The fifth version of the e-Government Interoperability Framework (e-GIF) has been published, including advice on wireless network and IPV6 deployments and smartcard standards.
The e-GIF sets out technical specifications to allow IT systems across government to work together. Adherence to the e-GIF policy is mandatory.
If public sector IT systems do not conform to the e-GIF, government funding can be withheld and departments will be refused connection to other government systems such as UK Online and the Government Gateway.
Cabinet Office minister Douglas Alexander said in a statement that the e-GIF is now the foundation of e-government strategy, and will cut the cost of major IT projects.
"What emerges clearly from our experience is the fact that, in terms of e-service delivery, compliance with the Framework is essential for the public good," he explained.
"The technical specifications and policies contained within it have already proved indispensable for getting the UK online.
"These specifications increasingly allow information to flow seamlessly across the public sector and provide citizens and businesses with better access to government services."
Policy on wireless local area networks has been updated, with the framework acknowledging "an increasing business requirement for mobile computing within government to enable more flexible working patterns".
Existing guidance on the use of wireless technology in government limits take-up to a few areas.
But government agencies, including the Communications Electronics Security Group, the Office of the e-Envoy and the Office of Government Commerce, are to work together to develop a "standards-based approach to enable wider deployment of wireless within government".
Policy on IPV6 has been updated, and departments should plan for a "gradual migration" to IPv6 while maintaining coexistence with IPv4.
It added that departments should begin to plan for IPv6 integration in advance, and to build the need for co-existence with IPv4 and IPv6 into current procurements.
On real-time messaging the e-GIF stated that standards are still emerging but that, where it is required, the advice is to conform to the Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol.
Areas likely to be included in future versions include specifications for video conferencing and IP telephony, standards and best practice for web services, and specifications for smartphones.
The e-GIF is available at www.govtalk.gov.uk.
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