IBM technology clears the way for ‘smarter e-government’
Brussels, 28 April 2009: The Federal Government's Department of Finance (DoF) is launching a new generation of ‘My Minfin’, an on-line access portal to your own tax file. From now on, therefore, people and companies alike will be able to have their records handy in a virtual working environment. The portal site forms part of the DoF's policy of customer-friendly working methods, and will further improve the service provided to private individuals and companies. IBM, Getronics and Unisys acted as guarantors for the technology behind this portal site, which takes e-government onto a higher plane.
‘My Minfin’ (www.myminfin.be) offers individuals and companies a full overview of their dealings with DoF. Thus, since 2005 it has been possible to display and inspect all documents sent out or received by the DoF (tax-return forms, tax declarations, any pay or income support, pension savings, etc.). In addition, people can fill in and send their personal tax returns using the portal site (via Tax-on-web), monitor the status of their return, and specify their preferences for their next personal tax return. In this way it is possible, for example, to decide no longer to receive paper tax-return forms; you may indicate that you wish to have a reminder by e-mail if your electronic return is overdue. Furthermore, you can consult and manage your personal data, also consult the fiscal timetable and the details of the office that receives and checks your return. Lastly, ‘My Minfin’ gives a summary of your estate, together with essential land-registry data, and the portal provides access to a number of e-services, including Tax-on-web and various applications for companies and finance professionals. The platform is secured by a personal log-in procedure. You log in using your electronic identity card or by a token.
‘My Minfin’ has now attained the mature phase of e-government, but will be developed still further. In the future, further work will take place on ergonomics and profiling, functions and contents, for example with additional functions for finance professionals. For the civil servant, then ‘My Minfin’ really is the point of access to their workplace.
Jean-Pierre Arnoldi Chairman of the DoF Management Committee, explains: “My Minfin’ portal site forms part of our modernisation plan and slots into our customer-focused method of working. We want to remove obstacles for the public wherever possible in order to allow easy interaction with us. The portal site has to improve our service to the individuals and companies still further. It is crucial for our diverse services that the taxpayer should always have access to the same information, irrespective the method of interaction selected (through the contact centre, at various front offices or over the Internet). ‘My Minfin’ also fits in perfectly with our e-government plans.”
Bart Van Den Meersche, Country General Manager IBM Belgium/Luxembourg, adds: “DoF is a pioneer in the field of e-government. Like IBM, the DoF realised that it was all about linking existing technology and applications to each other and making them more intelligent. ‘My Minfin’ therefore fitted in perfectly with our vision of a smarter planet: the world is becoming increasingly instrumented and interconnected. Moreover, everything is becoming more intelligent. Consequently, systems, processes and infrastructure can also become more efficient and productive. ‘My Minfin’ is a perfect example of how clever use of existing technology is capable of producing smarter e-government.”
IBM supplies the back-up technology needed to bring off this feat. The structured data are kept on 500 databases, ranging in size from large to huge, running on IBM DB2, a relational database. IBM also takes care of the maintenance of the DB2 platform and provides specialists in the management and administration of the databases constructed within the platform. For unstructured information, involving some 70 to 80 million documents, they called on IBM Filenet's ‘Enterprise Content Management’ solutions. Getronics is IBM's preferred Filenet integrator at the DoF. The portal was developed by Unisys.
As agreed from the start of My MinFin, the DoF, in close collaboration with all parties involved, has trained its own technical team. Already today this team takes responsibility for maintenance and the majority of new developments.
The primary task of the Federal Department of Finance is to collect and manage a large proportion of the financial resources required to meet the overall needs of a modern state. The Federal Department of Finance aims to collect taxes fairly and correctly, in other words to ensure that every taxpayer pays the amount legally owing: no more, no less. The Federal Department of Finance also ensures, through the Treasury, the balance between revenues and expenditure for the account of the Federal State. The Federal Department of Finance also handles other vital tasks of great importance, such as documentation on inheritance. When there are checks on merchandise flows, the Federal Department of Finance also plays a part in safeguarding public health, the environment and the safety of people and goods, especially in the fight against illegal trafficking and terrorism.
About IBM: www.ibm.com/be
For more informations:
Yves van Seters
Public Relations Manager
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