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Slovenian e-Government 178

rakerman writes "In its October 20th issue the Economist reports from Ljubljana that 'Slovenia may be Europe's most Internetted government', including 'holding most of its cabinet meetings online'. There is some information at the Slovenian e-government site, in particular check out their detailed strategy for e-commerce in public administration." I''ve read the article; very well done.
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Slovenian e-Government

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  • Does anyone have a link to the article? It's hard to find anything on the slovinian site.
    • On the Economist site [economist.com] searches for "Solvenia" or "e-government" give no results. Maybe this article was from the printed version.
      • That's because you spelled "Slovenia" wrong. When you search for its correct spelling, the article referred to comes up. But a subscription to the printed version of the magazine is required to view it freely. It's here [economist.com].

        FWIW, all articles from the print version of the Economist are available online.
    • The article is here [economist.com], but only if you have a subscription to The Economist. You can get the >60% academic discount by subscribing here [economistacademic.com].

      Oddly, the subscription form doesn't ask if you're a student. Apparently, as far as The Economist is concerned, it's all academic.
  • by tonyc.com ( 520592 ) on Monday November 12, 2001 @04:55AM (#2552886) Homepage
    ...was the one to the Slovenian association of tourist farms [slovenia-tourism.si]. Being a Nashvillian, I've often wondered where those brightly-colored perennial oddities are grown. Now I know!
    • tourist farms... Being a Nashvillian, I've often wondered where those brightly-colored perennial oddities are grown. I grew up in a resort area in Michigan. I think they're manufactured in Detroit, probably in the old Edsel factory. 8-)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I think this is a case of taking technology too far. You know real face-to-face human interaction is really under-rated these days!!
    • You know real face-to-face human interaction is really under-rated these days!!

      I'd say that depends on the human with whom you are interacting. YMMV.

    • From experience with government departments its often a case of being sent to different departments, organisations, local, regional national government etc. and everytime it's always just for basic stuff. What I mean is the systems are usually there for historical reasons and get built on rather than redesigned which suggests a large amount of wasted effort.

      Why do we have to go in, collect a form, find the other forms needed, queue up and submit them and then wait for information to come back? It would be easier to do it all online and far less boring for the workers. Imagine, no driving to the office, no queueing, no wasted time and the whole system automated. I could even do it in my lunch break from my desktop rather than giving up several hours of my time.

      I don't disagree about face to face sometimes being necessary (i.e. in complex cases) but it should be restricted to that. People get bored if they have to do the same thing again and again for years, make their lives interesting and it benefits everyone. Freedom through Technology!

      Now of course all we need is secure digital identification which everyone has and is acceptable to their government, widespread access to the Web/on-line services and a forward looking government.
  • I've read the article; very well done
    as opposed to not reading the article before posting?

    i guess that would make sense

  • by ConsumedByTV ( 243497 ) on Monday November 12, 2001 @05:02AM (#2552901) Homepage
    It's timing out for me at the moment, so is this an act of war?
  • by Trepidity ( 597 ) <delirium-slashdot@nosPAM.hackish.org> on Monday November 12, 2001 @05:08AM (#2552914)
    For those of you with Economist subscriptions, you can view the article online (for free) here [economist.com] to avoid having to search through your printed issue.

    For those without Economist subscriptions, you can either buy access for $2.95 to this article, pay $4.95 for a week of access to the online archives, or buy a subscription...FWIW it's the only magazine I still subscribe to in printed form, as it's the only one still worth my money (Rolling Stone and Newsweek having long since become virtually worthless).
    • FWIW it's the only magazine I still subscribe to in printed form

      I almost subscribed, but just then they relegated their tech section to the quarterly issue, and I changed my mind. The tech section was quite good.

      Geez, I'm posting alot of off-topic on this thread. Not a good day for karma, methinks.

    • I just happened to buy a copy last week, and it was great. For example, there was an article about a journalist that managed to get fake IDs in Afghanistan, including documents that make her eligiable to polical asile in the west. (freaking scary, means many of the political refugees in the west may well be terrorists).
  • by giany ( 529698 ) on Monday November 12, 2001 @05:09AM (#2552916)
    Solvenia? (Score:0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 12, @04:57AM (#2552888) WHere the hell is slovenia and why should we care?
    On the map, I cannot find the World Trade Center buildings in New York, but I can find Slovenia. So why should I care about things that does`nt exist in reality?! Sorry, but America is not always the first in every E-shit. Perhaps E-war would be the net big thing for America, but not for Europe. In Europe people DO use their brain in the right way and in Europe people DO care for their own business, so in the Europe, there are NO terrorist attacks. Here`s a little MAP [msn.com] that you`ve been probably using until now. Maybe you should get your self a new map and maybe then you will find Slovenia there.
    • by The Qube ( 749 )
      ROFL :-)

      But, anyway, it's probaby not his fault. Unless a map/atlas is pretty recent, it would not include Slovenia.

      Slovenia was a part of the former Yugoslavia and gained it's independence in mid 1991.

      It is a small country, bordering with Italy, Austria, Hungry and Croatia, with a small access to the Adriatic Sea.

      CIA World Factbook: Slovenia [cia.gov]

    • Good grief. no terrorist attacks? C'mon, one of the first things recognized after 9.11 was our naivete' in these things. Certainly the Adriatic states have experience with terrorism, in some forms. At the same time, they might argue that it was a result of a struggle for freedom that gave rise to terrorism, and that would be cool. But we wonder still if the freedom is truly liberty, or just better segregation of the ethnicity. We hope for the former in all countries, whether you believe it or not.
    • no terrorist attacks in europe? heard of the ira?

      i guess because it isnt america, this news was heard much outside of the UK but here are some bbc links:

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/england/newsid _1636000/1636953.stm [bbc.co.uk]
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/england/newsid _1636000/1636919.stm [bbc.co.uk]
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/newsid_1471000 /1471770.stm [bbc.co.uk]
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/northern_irela nd/newsid_1471000/1471373.stm [bbc.co.uk]

      oh and here is a link [bbc.co.uk] for all you people that think cctv is useless
    • I'm humor-impaired and can't tell if giany is kidding or just being anti-US, so I'll ditch the humor. Being US-centric is not good, but being a jerk to those who are is worse.

      In France there are Algerian terrorists. So much so that a local group of students decided to avoid Paris on their tour of France. They have had a huge problem with these guys.

      In England/Ireland you have the IRA. They might not have destroyed big buildings, but since when is big-building-destruction the qualification for terrorist? Isn't bombing subways terrorism? I seem to remember hearing a while ago about terrorism in London. Long time ago, though, don't keep up with British news. Oh - ever heard the U2 song Sunday Bloody Sunday? You should.

      In Spain you have some group with an acronym that I can't remember off the top of my head. They're a Basque separationalist group. They leave bombs outside of banks, in dance clubs, near government agencies. They're not 'time to time', they happen fairly frequently. They're 'localized' to about 1/4th of the country.

      Germany, in case if you were off somewhere in the few days following the 11th, made several arrests. Seems like a bunch of terrorists related to the attacks were hiding out in there.

      Gee, that seems to be the major European countries. Pretty terrorist-free. Mmm hmm.

      In Europe people DO use their brain in the right way and in Europe people DO care for their own business, so in the Europe, there are NO terrorist attacks.

      So we Americans use our brain in the wrong way, we don't care about our business? I'd say we care a little too much for our business and not enough for everyone else's, which is the problem. US = uneducated about the rest of the world is pretty common. Well, it's not really that we're uneducated, we just don't keep up with current events in other countries.
    • On the map, I cannot find the World Trade Center buildings in New York,

      Someone blew them up.
  • Their detailed strategy [e-gov.gov.si] will certainly take some time to digest (and perhaps several cups of coffee). Interesting post though... perhaps their smaller size allows them to take such giant steps. My country (US) seems like it keeps tripping over its own feet [slashdot.org] whenever it attempts to deal with technology. Hopefully Slovenia will show the rest of the world a thing or three...
  • http://www.riik.ee/en/
  • intresting thought (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jjshoe ( 410772 )
    i being a tax paying computer using civilian in the us i could see a use for a more computer-ized governemnt.

    take for instance a state law that might get passed. you want to let your representivitve know how you feel about a certain subject. so you write him letters and send him email and corrospond with him. great. then you find out in the news papers that he's decided to vote for the opposite when he told you something completly else.

    what i am trying to get at here is lets say they want to pass parking tickets on red cars only for the state of georgia... so people of smalltown georgia log on to their local representives page and enter in a an internet uid and password which were assigned at the latest voter registration or came in the mail. they then vote how they feal on the issue and include a comment. likewise, all the representives would do the same to the state. now then the small town people of georgia feal more involved and can see the results much quicker. think of this for the national election. people could log on securely and vote. people with out computers could go to librarys since most are equiped with computers. and all though a paper trail would be nice for such things as we saw in the last election paper or not if someone wants to buy the election they will.

    but there are other advantages... say you want to move somewhere, you could go to their local page and see how the town votes and feels on certain subjects and see if you fit in that area

    perhaps this is all a pipe dream, but i think it would be wonderfull to see

  • copyright violation (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 12, 2001 @05:37AM (#2552947)
    Full Text:
    (Copyright 2001 The Economist Newspaper Ltd. All rights reserved.)

    Slovenia may be Europe's most Internetted government

    DIMITRIJ RUPEL, the foreign minister of Slovenia, a small country at the eastern end of the Alps that managed to slide peacefully out of what was Yugoslavia and into something that more closely resembles Austria, enjoys showing visitors round his office. At one end sits a computer wired to the Slovenian secret-service mainframe. Mr Rupel says he is one of only four people in the country who get messages on such a machine. They come twice a day, and he must read them at a sitting. "There's no way to save them or print them out," he explains.

    At the other end of his office, a slinky black laptop takes pride of place on his desk. Mr Rupel boots it up and shows off a software system that allows him access to almost everything and everyone he needs in the Slovenian government. In between promoting Slovenia's bid to join the European Union and NATO Mr Rupel says he taps away on his laptop for up to three hours a day. In the mornings he shoots off messages to other ministers and answers e-mail from ordinary citizens. In the evenings he sometimes pecks out a column with his personal view of world diplomacy which he then pastes on to the Slovenian foreign ministry's own website.

    His office, like those of other Slovenian ministers, is almost paperless. Every official document comes to him electronically. Mr Rupel used to lug a "pile of papers half a metre high" to cabinet meetings. Now he takes only his laptop.

    That is, if he goes at all: Slovenia is pioneering electronic government by holding most of its cabinet meetings online. Each of the country's 15 cabinet ministers receives cabinet business over a secure system. A message informs them of the topic under discussion-- say, privatisation--and lets them vote by clicking a button. They can attach a note and send it to other cabinet colleagues or, if deviousness seems called for, cut their colleagues out of the loop and just message the prime minister, Janez Drnovsek.

    The technology, Mr Rupel concedes, has some snags. It is a grind: ministers feel obliged to log on and vote in e-cabinet sessions even when on holiday. No more waffling either. In the good old days of paper, a flustered minister could claim not to have received the relevant document. Now the all-knowing system records exactly which files ministers receive--and when and whether they open them.

    Change has been rapid. Pavel Gantar, the minister for all things high-tech, recalls buying his first computer in Munich in 1985 and having to smuggle it back to Ljubljana when it was part of a communist state. "An age ago," he says wistfully. Even a couple of years ago most ministers were computer-illiterate, so they had to let their secretaries handle their e-mails. Now, reckons Mr Gantar, all of them personally attend to their mailboxes.

    Things really took off when Mr Drnovsek, a communist-turned- social-democrat who has been prime minister with a small break since 1992, discovered the Internet. "When he e-mails you," admits one minister, "you'd better work out how to reply."

    What next? Slovenian ministers already complain of having their evenings at home in front of the football interrupted by the vibrating of their mobile phone, with a text message reminding them of the next day's e-cabinet business. The prime minister is apparently not averse to text-messaging ministers himself.

    So will virtual cabinet meetings completely replace the real thing? Mr Gantar thinks not. "Body language means a lot and e-mail obscures that." The cabinet still meets face to face every Thursday to thrash out issues unresolved online, though some ministers usually attend from afar, by videophone.
  • Their e-schools [www2.gov.si] sound interesting. Public access internet for the less-developed locations in the country.

    They propose that the "counselors" in these places may come from the military, which is perhaps concerning. Or, maybe I'm just a karma whore. heh.

    The baltic states are still quite difficult for me to keep straight in my head, I confess. The Slovenians have distinguished themselves with this "e-government".

    • by Kraft ( 253059 )
      The baltic states are still quite difficult for me to keep straight in my head, I confess.

      Not quite sure what you meant, but just so there is not confusion, the Baltic States include Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania - not Slovenia.
      • the Baltic States include Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania

        Er, yea. I meant the Adriatic, of course. <b>.

        Things are complicated down there, too. But thank you for setting that straight.

      • Hey, wait a minute here.... he gets modded up for correcting me, but I dont get squat for my original (and insightful, I might add) post?

        C'mon, what up? :)

    • You misinterpreted the sentence about the counselors. It's not that the military would be counselors - it's that counselors might be people who serve as counselors INSTEAD of being drafted into the military.

      Other things people might be doing instead of serving in the military is helping in old folk's homes, being junior ambulance attendants, or being forrest observers for the firefighters.
  • by Vspirit ( 200600 ) on Monday November 12, 2001 @05:42AM (#2552959) Homepage
    Changing our infrastructures, Governments included, is easier in smaller organisations than larger ones. This I believe is one of the main reasons, that smaller organisations are better suited for innovations and why larger organisations follow, incorporate and acquire them in order not to become obsolete and replaced.

    If major changes are to be expected in the way we live and organize ourselves, then I believe the chance for that is higher by supporting and learning from the smaller entities (on their terms), compared to start dancing with the big old lady.
    • Well, so you're actually suggesting that
      some big organization like the U.S. "incorporates
      and acquires"
      the small entity Slovenia? I don't think the Slovenian shareholders
      will approve. Though a hostile takeover is also
      an option - maybe there are still some
      aircraft carriers left in the area after the Kosovo war? ;-)
  • by JavaPriest ( 467425 ) on Monday November 12, 2001 @05:50AM (#2552970)
    I guess that Slovenia could make this happen thanks to it being such a "young" state. I don't know exactly how long they are independent by now but it should not be much more than ten years.

    Older countries (or more generally, organizations), with a tradition of paper, will only be able to move toward e-government very slowly. Primarily because people are reluctant to change in general, but paper also makes a lot of "excuses" possible (see article). Another big issue is that a lot of people require signatures, mostly to be backed up and blame someone else in case something goes wrong. As digital signatures still aren't accepted here (in Europe) normal (paper) signatures are still required.

    In my organization, some people even make paper copies of e-mails in order to classify them in an ordner...just because they have done so (classifying "normal" mail) for years!
    • It's not just the country that's young, it's government as a whole is relatively young with lots of senior ministers in their early-mid 40s. This combined with, as you say, Slovenia being so young a state, means that you've got a fairly young and visionary government and a people who aren't afraid of change - two things that most western nations lack.
    • Yeah I agree that it's much easier for them than for "older" countries, but you have to give it to the Slovenians that they are quite inovative. While SFRY (old Yugoslavia) still existed they were pretty much their own world when compared to other south slav republics.
      I know that there even were comercial specificaly targeting Slovenia. Eg. some car repair tool - Slovenian version contained super models being beutiful and showing off the tool in question, whereas comercial for the other Republics was dirty handyman showing how tough the tool was.
      For reference I'm from Serbia.
  • In its October 20th issue the Economist reports from Ljubljana
    Ljubljana? I've been there, but only after I've had a few beers.
  • E-govt my *bleep* (Score:5, Interesting)

    by YanIsa ( 460789 ) on Monday November 12, 2001 @06:20AM (#2553003)
    I'm from Slovenia. I can tell you that the article is a nice coup for the Slovenian govt marketing dept and pretty much nothing else.

    Yes, I can find all the government departments on the net. Yes, there is an "internet ministry". Yes, they all have a nice matching spiffy web graphics. Yes, I can access all the laws online.

    So what?
    Can I file my tax returns via the net? No.

    Can I contact govt officials via the net _and get an answer_? No.

    Can I do anything via the net instead of waiting in a queue? Nope.

    Did they abolish the monopoly on leased lines and voice communications, held by a company that the govt ownes? Are the voice calls and modem calls cheap? Can I choose my phone operator? No, no, and no.

    To top it off, due to the 9/11 terrorist strikes the govt has now usurped the right to check all email (and other forms of communications) without a court order - a thing constitutionally possible just in a state of emergency (read war). Does the parliamentary commision that keep tabs on the police actions object? Nope.

    Unfortunately, this is just another example of pretending to give more control to the public while in fact reducing it.


    Hello, Mr. Govt Man.
    • Here in Belgium government is serious about e-government. As from next year, businesses will be able to file tax returns via the web. We already can contact government officials *and* get an answer (most of the time, anyway). A lot of official law-related stuff (including new law publishing) is done via the web. Some government contracting is done via e-commerce.

      So I guess it's time the Economist writes an article about e-government in Belgium ;-). Still, I think we have a long way to go before we can really say we have an e-government here. But we are on the right way. For those interested: here's the root link for the Belgian Federal Government on-line [www.fgov.be].
      • JavaPriest wrote:

        Here in Belgium government is serious about e-government. As from next year, businesses will be able to file tax returns via the web. We already can contact government officials *and* get an answer (most of the time, anyway). A lot of official law-related stuff (including new law publishing) is done via the web. Some government contracting is done via e-commerce.

        Well, it's no wonder. You Belgians have a 5 point average IQ advantage over the Slovenians. [att.net] (Scroll down to see country IQ table.)

        Belgian average IQ: 100
        Slovenian average IQ: 95

    • At least through this questions:

      Can I file my tax returns via the net? Yes.

      Can I contact govt officials via the net _and get an answer_? Some of them.

      Can I get the contact of govt officials via the net ? Yes.

      Can I do anything via the net instead of waiting in a queue? Yes. Mainly related with creating companies, but there are somethings.

      Did they abolish the monopoly on leased lines and voice communications, held by a company that the govt ownes? Are the voice calls and modem calls cheap? Can I choose my phone operator? Officialy (if not in practice), no (when compared with USA) and yes.
    • I can tell you that the article is a nice coup for the Slovenian govt marketing dept

      This wouldn't be in the "tradition" of the Economist. They generally tell it like it is, imho. Perhaps they have been duped by a cool website, but I detect a very, very slight odor of sour grapes here.

      • How could it be sour grapes if I'm Slovenian?

        I would _love_ everything in that article to be true. I hear Utopia is a fine place to live. However, most of the things listed (free email accounts, free internet access for undeveloped regions etc) are pre-election promises that have not moved one step toward fulfillment in the year since the election. Including the tax returns that another poster mentioned - the last thing heard about that was the annulation of the contract with Microsoft when the public discovered that MS kindly sponsored a lengthy excursion to Britain to "check out how they do e-govt with MS solutions" for a fair number of govt officials. Thanks to that, the soonest it could be implemented is 2003.

    • Yes, I can access all the laws online.

      While you certainly have some valid complaints, I think this particular fact alone makes it worth quite a bit. Information about laws is quite possibly one of the most important things a government can provide.

      I'm not sure; does the US even provide all its laws online?
  • Slovenia was attacked by a phenomenon called the Slashdot Effect. The government was left paralyzed and devastated by this formidable weapon.

    It's about time Slashdot started bringing down governments!
  • Most of the ex-communist countries have nowadays bragged about their achievements. It's just a show off. Being "the most networked goverment" does not nullify the other areas where their country is still in mid 20th century. Have any of you guys visited Slovakia recently? I have, and I can say there are million things that should be made better before moving to the modern problems like the Internet.

    It's pretty sad to see a goverment laying tax money to an Internet project when 70% of the country's population have never even used the Internet.
    • Err, the article is about Slovenia, not Slovakia. Slovenians, while not being the richest country in the world, are not doing bad either. They had the least bad effects of "communism" from all former Yugoslav states.
    • It would be interesting to know some which are the areas that are per your opinion "still in mid 20th century", which are "the million things that should be made better before.." plus what is your source of "70%". Can you provide that info? I'd assume you are non-Slovenian citizen being kind of short with information. That can be tolerated. If you are SI citizen you might consider moving to the country that's more suitable for you - the country where everything is "one mouse click away", the country that also known as PromisE Land. So... what's gonna be?
      • I'm from Slovenia.. and the most recent research shows 30% people of ALL population are using internet.
        I won't comment political stuff here... all I can say is, that Slovenia is much safer and individual friendly than U.S.
    • by vidarh ( 309115 )
      First, lots of people have already pointed out that you're talking about the wrong country. Secondly, you are making the assumption that spending money on internet projects is a pure cost for the government, without justifying it in any way.

      Spending money on getting the government online can have many positive effects, among them cutting costs in printing and distributing material, cutting travel costs, reducing time spent distributing material, and so on.

      And even if you discount positive effects from using the net itself, just using the net will translate to increased revenues for local companies and increased employment.

      I have no idea whether those two in total add up to enough that they make Slovenias e-government project worth it, but discounting it outright without evaluating the above just because a relatively poor country is using money on internet related projects is shortsighted at best.

    • I knew that Americans are very bad in Geography. And I knew that Americans are very bad in History. And I knew that Americans are very bad in Logic. Now I know that Americans are very bad at SPELLING !!!!!!! Do you see the difference between SLOVENIA and SLOVAKIA ? Obviously not. Too bad for you.
  • Wow, the Economist had an interesting blurb about e-government nearly a month ago (the magazine comes out before the cover date) and it makes Slashdot today? Hey, last week they did a whole special report on "the next society". I bet they've printed some pretty good stuff this week too...

    The Economist is a truly interesting news magazine. It's worth reading. I'm beginning to have my doubts about /.
  • Scary.... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Peridriga ( 308995 )
    Since we just /. 'd their site, didn't we just shut down the Slovenian government????
  • Slovenia [matkurja.com] is a country, where your "democratic" president Bush met "democratic" president Putin for the first time [www.gov.si]. Geography is not a bad thing ;-)
  • Slovenia (Score:2, Interesting)

    by limeymax ( 516919 )
    Hey..I seem to remember the same claim being made about Estonia. In both cases though, it's a lot easier to do with a small country (and BTW, both countries are great to visit - Ljubljana is a happening place and Talinn is just beautiful). It's easy to forget that in the 80s, France was way ahead of everyone with the Minitel system..it was proprietary, cumbersome and basic, but it worked.
  • I think it'll be great if/when they get most governmental services online. I think making it quick and easy to do stuff like vote in presedential or local government elections would definately be a positive thing. Politicians could also easily take polls on certain issues to help determine public opinion on the topic, which may help in determining what type of laws to pass, how they should be written, etc. etc. I wonder if they will ever get this far or will people be too afraid that the system could be hacked or somehow exploited? Seems though that it could be much more secure than the system we have in place now.

    Here in Indiana they have quite a few online services available. I have renewed my car registration and paid for my plates online for the past two years. A few clicks of the mouse and my plates are in the mailbox in a week.
  • I recently came back from a visit in Central Europe. Along the way I spent some time in Slovenia. It's ironic that the government is so wired, because it's near impossible to find a computer with internet access in the capital, Ljubljana.

    Everyone I asked knew of only one computer and it was in the hotel. It's amazing how many people relied on one computer for their internet usage. I guess it's possible that everyone has internet at home and there is little need for internet cafes.

    I have been in some out of the way places where it's been a lot easier to get online. Go figure.
  • Well, in Singapore, the government and most statutory boards host their services online, accessible to all with an internet connection and proper identification.

    From a central portal: http://www.gov.sg you can do practically anything from registering a business, a patent, sign up for National Service (conscription), apply for a provisional driving license, file your taxes, check your CPF (a kind of social security), apply for public housing, register on the list of voters, and practically everything that you might want to do as a citizen.

    Besides this, Singapore boasts a computer literate judiciary. Most judicial documents are electronically transmitted, if possible. That probably contributes to singapore having one of the most efficient judicial system in the world:
    http://www.gov.sg/judiciary/subct/justout/ar2000 /a chieve2.pdf

    And of course, statutory boards communicate with each other electronically. this allows services to be integrated so that for instance the IRAS (IRS in singapore) can check with the housing board what kind of property you own, the Army can check your performance in school, and so on.

    Not everything works perfectly of course.. the usual problems with getting government online and interconnected. But we try.

    So I hope you will understand why i'm not especially impressed by this article. =)
  • and I'll have a tattoo on my butt until they switch.
  • A good friend of mine is of Slovenian and in an effort to bring me up to speed with the Slovenian govt's E-initiatives, she has been teaching me Slovenian. I thought I'd pass on what I've learned so far; spellings are phonetic (haven't learned how to read yet)

    Ocusee moya clobasa (Taste my sausage)

    Hochesh egrat tap-tap (Do you want to play tap-tap)

    Yasmeeslin da bom coohil yitseh (I think I'm going to cook some eggs - note: 'cook some eggs' is a euphemism for farting)

    That's all I've learned so far, but I'm eager to learn more about this beautiful language !
    • No no the right way to write those is: Okusi mojo klobaso - taste my sausage Hoèes igrati tap-tap - do you want to play tap-tap Jaz mislim, da bom skuhal jajca - I think I'm going to cooke some eggs
  • The article mentions that they use the internet for most of their cabinet meetings. After obvious recent events, the US Gov't should do the same.

    Not just cabinet meetings, but all congressional activity. We've got the technology to do so, and if Govnet ever becomes a reality, such a thing should definitely be explored. Why, you ask? What would happen if Washington DC where anihilated by [insert terrorist activity here] during a legislative session? No more senators or representatives, presidents, or the many organizations vital to the operation of our country that are headquartered in DC.

    What would our country do with no Federal leaders to turn to? So the Vice President is holed up in a cave somewhere. Now we have one leader overseeing everything! Use your imagination - the panic, the anarchy.

    Talk about a total dismantling of our society.
  • not only that,
    but it is home of the world's first virtual state:


What this country needs is a good five cent ANYTHING!