Agent Management delivers the ability to create an all inclusive eGovernment which meets the needs of all citizens alike, with the aim of enhancing the citizens’ quality of life when making use of public services. Agent Management allows local councils, NGOs and professional services organisation to be assigned an approved Agent role and thus be given the power to act as intermediaries between Government eServices and citizens or organisations, irrespective of whether the latter have an eID account or not.
Ensuring that eGovernment services are made available to each and every citizen and institution across the country, Agent Management is characterised by:
Agent Registration and Verification
Before a citizen or an organisation can accept delegations, the Agent Management Authority needs to appoint the citizen or the organisation as an approved Agent. In case of citizens, they would firstly need to register as an organisation to obtain the VAT number required to carry out business, before they can register with the Authority to gain the approved Agent status. Once the approved Agent status is granted, the Agent would be able to register with the specific eServices Provider to be able to access specific delegated eServices. For instance, for an accountant to be able to submit the VAT Return on behalf of other citizens, he/she would first need to be granted the approved Agent status and then register with the Inland Revenue Department as an Agency. Once the Agency status is granted, then the accountant would be able to accept delegation requests for eServices belonging to the Inland Revenue Department.
Agent eServices Assignment
The assignment of eService delegations to Agency employees is particularly useful when the Agency is delegated a large number of eServices needing to be accessed by more than one person. For instance, when a large audit firm is delegated the tax return eService for a large number of organisations, the Organisation Manager within the Agency will have the facility to assign the delegated eService to Agency employees, either to individual employees or to a group of employees.
Agent Enabled eServices
The Agent Office, normally represented by a public sector entity, is assigned the role of a Trusted Agent to access eServices on behalf of a citizen or an organisation that does not have an eID account. For example, a citizen with no internet access applies for a government grant at the local council, with the latter acting as the Agent Office for the purpose of this application. The Agent Office has a one-time role, since the citizen would not be assigning delegation rights to the Agent Office to conduct further applications on his/her behalf in the future. Such a function will cater for that segment of society whose lack of computer knowledge would prevent them from interacting with governmental institutions.
Citizen to Citizen Delegation
Citizen to Citizen delegation relates to the online or offline delegation of an eServices right from one citizen to another, with the Citizen to whom eServices were assigned having to be appointed as an Agent before such delegation can be completed. For instance, a doctor, who would have been recognised as an approved Agent and registered with the Medical Association, would be assigned delegation rights by a patient to access his/her medical record.
Citizen to Organisation Delegation
Citizen to Organisation delegation relates to the online or offline delegation of an eServices right from one citizen to an organisation. Any work that is carried out by the organisation on behalf of the citizen needs to be carried out by the Organisation Manager, who is the legal representative of the organisation to whom eServices were assigned. For instance, a citizen delegates the right to an audit organisation, who would have been recognised as an Agent, to fill in and submit the tax return of his/her behalf.
Organisation to Organisation Delegation
Organisation to Organisation delegation relates to the online or offline delegation of an eServices right from one organisation to another. As in Citizen to Organisation delegation, any work carried out on behalf of the organisation delegating eServices rights needs to be carried out by the Organisation Manager of the organisation to whom eServices were assigned. For instance, a sole trader delegates the right to an audit organisation, who would have been recognised as an Agent, to fill in and submit the company’s tax return on its behalf.
eServices Provider Delegation
In some cases, a further approval process is required by the eServices Provider before the eService can be actually delegated to an Agent, even though the Agent would have been recognised as so by the same eServices Provider. Normally, such a procedure is necessitated only for sensitive issues. A delegation request is sent to the eServices provider, who would verify both the identity of the citizen or organisation requesting delegation as well as the identity of the Agent to whom the eService is to be delegated. Once this verification is obtained, the delegation request is accepted by the eService provider and the delegation right is assigned. Although the eServices Provider would have delegated a specific eServices right to the Agent, such a right can be terminated by the eServices Provider at its own discretion.