The development of common specifications

As the development of e-Government continues, the hierarchical structures of government institutions are being challenged. Today, it is important that institutions collaborate across boundaries, which has also led to the development of integrated services (Asproth, 2007). In the hierarchical environment, information systems were created to serve functions of a particular department. The focus today is on processes and information systems must be aligned with the processes. Since processes stretch beyond departmental boundaries, information systems must be implemented in such a way that facilitates information sharing through integration. As per the request of the Swedish E-delegation, the Swedish National Archives undertook a project in 2011 to develop what is referred to as Forvaltningsgemensamma Specifikationer— FGS literally translated as Common Specifications. A common specification is defined as “a structured description of the functional and technical requirements that meet the needs of all or part of the government administration. A specification provides guidance when developing regulations, specifications for system procurement and when writing contracts. The purpose is to create the desired functionality and interoperability within the administration and when dealing with citizens and businesses. The FGSs are seen as a prerequisite for the establishment of inter-agency information sharing and long-term information provision. They are also meant to simplify the development, procurement and deployment of unified solutions. The ultimate goal is to reduce costs and create conditions that facilitate retrieval and reuse of information in the records” (Riksarkivet, n.d. p. 2). Additionally, Swedish institutions have espoused business process management because it creates effective business processes and facilitates the identification of key information resources.

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