E-business directory to rate as e-comm's 'Yellow Pages'

The Federal Government's proposed e-business directory should become the "Yellow Pages of the e-commerce world", according to an industry player.

Gregg Rowley, managing director for eSign, said a registry that utilises the Australian Business Number (ABN) and is underpinned by digital certificates would enable businesses to see the electronic credentials of whomever they are dealing with.

The project is being run by the Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business.

Expressions of interest for the multimillion-dollar, high-level registry close on June 8 2001. Briefing sessions for interested companies have already been scheduled for Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra.

It is anticipated that the directory will allow companies to make use of the ABN and associated Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) services like the ABN-Digital Signature Certificate to authenticate themselves online.

The directory will also develop the concept of tags for identifying multiple services and products offered by an individual company.

Rowley said if the project proceeds it would be plausible to have it up and running by the end of the year.

"The key to making it work is to keep it as simple and secure as possible and to make the processing and procedures involved fairly straight forward."