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The Sharing and Reuse of IT Solutions

Publication Date: Nov 14, 2019


Written by: Sarah Borg

Governments and public administrations, as important contributors to economic growth, are under continuous pressure to perform more efficiently, deliver faster and cheaper services and meet citizens and businesses needs more effectively. The European Commission’s Digital Single Market Strategy recognises that digital technologies have great potential to help public administrations deliver better services for less. In order to fully exploit this potential, it is necessary to facilitate electronic interactions between public administrations, citizens and businesses, not only at national level, but also across borders and sectors. For this purpose, the European Commission has developed the European Interoperability Framework (EIF), which provides guidance and recommendations to European public administrations on how to implement and deliver more interoperable and better-quality public services.

Developed in the context of the European Union’s Interoperability solutions for public administrations, businesses and citizens (ISA) programme, the Sharing and Reuse Framework for IT Solutions (SRF) addresses EU, national, regional and local public administrations that aim at reducing costs, increasing their efficiency and fostering interoperability by reusing, sharing or jointly developing IT solutions that meet common requirements.

6H6A9184.JPGAs part of the European Commission’s drive to better communicate initiatives/actions under the ISA Programmes, MITA hosted a workshop that its purpose was to present the SRF developed in the framework of the Sharing and Reuse action, executed under the ISA and ISA2 Programmes (second iteration of the ISA Programme) of the Directorate -General for Informatics (DIGIT). This workshop was delivered at the MITA Data Centre by the Commission’s Contractors and attended by officials from MITA and various government Information Management Units. The workshop focused on the sharing and reuse framework for IT Solutions, the Role of the Policy Makers in fostering sharing and reuse of IT Solutions followed by interactive discussions and lessons learnt between the audience and the contractors delivering the workshop.

6H6A9196.JPGThe presenters addressed several initiatives that are being undertaken at national level that are also implemented by MITA such as underlying principles, goals and objectives of the National Digital Strategy 2014 – 2020, the MITA Strategy 2018 – 2020, the Open Source Strategy and Mapping Tomorrow 2019 – 2020 that already refer to a large extent to the benefits resulting from Sharing and Reuse IT Solutions and the ‘sharing and reuse’ journey.  The presenters also referred to the Malta Cyber Security Strategy that was launched in September 2016 and the challenges that brings with it for instance recruitment of technical resources in the domain of cybersecurity and an effective manner of collaboration and dissemination of information amongst national stakeholders especially Operators of National Services and Digital Secure providers. In the ongoing update of the framework particular importance is given to security and privacy aspects. Public administration should undertake the necessary measures to ensure the security of the shared elements and protection of data. In this way, other organisations can rely on the fact that the solution they are using ensures data integrity, data privacy and regulatory compliance. 

The role of the policy makers, communication and awareness-raising were highlighted during the workshop. Public administrations face various types of barriers in sharing and reusing IT solutions. MITA as a policy maker and a central body plays a vital role in helping public administration overcome these barriers by creating, proposing and supporting the adoption of legislation, policies and supporting instruments that enable public administration to collaborate. Share and reuse existing IT solutions.

6H6A9222 copy.jpgPublic administration faces legal, technical and organisational challenges when willing to share and reuse existing IT solutions which are similar across countries in Europe. Implementing, at all governance levels, the Sharing and Reuse Framework developed under the ISA2 programme can help different public administration overcoming these challenges. The benefit of this framework is that it provides examples of what is done elsewhere which could be relevant for your organisation. Countries like Malta which are already mature in terms of sharing and reuse of IT Solutions can find relevant contents and ideas in the SRF framework.