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Created: March 27, 2001.
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Microsoft to '.Net' UK E-Government.

A Microsoft company announcement from a UK conference reports on "how the British government is using Microsoft's enterprise software to revolutionize the way its citizens and businesses experience and interact with government institutions via the Internet. Dubbed 'the Government Gateway,' the new Microsoft .NET Enterprise Server solution is an XML-based portal that acts as the centralized registration service for all e-government services in the United Kingdom. The government portal, part of Blair's new e-government initiative of having 100 percent of government transactions online by 2005, is designed to connect the 200 central and 482 local government institutions with the United Kingdom's 60 million citizens and 3 million businesses. This complex integration solution required an infrastructure that could utilize legacy IT investments and integrate and XML-enable a broad array of disparate applications and platforms while having the reliability and scalability to meet the growing demand of its users... The largest BizTalk Server solution to date, the Government Gateway project is a classic integration challenge, but on a massive scale. BizTalk Server 2000 acts as the primary integration hub for the legions of legacy back-end data and applications found within one of the world's largest government institutions. The flexible architecture provided by the BizTalk business process orchestration capabilities will allow government developers to quickly add or change applications, platforms or agencies as the system grows. The first phase of the Government Gateway project, which is live now, delivers three primary transactions: (1) End of year submissions for the Inland Revenue PAYE (Pay As You Earn). This system is similar to how the U.S. federal government withholds taxes from employee paychecks. (2) Customs and Excise VAT (Value Added Tax) return. This transaction is similar to how businesses submit their sales tax revenue in the United States. (3) Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, farmers' EU subsidy claims. This system enables U.K. farmers to submit claims for subsidy payments via the gateway. In the future, British citizens will experience government interactions much more seamlessly. For example, the purchase of an international plane ticket from a travel agency could automatically update an expired passport or submit an application for a travel visa in the destination country without the citizen ever having to explicitly interact with the government. Other examples of future online transactions include registering newborn children, applying for passports and visas, and registering automobiles."

From Reuters: "Britain on Tuesday completed the first step in its project to shift government functions to the Internet, unveiling a service built by software giant Microsoft Corp. that lets people pay taxes and farmers apply for subsidies online. The Government Gateway is part of British Prime Minister Tony Blair's plan to get all government-related transactions moved to the Internet by 2005, said Andrew Pinder, Blair's ``e-envoy'' charged with implementing the strategy... The project aims to unite government computers at 200 central government and nearly 500 local government institutions. It will let citizens access all government services with a single password rather than having to set up separate online profiles with each office, Pinder said. The first departments to enable secure transactions through the system are the Inland Revenue tax bureau, Customs & Excise and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. People will be able to submit income tax returns, businesses can submit their value added, or sales, tax revenue, and farmers can apply for subsidies..."

From ZDNet Sm@rt Partner: "Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates will announce on Tuesday a mammoth portal for the government of the United Kingdom. Known as the 'UK Government Gateway,' the portal project also represents the largest sale so far for BizTalk Server 2000, Microsoft's .NET XML server. Built by Microsoft's inhouse consulting arm in 15 weeks, the first phase of the government portal is already up and running..."

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