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Brazil's Parliament studying reuse of Estonian e-government solutions

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The Parliament of Brazil is studying the possibility to reuse e-government software solutions built by Estonia, including the software used for Estonia's electronic-ID. A delegation headed by Paulo Pimenta, speaker of the budget committee of Brazil's National Congress, visited Estonia earlier this month.

Estonia's e-Governance Academy, an NGO promoting the use of ICT to strengthen the country's government and democratic processes, quotes the Brazilian parliament member, in a statement published this Thursday: "We had heard about Estonian outstanding experience in e-governance and decided to get a more detailed look at it. Now, we are convinced that many of your e-governance projects like x-road and mobile services can be implemented not just in Estonia but also in much bigger Brazil. We are looking forward to the cooperation between our countries."

Estonia's State Information System Authority published a brief report on their presentation of the e-ID system to the delegation. The system involves many different software applications. The e-ID middleware and client software (software for maintenance of the ID-card and digital signature) are open source. The software for the public key infrastructure is not open source.

Sustainable future
According to the IT agency Pimenta is interested to see if the Estonian system could be combined with mobile phones. The majority of Brazilian citizens have a mobile phone. "It could be a good tool to facilitate communication with the citizens", the agency quotes the congressman.

Contacted after his return to Brazil, Pimenta today commented that the parliaments seeks technological software solutions to improve the services to its citizens. "At the same time we want to tune public administrations with cutting edge technologies that allow us to reduce bureaucracy, increase agility and improve quality."

He is not yet sure if the software can be reused in Brazil. "Estonia has one million inhabitants, Brazil has a population of 190 million, of which 80 million have Internet access. It might be best to start with some cities, try it out and then maybe increase the scale."

Asked if it helps that part of the software is available as open source, the congressman pointed out he coordinated the parliament's first open data project: "Countries involved in this development will have a more sustainable future. Using solutions such as e-ID software will help bring countries such as Brazil on par with even the most industrialised nations."

More information:
Announcement by the Estonian e-Governance Academy
Announcement by the Estonian State Information System Authority
Estonia's eID software
Comments by spokesman from Brazil's National Congres' Bugdget Committee
Introduction to the Estonian e-ID card


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