuzman, chairman and chief executive officer of govWorks said some companies exaggerate their services and experience. Other issues relate to the use of privacy statements and disclosing whether information is sold to third parties, revealing “convenience” fees often charged to pay for Web portals, and misleading company subsidies or branches that compete against each other for bids.

The alliance’s code of conduct has five main points:

* Adopt strict consumer privacy policies that prohibit the improper use and resale of consumer data to third parties.

* Disclose all fees and other costs associated with e-Government services.

* Accurately represent the number and scope of e-Government products and services offered.

* Accurately represent corporate structures and affiliate relationships that may affect selection of vendors.

* Help bridge the digital divide and ensure universal access.

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