Titelbild für den Bereich Vertrauensdienste

Electronic signatures in e-government

At the base of the system of e-government in Austria is the concept of the citizen card (Bürgerkarte). Citizen cards are available in real form as smart cards (e.g. the e-card) or in virtual form (‘Handy-Signatur’ mobile phone signature).

A central component of the concept is the Citizen Card Environment, a software component used by applications and functions to access the citizen card. MOCCA (see below) is one example of software that can be used as a Citizen Card Environment. The Citizen Card Environment supports both signature creation and signature verification. It also allows access to what is referred to as an ‘Inbox’, mainly used to store an identity link, i.e. electronically signed confirmation by the source-PIN Register Authority that the natural person designated as holder of the citizen card has been assigned a specific Source Identification Number to allow unique identification.

For e-government applications based on the citizen card, refer to www.help.gv.at. With the citizen card, it is now possible to complete numerous transactions with public administration (e.g. taxation matters via FinanzOnline, querying the register of criminal records or residence registration information). RTR similarly offers the eRTR application, which allows communications service providers to complete administrative transactions using a citizen card.

Individuals can also register with a delivery service to have documents issued by courts and authorities officially served via electronic transmission. Unlike e-mail and other forms of electronic communication, such a service allows verification that a document has indeed been served.

The citizen card (e.g. e-card) can be used within the Austrian social insurance system to view eligibility periods under pension insurance as well as basic health insurance information. Parties contracting with the health insurance system (e.g. doctors) can also look up social insurance numbers.