Don't Send Word Documents to Norway


Norwegian Minister of Modernization Morten Andreas Meyer announced today that "Proprietary formats will no longer be acceptable in communication between citizens and government." eGovernment sites, including Utah.gov, haven't been as good about this as they should be. The proposal goes beyond proprietary formats and calls for proposals from the national and local governments to propose plans for using open source solutions wherever possible.

On the identity front, the plan also calls for every citizen to be given a personal electronic identifier to replace the numerous usernames that people have for interfacing with the Norwegian government. We worked on this in Utah for some time, but I don't think it's even been rolled out in a public way. We did two crucial infrastructural steps: (1) we created a statewide directory and (2) we passed legislation saying that personalization and other citizen information submitted for use on Utah.gov wasn't subject to GRAMA (Utah's version of the Freedom of Information Act) and thus could be kept private.