Microsoft Helps Turn Britain’s E-Government Vision Into Reality

SEATTLE, March 27, 2001 — Today at the fourth annual Microsoft Government Leaders Conference, more than 400 government officials from 80 nations around the world watched Microsoft Corp. Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates demonstrate how the British government is using Microsoft’s enterprise software to revolutionize the way its citizens and businesses experience and interact with government institutions via the Internet. Dubbed
“the Government Gateway,” the new Microsoft® .NET Enterprise Server solution is an XML-based portal that acts as the centralized registration service for all e-government services in the United Kingdom.

“The goal of the Government Gateway project is to provide our citizens and businesses with a powerful set of tools for interacting and exchanging secure transactions with government institutions,”
said Andrew Pinder, e-envoy for the U.K. government.
“Microsoft was part of a team that delivered a world-class enterprise solution – on time and on budget – which has successfully integrated and orchestrated our government IT systems into a central point of access for government services. Today, the Government Gateway project is bringing real value to our most demanding and precious resource: our citizens.”

Microsoft .NET Enterprise Servers Enable the Agile Government

“The U.K. government is taking the lead in leveraging the resources of the digital economy to empower the millions of citizens and businesses it governs,”
said Chris Atkinson, vice president of .NET Enterprise Solutions at Microsoft.
“In 15 weeks, Microsoft and the .NET Enterprise Servers brought Tony Blair’s ambitious e-government vision to reality. The Government Gateway solution is the perfect example of Microsoft’s leading-edge, best-of-breed technology enabling the new agile government.”

The government portal, part of Blair’s new e-government initiative of having
100 percent of government transactions online by 2005, is designed to connect the 200 central and 482 local government institutions with the United Kingdom’s 60 million citizens and 3 million businesses. This complex integration solution required an infrastructure that could utilize legacy IT investments and integrate and XML-enable a broad array of disparate applications and platforms while having the reliability and scalability to meet the growing demand of its users.

Microsoft Consulting Services built this solution on top of Windows® 2000 Advanced Server using BizTalk™ Server 2000, SQL Server™
2000, Internet Security and Acceleration Server 2000, Application Center 2000, and Commerce Server 2000.

The largest BizTalk Server solution to date, the Government Gateway project is a classic integration challenge, but on a massive scale. BizTalk Server 2000 acts as the primary integration hub for the legions of legacy back-end data and applications found within one of the world’s largest government institutions. The flexible architecture provided by the BizTalk business process orchestration capabilities will allow government developers to quickly add or change applications, platforms or agencies as the system grows.

The first phase of the Government Gateway project, which is live now, delivers three primary transactions:

  • End of year submissions for the
    Inland Revenue PAYE (Pay As You Earn). This system is similar to how the U.S. federal government withholds taxes from employee paychecks.

  • Customs and Excise VAT (Value Added Tax) return. This transaction is similar to how businesses submit their sales tax revenue in the United States.

  • Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, farmers’ EU subsidy claims. This system enables U.K. farmers to submit claims for subsidy payments via the gateway.

About the Government Gateway Project

Building on the resounding success of phase one of the Government Gateway project, the U.K. government is on track to have all government transactions online by 2005. In the future, British citizens will experience government interactions much more seamlessly. For example, the purchase of an international plane ticket from a travel agency could automatically update an expired passport or submit an application for a travel visa in the destination country without the citizen ever having to explicitly interact with the government. Other examples of future online transactions include registering newborn children, applying for passports and visas, and registering automobiles. More information about the Government Gateway project is available at .

About .NET Enterprise Servers

The .NET Enterprise Servers are Microsoft’s comprehensive family of server applications for building, deploying and managing next-generation integrated Web experiences that move beyond today’s world of stand-alone Web sites. Designed with mission-critical performance in mind, .NET Enterprise Servers provide fast time to market as well as scalability, reliability and manageability for the global, Web-enabled enterprise. They have been built from

the ground up for interoperability using open Web standards such as XML. The .NET Enterprise Servers are a key part of Microsoft’s broader .NET strategy, which will enable a distributed computing model for the Internet based on Internet protocols and standards to revolutionize the way computers talk to one another on our behalf.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

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