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Idea of e-government gathers pace

The federal authorities are planning to introduce electronic services for citizens, bypassing traditional and more laborious ways of accessing information from the administration.

The cabinet on Wednesday earmarked more than SFr50 million for the measures over the next four years. A limited number of electronic services will come into effect next year.

The aim is to enable citizens to get information from the authorities over the Internet rather than over an office counter or via conventional mail or telephone.

Plans are also afoot to introduce voting by electronic means. The government said it would present a white paper, which would go to a consultation procedure later this year.

“E-voting” is seen as a way to facilitate political participation, notably for Swiss citizens living abroad. There are currently around 580,000 Swiss expatriates but less than 20 per cent have registered as voters.

An official statement, issued in Berne said the introduction of voting by electronic mail raised a series of political, legal and technical problems. Two committees have been set up in July to examine the proposals.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR