Content

Electronic delivery


Electronic delivery is an essential part of modern, service-orientated administration. In administration, electronic delivery provides considerable cost savings.

In this area, technical information is provided for electronic delivery - especially for senders and delivery services.

Senders

What delivery services are there?Are you a sender and would you like to deliver correspondence electronically? In this section, you will find all the information that you need for this. If you won't be implementing the functionality of electronic delivery yourself, but rather will leave it up to a service provider, you will find information on companies that offer the respective services or alternatively products in the FAQ section. The following sections describe how you can integrate electronic delivery yourself in your application step by step.

Step 1: Certificate

A so-called certificate is needed to be able to use electronic delivery. If you are a government agency or act as a service provider of a government agency, i.e. you would like to officially send correspondence, you require a certificate with an administration or service provider characteristic. These are special certificates that can be obtained for a fee from the following Austrian certification service providers.

If you would like to send correspondence under private law, then a simple certificate of a known certification service provider is sufficient (e.g. Verisign, Thawte, and so on).

The certificate is used for the authentication of the sender to the central lookup service as well as to the delivery service.

Step 2: Registration with the central lookup service 

Next, you have to register for electronic delivery as a sender. This must be carried out via the official central lookup service. It is only possible to register with the central lookup service by means of a mobile phone signature or Citizen Card (chip card, e.g. e-card). Only legal entities can register for delivery. Therefore, an electronic power of attorney is also necessary in addition to a mobile phone signature/Citizen Card.


The guideline "central lookup service registration" illustrates how you can register with the central lookup service by means of a mobile phone signature or Citizen Card and power of attorney and register yourself as a sender. The following information is required for the registration:

  • the certificate organised in step 1
  • billing address to which the costs incurred for deliveries are to be sent
Information on the costs for the delivery can be found in the FAQ section below.

Step 3: Integration of the delivery software

There are several possibilities to integrate the functionality of electronic delivery in your own application.

Possibility 1 - MOA-ZS

MOA-ZS is open-source middleware that takes over all communication with the delivery infrastructure, i.e. central lookup service queries, transfer of the document to be served to delivery services as well as the reception and processing of proofs of delivery. MOA-ZS is available under a EUPL license and can be obtained via the open-source platform Joinup. The documentation for MOA-ZS can also be obtained from the platform.

All communication with MOA-ZS is carried out via a Web service (SOAP) interface, and hence MOA-ZS can be integrated in the greatest variety of functional application systems easily and above all platform-independent.

Possibility 2 - openZUSE

openZUSE is a Java API that implements the individual functions of electronic delivery. Besides the query to the central lookup service, this is also the transfer of the document to be served to the delivery services as well as the processing of proofs of delivery. In contrast to MOA-ZS, openZUSE is not a unit ("black box"), but rather it makes it possible for applications to integrate individual functions of the delivery specifically via the Java API into your own application.

Hence, for example, a central lookup service query can be carried out first of all to determine the recipient, and the result can be analysed specifically by the application. In contrast to MOA-ZS, a certain amount of knowledge of the processes of electronic delivery is required for the use of openZUSE as well as its specification.

openZUSE is available under a EUPL license and can be obtained via the open-source platform Joinup.


Possibility 3 - own implementation

Another possibility, although it is connected with a great deal of work, is complete implementation of the electronic delivery specification. The specification can be obtained via the eGovernment reference server. The following parts of the specification are relevant to senders:

Eine weitere - allerdings mit dem größten Aufwand verbundene - Möglichkeit ist die vollständige Umsetzung der Spezifikation der elektronischen Zustellung. Die Spezifikation kann über den E-Government Reference Server bezogen werden. Für Versender sind folgende Spezifikationsteile relevant:

  • ZUSEMSG (about the communication between applications and delivery services for the delivery of correspondence and transmission of proofs of delivery),
  • ZUSEMOD (about the foundations and process model of electronic delivery),
  • ZUSEKOPF (about the interface between the delivery server and central lookup service), to the extent that provision of the service in accordance with Section 29 para. 1 Z 2 of the Austrian Service of Documents Act (ZustG) is described.
  • ZUSEPRIV (about the demonstrable sending of correspondence on behalf of private persons)

Risk-free testing

EGIZ provides senders with a free as well as freely accessible central lookup service for risk-free testing. Senders can use a Citizen Card (with or without a power of attorney) to register at the central lookup service and save an accounting profile. The accounting profile at the test central lookup service is only used for the registration/leaving the sender's certificate. Naturally, nothing is charged.


FAQ

  1. How do I know whether a government agency or a company can be addressed electronically?
  2. What service providers are there in the area of delivery?hat service providers are there in the area of delivery?
  3. How can I send non-official correspondence as a government agency?
  4. What delivery services are there?
  5. What delivery services are there?

How do I know whether a government agency or a company can be addressed electronically?

On the information pages of the central lookup service, there is a directory with all those companies that are addressable electronically and that have agreed to the publication of their data. Besides names and registration numbers (e.g. Register of Company Names number, ZVR number or alternatively ERsB status number), all the mailboxes of the company are also listed (e.g. list of branch offices). Documents to be served can be delivered to a specific mailbox of a company.

What service providers are there in the area of delivery?

The following companies offer services for electronic delivery (sorted alphabetically)

  • Bundesrechenzentrum GmbH
  • Datentechnik Innovation
  • Exthex GmbH
  • Fabasoft
  • HPC Duale Zustellsysteme GmbH
  • PLOT

How can I send non-official correspondence as a government agency?

Several conditions must be met for this:

  1. Sending non-official correspondence must be activated in the profile settings at the central lookup service.
  2. The recipient must have activated the reception of non-official correspondence in his settings at the delivery service.
  3. The delivery request must be marked as non-official. There are separate parameters for this for MOA-ZS or alternatively openZUSE. For your own implementation, the procedure is described in the specification document zusepriv of the delivery specification

What does an electronic delivery cost me?

An official delivery costs 31 cents (half the letter rate) + VAT = 37 cents

For non-official deliveries, the prices are regulated by the respective delivery service. They are usually dependent on the delivery quality and are usually published on the pages of the respective delivery service.

What delivery services are there?

The list of certified delivery services is published on the information pages of the Federal Chancellery.

An XML directory of the certified delivery services for automatic processing by sending applications is published on the information pages of the central lookup service.

Delivery services

Would you like to be the operator of an electronic delivery service, or are you looking for information on the operation of a delivery service? This section describes the technical requirements of a delivery service at the application level (but not the operating level).

Certification as an electronic delivery service

Besides the legal and organisational requirements, the technical specifications of electronic delivery as described on the information pages of the Federal Chancellery must be fulfilled.


Fulfilment of the technical specifications is validated based on a test specification from EGIZ. The test specification lists the minimum set of test cases to which a certification applicant is subjected. Cases that go beyond that for complete validation of compliance with the technical specification are not excluded.


The following specifications are relevant for the certification or alternatively subsequent operation of an electronic delivery service:

  • ZUSEMSG (about the communication between applications and delivery services for the delivery of correspondence and transmission of proofs of delivery),
  • ZUSELDAP (about the LDAP schema [Lightweight Directory Access Protocol-Schema] of the directory service of a delivery service as well as the query possibilities of the delivery service),
  • ZUSEMOD (about the foundations and process model of electronic delivery),
  • ZUSESPEC (about the processes inside the delivery server),
  • ZUSERECH (about foundations, process model and organisation of electronic delivery billing),
  • ZUSEPUSH (about the processes inside a delivery server in connection with the central lookup service) and
  • ZUSEKOPF (about the interface between the delivery server and central lookup service), to the extent that provision of the service in accordance with Section 29 para. 1 Z 2 of the Austrian Service of Documents Act (ZustG) is described.
Above and beyond this, there are still the following specifications, which are optional for delivery services):

  • ZUSEMAIL (about the alternative pickup of correspondence in accordance with Section 35(3) ZustG,
  • ZUSEPRIV (about the demonstrable sending of correspondence on behalf of private persons).
All specifications in the current version can be obtained via the eGovernment reference server.

Sub-mailboxes

A sub-mailbox is an additional addressing feature, for example for addressing a specific branch office, department or organisational unit of a legal entity. This is particularly interesting for companies with a large network of branch offices or many sub-organisational units. The names of the sub-mailboxes are transmitted to the central lookup service, and if the legal entity has consented to being included in the public directory of the central lookup service, then the individual sub-mailboxes will also be officially listed there.

A guideline provided by EGIZ for sub-mailboxes describes the (optional) possibility for delivery service operators to facilitate the setup of sub-mailboxes for legal entities.


Risk-free testing

EGIZ provides (potential) delivery service operators with a free as well as freely accessible central lookup service for risk-free testing. The test central lookup service provides the same functionality as the production central lookup service, i.e.

Recipients

Registration for delivery service

Get your free mailbox in the Internet and profit immediately from the benefits of e-Delivery.

To register for electronic delivery, you need your mobile phone signature or alternatively Citizen Card. If you have not yet activated your mobile phone for a mobile phone signature and also do not have a card-based Citizen Card (e.g. on your e-card), you will find all the necessary information (What is a mobile phone signature or alternatively Citizen Card? How can I get one? etc.) at www.buergerkarte.at.


More in-depth information on the registration of your free mailbox can be found here.

Dual delivery

Electronic delivery is an important part of electronic administration and promises both simplifications as well as cost savings on the part of government agencies as well as convenience on the part of citizens.

A certain amount of time is needed until a relevant number of recipients can be reached electronically. Citizens will only register with a delivery service when methods are offered for electronic delivery. However, this leads to a "chicken or the egg" problem. Many processes will only be converted to electronic delivery when there is a visible benefit, which means a significant number of delivery recipients can also be reached through them. Therefore, the same procedures as for electronic delivery should also be used for those recipients who are not registered with an electronic delivery service. This results in benefits through a standardised delivery process.

If the recipient does not have an electronic mailbox with a certified electronic delivery service, then the delivery must be carried out by regular mail either via a local service or an external service provider (for example with a printing system).

The dual delivery service offers government agencies the benefit of a standardised interface for electronic delivery and paper delivery. If the government agency makes use of a service provider, then the delivery can be made via the interface of the electronic delivery. Whether the delivery is ultimately carried out electronically or conventionally remains transparent to the process.

Duale Zustellung Architektur

Figure 1: Architecture of dual delivery

How does electronic delivery work?

Electronic delivery is an essential part of the Austrian eGovernment infrastructure. By means of electronic delivery, the authorities, companies or alternatively citizens can demonstrably transmit correspondence with the quality of an RSa letter (return receipt) or alternatively a registered letter. The following illustration shows the architecture of Austrian delivery in Austria and the  players involved. Additional general information on electronic delivery is available from Platform Digital Austria (PDA) or alternatively the information pages of the Federal Chancellery.



Figure 1 shows the process model for electronic delivery. The central lookup service as well as the delivery services are the key elements of electronic delivery. Recipients of the electronic delivery can register with a certified delivery service. Delivery services report registered recipients to the central lookup service, which serves as an information service for senders. The essential steps of an electronic delivery process (in cases of a successful delivery and pickup by the recipient) are as follows:



  1. The application (specialist application) transmits the document to be served to the delivery software. The delivery application can be a separate service (e.g. MOA-ZS) or a service operated by a service provider. Specific (meta) information is enclosed with the transmitted document to be served, which is used, for example, for addressing the recipient.
  2. The delivery software sends the address data of the recipient to the central lookup service to determine whether the recipient is registered for electronic delivery or alternatively, if this is the case, then with which delivery service the recipient registered a delivery account..
  3. If the recipient is registered with a delivery service, the delivery software transmits the document to be served to the delivery service. If the recipient is registered with multiple delivery services, then the application is free to choose which delivery service to use for the delivery. Delivery services with which the recipient has left an encryption certificate are to be given priority.
  4. The delivery service sends the recipient notification by e-mail that a new piece of correspondence is ready to be picked up at the delivery service.
  5. The recipient confirms receipt of the piece of correspondence by means of a signature with a mobile phone signature or Citizen Card and accepts the piece of correspondence.
  6. The delivery service transmits to the application signed (by the recipient) proof of delivery concerning receipt of the piece of correspondence.
Figure 1: Process model of electronic delivery

This section provides essential technical basic information for the different players involved in electronic delivery. Choose the area below that interests you and for which you would like to obtain additional information.

I am...

... a sender and would like to deliver electronically

... an operator of an electronic delivery service

... a recipient and would like to receive correspondence electronically