On 2 March, the Dutch Standardisation Forum (Forum Standaardisatie) published 12 case studies proving the benefits of open ICT standards. The organisation’s publication targets government decision makers, pointing out that: “standardisation requires a chain of organisations to join forces and to persevere.”
Introducing the 12 business cases, Nico Westpalm Van Hoorn, chairman of the Standardisation Forum, says it will be a challenge for the government to increase the speed with which it adopts open standards. Failing to keep up will result in commercial solutions becoming monopolies. “The trick is to create and maintain a level playing field,” he writes.
The goal of the Standardisation Forum is to make open standards the norm for digital data exchange, the chairman explains. “The aim is to make information more accessible, improve eGovernment service, reduce IT vendor lock-in, and boost economic growth and innovation.”
One business cases is the use of open standards to benchmark information security in Dutch municipalities. The baseline has been developed by IBD, an information security contact centre for all municipalities. The magazine documents related government projects that aim to fight cybercrime by increasing the security of data and of services such as email.
The magazine also documents the use of open standards by the Dutch tax service, the port of Rotterdam, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Justice and other government and quasi-government organisations.
The Dutch Standardisation Forum was established in 2006. It does not develop standards, but can assign a status (‘required’ or ‘recommended’) to existing standards in the public and quasi-public sectors. The Standardisation Forum is one of the partner organisations of the European Commission’s Joinup collaboration portal for eGovernment professionals. On Joinup, the Standardisation Forum shares all the standards on its ‘Comply or Explain’ list.