The paper describes an approach to improve the current practices in environmental reporting by creating a new dimension of cooperation around a shared information infrastructure. It is the common foundation that should be defined and shared by the multiple networks operating in the international environmental reporting area and together form the European Environmental Information System, such as EEA/EIONET, European Commission, OECD and the various conventions.
Creation of a shared information infrastructure should allow better use and reuse of the reporting information leading to reduction of the reporting burden at the national level, while providing the international reporting community with better and more policy-relevant information in a faster way. It would increase the transparency of public administrations and hence contribute to the goals of eEurope and Government Online in the environment sector.
A practical implementation of the information infrastructure framework through an application suite called Reportnet is suggested. It would have components for reporting obligations, metadata, directory services, data repositories, and process monitoring, and would be built using IDA common tools and techniques. Because of the complex interactions with various stakeholders involved, new approaches for managing software engineering and organisational change during the development process are required and have been identified in the paper.
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