ECOM Journal 2008
Contents > ECOM Activity Results Report > IT Utilization Group > e-Government & Business Collaboration WG
An increase to a 50% use ratio for electronic applications by the year 2010 is needed from the "New IT Reform Strategy." To get this, it is self-evident that building a mechanism that can respond to applicants' needs is vital. In the e-Government & Business Collaboration WG, the creation of a mechanism that will contribute to the increased efficiency of corporate administration-related tasks has been examined through the activities of the past six years.
As a result, from considering the issues occurring in events and in analysis of the current state for each event occurring in corporate employee-related procedures, we examined the reduction of load and proposed a load reduction measure through making administration-related procedures into a one-stop service.
Table 1 Activities for e-Government & Business Collaboration WG
We carried out surveys and analysis in FY 2007 centering on small and medium businesses with the following as our activity goals:
We are drawing up the following achievement scenarios in relation to the load reduction measures for each user through the introduction of one-stop services for administration-related procedures being carried out by corporations that we proposed in FY 2006.
Along with carrying out surveys on the latest examples in overseas countries regarding electronic application, we analyze the survey results to create materials that consider measures to increase the usage ratio of electronic applications in Japan, from the point of view of user and client satisfaction levels.
In FY 2007, we targeted procedures between local government and corporations (Fig. 1).
Target events of the surveys were "Company entrance," "Marriages," "Birth," "Company transfer," "Retirement," and "Employment income."
Fig. 1 Range of Activities
In order to understand the current state of corporate employee procedures, we did not rely solely on current status reports from corporations using them, but also carried out interviews with: (1) consultants, professionals who are in a position of supporting corporate procedure system construction; (2) groups already providing the system; and (3) corporation that will support the construction of systems that used SaaS. Through these, we understood and analyzed the current situation and used it as the basis for considerations about the ToBe Model.
Based on the slump in use ratios, the following problem areas were raised by the certified social insurance labor consultants who are given the work.
Note that even for procedures that are possible using the bulk letter of proxy method, the attached materials must be sent separately (by post). For example, in returning a health insurance card when you are no longer eligible, you cannot use a PDF. Or, even after making an electronic application, you have to send, for example, results such as employment insurance cards are paper-based and sent by post.
The following areas where improvement was demanded were raised by the certified social insurance labor consultants who are given the work.
Our WG created a measure in last year's activities known as the "proposal towards optimization of load reduction for administration-related procedures." Specific approaches to this can be seen in a number of existing examples.
We report on the survey details of existing examples below.
There are moves to aim for an "electronic local government" in order to increase the efficiency of administration tasks in many local governments, based on the e-Japan strategy, but in actuality in many cases the system is created using the same old procedures as before, and there is not enough consideration as to the usability of the system for residents, so at present it is difficult to say that "electronic local government" is being promoted smoothly. In order to break out of this situation, a "information systems collaboration infrastructure" in the "Priority Plans 2007" of the IT Strategic Headquarters was clearly noted, and in 2008 we worked for the specification and standardization of Local Information Platforms (PFs) and by 2010 we will be promoting the development of linkable applications using this standardization at local public bodies.
The Local Information PF (Fig. 2) is designed to reform the existing vertically-divided system, and to share information and make linkages easy between each task system. Based on the ideas of SOA (Service Oriented Architecture), standardization of task application functions related to administrative procedures and data linking technological specifications was done, and the work is carried out by The Association for Promotion of Public Local Information and Communication (APPLIC). Through using this platform, the goal is to provide high value-added services linked with other local governments and private corporations.
Fig. 2 Diagram of the local information platform
The Local Tax Portal System (eLTAX) is a system that uses the internet to electronically carry out procedures such as tax declarations for local taxes.
By operating a system jointly between local public bodies all over the country, we hope that 1) users can carry out procedures such as tax declarations for local public bodies all over the country from a single counter; 2) users can use a single User ID and password, and use them the same way at any local body; 3) costs for operating the system can be made cheaper, and we can provide a higher quality service to users.
The targeted taxes are: the corporate body prefectural tax, the corporate body business tax, the corporate body municipal tax, fixed asset tax (amount for depreciable property), and also, from January 2008, individual residents' tax (income payment report forms, etc.) and business office tax.
In terms of our consideration of a shared database using SaaS, the state of conception, discussion, and development of the SaaS portal site of MIJS (Made In Japan Software Consortium) that is considering this site construction is as follows. Note that MIJS is a consortium of 24 software vendor companies (as of November 1, 2007) formed in August 2006 with the aim of making products mutually linkable and working to strengthen business infrastructure in Japan and overseas development.
Just as in the concept, data linkage between multiple products is vital in the SaaS portal site, and we are considering realizing three linkages through the introduction of standards.
FY 2007 activities aimed for the standardization of procedures between local bodies and corporations from the point of view of the corporations that are the stance of the WG, using the load reduction of administrative procedures through links with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications as the theme.
In model analysis and creation, we created the following four materials, modeled after the "Local Body Task Application Standardization Specifications" (March 26th, 2007, The Association for Promotion of Public Local Information and Communication) and based on the "Survey on the State of Employee- related Procedures" (July 31, 2006).
* Click on the image to display a larger version.
Fig. 3 Data Flow Diagram (DFD) (for when leaving employment)
We have proceeded with considerations with the focus on small and medium businesses, but since there are many variations of scale and type of industry within small and medium businesses, and differing states of IT development, it is difficult to come up with a common reason for why electronic applications have not progressed.
In our considerations during FY 2007, we divided our considerations based on the number of employees, separating them into those with fewer than 20 people, and those with 20 people or more.
In offices with fewer than 20 employees, about 30% of them do not have personal computers, and there are high hurdles for the equipment investment and IT skills for electronic applications.
In the other 70% or so of offices that do have personal computers, according to a questionnaire targeted at SOHO businesses, which usually have about 1 to 10 employees, in contrast to the more than 50% of the businesses using the internet for direct tasks such as "accepting inquiries from customers" and "dealing with graphic data," it was found that only 1.6% of them were using it for notices and applications to government agencies and the like.
Thus, in offices with small numbers of employees, the level of electronic application is low, regardless of the IT skills, but these places do not often need to use administrative procedures to do with "life events" (entering the company, retirement, marriage, etc.) in the first place, and it is also difficult to set up a specialist operator in an back-office section to deal with them. In this sort of situation, it is extremely difficult to prepare something ahead of time just to carry out electronic applications.
In the future, along with an increased development of promotional and publicization activities aimed at the 70% or so of businesses that use computers in their business, we need to consider approaches where the merits of electronic applications are recognized and paper-based supplementary materials are not needed, as well as consideration of a system where the flow to application can be easily understood even by businesses that would only use electronic applications once every few years.
In offices with 20 or more employees, the complexity of procedures is a significant cause preventing the use of electronic applications.
For example, for social insurance related procedures, whether or not the health insurance society or pension fund that the office belongs to have developed IT has a large influence on the use of electronic applications by the business. In other words, when the health insurance society or pension fund do not have a developed IT, and applications need to be submitted on paper, then it is very common that applications are also submitted to the government on paper.
In terms of the development of IT in health insurance societies, the following problems were reported in the "Health Insurance Society IT: Basic Concepts (Final Report)" (February 16, 2007, National Federation of Health Insurance Societies), and standardization of systems and IT investment is to be desired throughout the entire network of health insurance societies.
Through this survey, we have cast into relief once more the facts that direct tasks are the most important for corporations, and that investment in IT for indirect tasks such as employee-related procedures does not occur. For this reason, in terms of the SaaS / ASP-type shared infrastructure we are currently considering, centered on the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the needs of small and medium businesses are large as well, and in terms of the electronicization of employee-related procedures too, we can expect a certain amount of effects to appear. However, in the consideration of the SaaS / ASP-type shared infrastructure, we need to add that there are barriers such as the current relevant laws and outsourcing of administrative procedures, and we consider it necessary to negotiate with each government ministry and group, including revision of the laws.
Fig. 4 SaaS Portal Site Considered by MIJS