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  • Graeme Codrington

The D7 : the most advanced Digital nations in the world delivering Government services online from A

What do Canada, Estonia, Israel, New Zealand, South Korea, Uruguay and the United Kingdom have in common? They form a group known as The D7, and argue that they’re the most advanced digital nations in the world. They exclude a few strong contenders like China and Singapore on the basis of also requiring the members to be committed to open systems and democracy.

The definition of a digitally advanced nation is that government services are delivered online in all areas from administration and security to education and healthcare.

D7 Charter

1. The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications of the Republic of Estonia, the Prime Minister’s Office of the Government of Israel, the Ministry of the Interior and Safety of the Government of the Republic of Korea, the Department of Internal Affairs of the Government of New Zealand, the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport of the Government of the United Kingdom, and the Office of the President of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, hereinafter individually referred to as "the Participant" and collectively as "the Participants" have reached the following understanding:

2. The Participants have mutually decided to expand from the D5 to the D7, a group of the most digitally advanced governments in the world. The D7 will provide a focused forum to share best practice, identify how to improve the Participants' digital services, collaborate on common projects and to support and champion our growing digital economies.

3. The Participants have decided to commit to working towards the following principles of digital development, acknowledging that they will not be able to meet all of the criteria on joining:

3.1. User needs - the design of public services that work for the citizen

3.2. Open standards - technology requires interoperability and so a clear commitment to a credible royalty free open standards policy for software is needed

3.3. Open source - where possible all future Government systems, tradecraft, manuals and standards are created as open source and are shareable between participants are

3.4. Open markets - in government procurement create true competition for companies regardless of size. Encourage and support a start-up culture and promote economic growth through open markets

3.5. Open government (transparency) - be a member of the Open Government Partnership and use open licences to produce and consume open data

3.6. Connectivity - enable an online population through comprehensive and high quality digital infrastructure

3.7. Teach children to code - commitment to offer all children the opportunity to learn to code and build the next generation of skills

3.8. Assisted digital - a commitment to support all its citizens to access digital services

3.9. Commitment to share and learn - all participants commit to work together to help solve each other’s issues wherever they can

4. The Participants acknowledge that Digital Government is evolving, and will update these principles as work together refines them, and in the light of new challenges and opportunities.

5. Each Participant will lead by example and contribute to advancing digital government in other D7 countries by sharing best practices and expertise, on a non-binding, voluntary basis.

6. The Participants’ collective goal is to harness the potential global power of digital technology and help each Participant to become an even better digital government faster and more efficiently through sharing and learning from each other.

7. D7 will meet once a year with a rolling host nation who will chair the meeting. All Participants will be invited to each Conference.

8. Following the establishment of the D7 it has been mutually determined that a joint working group will establish:

8.1. future chair / host nations, and themes for future conferences

8.2. principles and arrangements for expanding the circle of countries involved. The group will be open to include upon consensus of all Participants additional countries that meet the principles as stated above

8.3. The principles may iterate and evolve as part of this work

9. The Participants will decide on a case by case basis how any joint initiatives will be funded and resourced.

10. Any differences arising from the interpretation or implementation of this Charter will be settled amicably through consultations and negotiations between the Participants without reference to any third party or international tribunal.

11. Each Participant may, as appropriate, designate another institution(s) or institutions to lead and (or) participate in the initiatives.

12. This Charter is not legally binding. It will come into effect on the date of the signature of all Participants and will continue to have effect for a period of five (5) years unless terminated by a Participant giving three (3) months written notice to current Chair.

13. Signed digitally in Wellington, New Zealand on the 22 February 2018 in English Language.

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