Digital prequalification service for public procurement procedures new in extended mailbox

Bremen, October 2023

  • My Corporate Account (My UK) is the central and nationwide uniform user account for access to digital administrative services for companies. A new addition is now an extended mailbox.
  • The enhanced mailbox enables end-to-end encryption ("E2E"). E2E is also applied to functional mailboxes, which is made possible by the use of modern crypto procedures. The extended mailbox required by companies and chambers (module 5 in My UK) is being developed by Governikus on behalf of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen. Expansion stage 1 has been live since July 1, 2023, and the entire scope of services will be ready by the end of the year.
  • The digital prequalification service has been successfully connected to the extended mailbox as the first procedure since 17.10.2023 and enables companies to retrieve messages with information about the status of their prequalification in the mailbox.

On July 1, 2023, Governikus went live with the first expansion stage of the extended P.O. box in the unified enterprise account on behalf of the state of Bremen. Now the first specialized procedure has been successfully connected: With the digital prequalification service, companies can already prove their suitability for participating in public tendering procedures before a tender is issued and apply for an entry in official directories. In the extended mailbox, companies can find all messages with information about the status of their prequalification. 

The first stage of expansion

The standardized company account is the central communication platform to enable companies and authorities nationwide to communicate digitally with each other. The corporate account, which is being developed cooperatively by the states of Bavaria and Bremen on behalf of the federal and state governments, is based on ELSTER technology, which has been established in the tax sector for years, and has been supplemented with additional modules. An essential component is an extended functional mailbox, which was developed as module 5 by the Bremen IT security specialist Governikus. Based on state-of-the-art encryption technologies, the extended mailbox enables the mapping of corporate structures with the associated access rights. The true end-to-end encryption of functional mailboxes that can be accessed via browsers enables companies and public authorities to submit digital applications and deliver notifications. With expansion stage 1, administrations are now able to integrate their services into their online offerings via the standardized interfaces. In expansion stages 2 and 3, which will be completed by the end of the year, the fully comprehensive functionalities will be made available with regard to organizational structures and access authorizations, among other things. From 2024, nothing will stand in the way of fully comprehensive digital communication between companies and public authorities.

State-of-the-art encryption technologies

With this stage of development, Governikus already presents two innovations in electronic communication between public authorities and companies for the use of functional mailboxes. The first is the so-called proxy re-encryption schemes. These are state-of-the-art cryptography-based re-encryption schemes that provide true end-to-end encryption for functional mailboxes. This modern approach allows users to receive an encrypted message regardless of whether other authorized users have already decrypted it. At no time are messages stored as plain text in the function mailboxes. This means that private keys for decrypting a message do not have to be shared between users and the plaintext of messages does not have to be disclosed.

Browser-based encryption and decryption

The second innovation is the open standard "WebAssembly": a program format into which other programming languages can be translated and which has recently become available for many browsers. With the help of WebAssembly, the encryption and decryption of messages is carried out in the user's browser. Thanks to this web technology, decryption takes place at the actual end of the communication process, in the user's browser itself.

"We are pleased to be able to present an essential functionality for an end-to-end digital process already in the first expansion stage, which we have strived for from the very beginning. With the expanded functional mailbox in the company account, we were able to implement the requirements that companies and chambers of commerce approached us with, using current encryption technology ." says Rainer Heldt, Head of the Department for Digitization of Administrative Services for Companies of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen.

Further expansion stages and call for pilot participation

Companies and representatives from public administrations can already log in to the extended mailbox and view messages. This year, the prerequisites will be created for administrations to connect their specialized procedures to the mailbox. Next year, all communication will be possible via the unified corporate account.

If your company or administration is interested in joining us in piloting the extended mailbox, please feel free to contact us using this contact form. Your insights can make an important contribution to the further course of the project and support us in the agile implementation of the extended mailbox.

Via the nationwide standardized corporate account

In the course of implementing the Online Access Act (OZG), the federal government decided to create a uniform corporate account. This is intended to facilitate access to digital administrative services via a central platform for contact with public authorities. To make this a reality, the states of Bavaria and Bremen were commissioned to develop a total of six building blocks. Bavaria is developing modules 1 to 4 and Bremen 5 and 6.

The basis is the ELSTER technology established in the tax system, which has already provided a secure infrastructure for 20 years. In addition to the already existing and well-known "ELSTER mailbox", Bremen contributes an extended mailbox as well as the necessary authorization mechanisms. Bremen is relying on the expertise of its IT service providers Dataport (module 6) and Governikus (module 5).

 

Press contact
Governikus GmbH & Co. KG
Petra Waldmüller-Schantz
Tel: +49 421 204 95-54
E-Mail: redaktion@governikus.de

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