Nations join UK and others by signing organisation’s charter
The Digital 5 has become the Digital 7 (D7), as Canada and Uruguay have joined the collective of the world’s leading e-governments.
The two nations signed the organisation’s charter during a ministerial summit which gathered together representatives of the five existing member countries: the UK; South Korea; Estonia; Israel; and New Zealand. The gathering was hosted in the latter’s capital city, Wellington.
Each signatory to the charter commits to “share best practice, identify how to improve the participants’ digital services, collaborate on common projects, and… support and champion our growing digital economies”.
The seven nations have also pledged to focus on and adhere to the following nine digital-development principles:
- Open standards
- Open source
- Open markets
- Open government
- Teaching children to code
- Assisted digital
- Commitment to share and learn
Canada created a centralised digital function last year, with the launch of the Canadian Digital Service. The organisation now employs 35 people, and is led by executive director Anatole Papadopoulos, a long-serving member of the Canadian equivalent of the civil service.
Scott Brison, president of the country’s Treasury Board, digitally signed the D7 charter remotely from Canada, while parliamentary secretary Joyce Murray attended the event to sign in person.
“We are delighted that our commitment to digital government has earned Canada a place at the table with leading countries from around the world,” he said. “We look forward to working with our D7 partners on our collective mission to advance digital principles and practices, and better serve our citizens.”
Uruguay’s Agencia de Gobierno Electrónico y Sociedad de la Información y del Conocimiento (Agesic) is the country’s centralised organisation dedicated to promoting digital services across government departments. The agency also aims to help increase citizens’ digital literacy and strengthen the country’s cybersecurity credentials.
In a statement translated from the original Spanish, Juan Andrés Roballo, Uruguay’s deputy secretary of the presidency, said: “We entered the D7 very seriously and we understand it as a great responsibility. We are excited to contribute from the focus of equity and social inclusion that characterises our actions and that has guided the country’s digital policy for 11 years.”
The charter was originally signed by the five founding members at the D5’s first summit, which took place in London in December 2014.
Clare Curran, New Zealand’s minister of broadcasting, communications, digital media, and government digital services, said: “I am delighted that these two countries are members of the now D7, whose expansion ensures that we remain a resilient, relevant and solid forum for practical collaboration on how to drive truly digital nations.”
The UK was represented at the ministerial summit by national technology advisor Liam Maxwell.