Legal Information on the Web. The NIR Portal for the Citizen
Keywords:e-government, legislative databases, information and telecommunication technologies.
The paper presents an e-government project set up in Italy to build the Normeinrete (“Law on the Net”)
portal. It offers an information service to citizens providing them with unified access to Italian and European
Union legislation published on different institutional web sites. The system is based on co-operative
technological architecture, resulting in a federation of legislative data bases developed on different platforms.
Co-operation is achieved by means of suitable application gateways which provide “loose” integration
by adopting two standards for identifying the resources and representing the document structure and metadata
by XML mark up according to ad hoc DTDs. The adoption of these standards allows automated dynamic
hyperlinking among laws and semi-automated building of legislation in force. The approach adopted enables
a good level of integration to be reached among different systems while maintaining the autonomy of