Electronic Communication Strategies of the Danish Evironmental Administration
Dorte Bennedbæk, Danish Environmental Protection Agency, Copenhagen
Hugo Prestegaard, Ministry of Environment and Energy, Copenhagen

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Strategies for use of electronic publication in Danish environmental administration, especially based on the strategies of the Danish EPA and electronic communication strategies of the Danish Ministry of Environment and Energy will be described. The new Danish national information policy and its influence on these strategies will be represented. An account is given of the Ministry's priorities relating to the national information policy plan "From vision to action". The homepages of the whole Ministry are found in http://www.mem.dk/.

The Danish Environmental Administrative System

The Danish environmental administrative system is found in Figure 1. The regional and local authorities are responsible for direct environmental control of trade and industry, agriculture and farming, the open land etc.

Danish Environmental Protection Agency

The Danish EPA is one of the agencies of the Danish Ministry of Environment and Energy. Figure 2 shows the organization of the ministry. The main functions of the Danish EPA:

The agency administers the Environmental Protection Act, the Chemical Substances and Products Act, pesticides etc.

Seen from a communication point of view all work done in the Danish EPA may be defined as information and communication activities. You may say that the Danish EPA is a knowledge institution.

Where to use the Internet

Figure 3 shows how to use the Internet in a knowledge institution.

Main objectives for the Danish EPAs external information activities

Enable counties and municipalities to control according to existing laws and regulations

Danish EPAs annual information programme

Division of labour between the Danish EPA divisions and the Information Department

Once a year we examine the divisions' work programmes and define the annual information/communication strategies/plans for the divisions.

How to use the Internet

In relation to external information activities we see the Internet as an extra dimension to the other information activities. It is a tool that makes it easier to reach/get in touch with certain target groups. And that is how we use it. It means that we will use the special facilities of the electronic elements and media, and not only copy the printed material.

The first target group is international cooperation. We have produced in English

Later we will use Internet for national target groups. The annual information strategy 1996 contains several activities.

But perhaps the national strategies for electronic publishing will force us to change Danish EPA strategies.

In relation to organized collection of information and knowledge we have a library in DEPA for internal use only. Last year we examined the quality of the knowledge of the employees related to the daily work. 69% felt they had an incomplete knowledge base most of the time. So now we plan to establish a special Intranet system for the employees in DEPA. Based on the specific tasks and the employees in the single divisions, we will make relevant information systems/databases available for the staff for selfservice or services by the library staff.

National strategies for information in Denmark

Some facts about Denmark that make it easy to administer and manage the Danish society.

From the beginning of the computerization in the 1960's Denmark centralized the use of computers in the public sector. It was used for registration/recording of tax payers, licensing etc. In the 1970's for cataloguing and circulation of books in libraries etc. But it was never coordinated. However, in 1992 the first recommendations for a coordinated Danish information policy were published. The report defined the national information resources. Dorte Bennedbæk was a member of the small working group of experts behind these recommendations.

Until 1990 the computers and the network were not good enough and much too expensive.

In the beginning of 1994 a new group with a large number of members representing all aspects of the Danish society started preparing the strategy "The information society year 2000". The work was finished in October 1994, and it deals with the coordination of all aspects of information in the Danish society and the increasing use of IT, especially in public administration. The Ministry of Environment and Energy has decided to take the lead in the use of the Internet. The national strategies will influence our daily communication/information work because:

But is very important always to ensure that the target groups are reached by the most appropriate tools, and that strategies are used efficiently without overload of information. But perhaps we will be able to reduce the number of printed books per year. Let's see.

The Danish national information policy "From Vision to action"

Statement to Parliament on "Info-Society 2000" and IT Political Action Plan 1996.

The Statement can be obtained from the Internet-server: http://www.fsk.dk/fsk/

The philosophy within the plan

is that correctly used, IT will be a source of:

It should support:

The Electronic Service Network of the Public Sector Policy:

National Strategy:

Internet Policies:

Ministry of Environment and Energy Policy:

IT presentation:

The electronic office project:


Internet homepage: http://www.mem.dk
DEPA's English Internet homepage: http://www.mst.dk/depa/index.htm

Click here for Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3

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