LABOR line 5 – active politics and territory governance (LABOR line 5)

Published on: 08/06/2009

The L.A.B.O.R. project (Italian acronym for:Job, Actions, Benefits, Organization and Network) was presented by over 50 Italian provinces within the framework of the ELISA Program, financed by the Office of Regional Business and Local Autonomies. Its main objective is to promote technological innovation in the Italian Public Administration.

The main aim of the LABOR project is to expand Provincial Labour Informative Systems (SIL) through the use of Internet, improving efficiency and promoting a more effective use of services by citizens and companies.

The LABOR project is articulated on 6 different action lines.

  1. Management and overall coordination of the project.
  2. Statistical exploitation of administrative data collected from employment agencies.
  3. Integration of a database containing data related to productive economic activities.
  4. Safety at the workplace and emergence of irregular jobs.
  5. Active politics actions and territory governance.
  6. Automatic data update (Online employment agencies) and employment status check.

For more information see:

The Provinceof Teramo coordinates action line n. 5 "Active politics actions and territory governance", which includes the partnership of 22 Provinces spread throughout the national territory. It has also activated a series of actions aimed at promoting Labour Informative Systems (SIL) through the creation of software tools based on interoperability, which can support the employment agencies active policies. The activities of action line 5 are based on the principle of sharing and reusing the technological solutions adopted from the Provinces, and it involves local organisations operating in the labour market (Councils, training organisations, etc.).

New applications are structured around a modular approach which allows easy replication of these new solutions in other contexts, both from a methodological and from an operational point of view, as well as to integrate the new modules within heterogeneous groups of provincial SIL.

The activities of this action line are based on experiences matured by the participating provincial administrations, which constitutes the base for the development of the new software applications. These are integrated with those already used by the Labour Ministry to create a new work policies welfare and a network of entities beginning from the Provinces themselves; it involves other institutions on the territory (such as councils, schools and training organisations), in order to guarantee an effective distribution of information allowing the integration from the lowest levels and by using technologies for applicative cooperation. The applications distribution aims to strengthen the link between unemployed workers and companies, paying special attention to underprivileged categories (i.e. people who do not receive any kind of financial support or benefit).

The Province of Teramo has joined the LABOR project with a view to share and develop new management functionalities of active policies and territory governance, considered a valid tool to face the difficult economic recession that has recently affected Italy and all Western European countries.

The starting point has been the experience matured by the Province of Teramo from 2003 with the labour informative system FACILE, one of the first completely web-based systems to support all the front-office and back-office activities of the employment agencies, thus becoming a best practice example at a national level for its innovative content.

Through its re-use among the public administrations, FACILE has constituted the base for the realization of the Labour National System CO from the Labour Ministry, as well as of the Regional Node for the CO of the Region Abruzzo, besides different provincial SIL.

Policy Context

In the latest years Italy has elaborated concrete initiatives reform the employment services such as:

  • Transfer of responsibilities from the State to the Regions and Provinces.
  • Moving from a system overloaded with bureaucratic expenses (communication, certifications, lists creation and ranking management) to a system based on a large quantity of basic and specialist services, with special emphasis on active employment policies (information, orientation, training, matching selection and demand, support and advice to citizens and businesses, support for enterprises creation and local development, etc.)
  • Liberalization and access to private mediation between labour demand and supply (Interim market flexibility and work forms).
  • Starting forms of cooperation and integration between public, private and private sectors in delivering social services.

In fact, with the enactment of Decree 469/97 the actual transfer of powers and resources passed form the Ministry to  the Regions and the Provinces, and at the same time the creation of new skills can boost the task and the role of the Employment Centers, through an administrative simplification and a new classification and management of the labour market., this changing an overloaded  bureaucratic system into a more flexible and dynamic one able to provide a wide range of services.

In order to adapt to the reorganization of services for business, the province of Teramo has implemented a number of initiatives to computerize the employment related services. Managing this complexity has required integrated and standardized information and, for all the persons interacting with the system, the ability to properly exploit it with the support of an appropriate technology. The FACILE system, through an intuitive and simple web interface and a single, centralized database, has helped in the follow up of all the procedures required by law to work (Legislative Decree 297/02, Biagi Law No 30/2003 Decree. 276/03, Interdepartmental Decree 30/10/2007, etc.).

Approving the coordination of the action line  5 in the LABOR project, and thanks to further adjustments required by the SIL, the Province of Teramo has stressed on the importance of Provinces  centrality and of the Employment Centers in promoting active employment policies acting as a centralized system able to manage the direct knowledge of the area and its related issues; computer systems with advanced and renewable energy capacity are necessary to achieve the  expected results.

In this perspective the LABOR project is an opportunity for improvement and adaptability to the changing political and social implications of the territory and of the environment within which the provinces carry out their functions.

Description of target users and groups

The main actors of the project are:

  • re-using Provinces;
  • local authorities;
  • employment Centers;
  • citizens/users.

Participants provinces, which contributed with their experiences through the development of the software tools, reuse computer modules made available under the LABOR project, user-friedly libraries and interfaces both stand-alone or integrated into external applications, such as the provincial SIL.

Applications made under the project LABOR include, among the users, the territorial entities - municipalities, schools, training Institutions - the citizens, the employment centers of the Province of Teramoand more generally all the public and private entities operating in the labour market and using the Information System Work for official communications and information management on workers and businesses. Companies, employment counsellors and employment agencies, after concluding an agreement with the Provinces, can have access to the service via internet and can make on line transactions as required by the law, for example, those related to compulsory placement (L. 68/99), consultation of lists of unemployed citizens, or communications related to recruitment, extension, alteration and termination of employment contracts; also schools and training institutions having signed a specific agreement with the Provinces, interact with the provincial information system, using integrated modules to fulfil their commitments of territory governance.

The interaction with the communities can automatically update the SIL database and, therefore, the status of its users.

The municipal and provincial software interact via XMLor CSV files to export and import data on deaths and transfers.

The interaction with the entities providing training has enabled the creation of a training bulletin board, or education catalogue, which presents the training courses and the list of active members. The data are promptly prepared by SIL and integrated with data concerning the professional seniority.

It will be also possible to assist the citizen/user with the training management according to the dashboard report, the statistics and the graphs on impact, as much as to verify in real time the professional trend in the territory and to make elaborations based on data of previous years.

The access of citizens to the provincial FACILE system and to the new applications realized by  the use of  LABOR makes sure that their professional file is properly completed and that they can receive a competent assistance by the staff of the Employment Center to choose the more appropriate training according to their profile and their attitudes.

Description of the way to implement the initiative

The LABOR project purpose is to share experiences gained from the Province of Teramo, coordinator action line 5, through the development and optimization of its own Labour Information System focusing on the following application fields:

  • Data interoperability between the Province Information Systems and other Information System.
  • Support to "welfare to work": Labour Information System integrated application modules for matching job demands and offers, which gives indications to citizens and companies, and decision support for governmental actions.

The action line 5 of the LABOR project has been developed in 2 phases:

  1. Active politics actions.
  2. Territory governance.

In this way, the  Province of Teramo has promoted management and communication actions with other Provinces involved and with several  territorial institutions, with the aim to create a network that - starting from the provinces - would involve other institutions on the area (municipalities, schools, training institutions),and to promote an effective sharing of information at any level by using interoperability technologies.

At the same time the Province of Teramo has promoted initiatives to create applications able to support active government actions and, generally speaking, actions of welfare of work, to reduce the gap between unemployed citizens and companies by giving special attention to disadvantaged workers, i.e. people who would not receive any kind of state assistance.

The two phases, only apparently unrelated, gave the expected results:

  • Improvement of the services quality.
  • Unique entry point for data search.
  • Better services accessibility and territory distributed access.
  • Higher cooperation among the institutions involved in the  Labour Market.
  • Sharing of knowledge and improved collaboration among the Provinces taking part to the project.

The most complex phase of the project was the creation of a territorial institution network, which is still in progress, through agreements that will allow to solve problems such as the low level of data quality and the mismatch of information coming from different institutions, using automatic exchanges of data between institutions Information Systems. Furthermore, lack of communication among institutions can be overcome by optimizing information transfer workflow between provinces, municipalities, schools, training institutions and citizens/users.

The agreement system was chosen as a procedure to regulate collaboration in development of common interest activities and to build an outline of public interests with the contribution of all involved institutions.

The agreement scheme, approved by the Province of Teramo, set at the Art. 2 the commitment of Provincial Administrations, municipalities, training institutions to share data and information useful to succefsully complete the LABOR project. To reach this result the involved institutions will punctually supply the Province of Teramo with relevant data. In this context, the Province of Teramo has been providing a service available to all the municipalities through the access given to the town halls, based on an application module of the Province of Teramo's Labour Information System FACILE; with this system all information inherent working positions and professional summaries of resident citizens are available to municipalities, boosting the administrative burden and avoiding overcrowding of the Employment Centers.

Technology solution

Action line 5 coordinated by the Province of Teramo provides the activation of a series of actions aiming at the promotion of the governance through the strengthen of Labour Information Systems realizing software applications based on interoperability and in position to support Employment Centers active government actions.

Province of Teramo bet on the improvement of its Information System: FACILE.

FACILE is a web-oriented technologies software application (ASP pages, HTTP as data transfer protocol, Microsoft SQL Server database management system) with an easy to use, intuitive interface that allows managing features instantly. Taking advantages from web technologies, FACILE services are available to all users through a single installation in a central server farm based in a Province of Teramo building. Updates and upgrades does not affect users hardware or software infrastructure (Employment Centers, companies, temporary employment agencies). The application is available through a common Internet connection using a web browser. Interoperability with other institutions is granted by web services.

To accomplish the objective of the Labor project optimizing and enlarging supply of services to promote information exchange the following technologies have been used:

  • Web-based applications accessible via a common Internet browser.
  • Interoperability technologies for data exchange: XML, SOAP, Web Services, e-Government envelope.

1. Web-base applications

Web-based applications developed for the LABOR project uses a three-tier architecture with the following modules:

  • Presentation tier, implemented by a web browser.
  • Application tier that manages communication and application logic; it is composed by one (or more) web server and one (or more) application server.
  • Data tier, implemented by a RDBMS.

Components that manage logic application and data access are distributed in different domains according to a system federation model in which systems based on different technology platforms are connected in a network and exchange data through a common communication standard.

A web browser should be enough to grant the interaction with the system.

Web Server is the application front-end; users'browsers can access it through the standard protocol HTTP or HTTPS, starting a transaction that is processed by the application server.

Application Server should grant services to access standard network protocols as, for instance, HTTP and HTTPS and to relational databases, a LDAP directory and web services based on SOAP protocol.

Database server should grant data access services  through application interfaces independent from RDBMS query language. Application server routine asks Database server for the execution of SQL statement or stored procedures.

Considering the experiences gained from the Province of Teramo and reckoning pre-existent infrastructure for Information System of other Provinces, Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 has been chosen as a development technology.

Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 is platform agnostic and thus cross-platform compatible; it includes several features and environments specifically created for Internet, thus granting high reliability and security. It uses extensively concept of modularity of software components (Component Oriented Programming) as evolution of existent model COM (Component Object Model).

A virtual machine executes an assembly code called CIL (Common Intermediate Language). Furthermore, it's possible to:

  • Support the exchange of instances of types between programs written in any of the .NET languages(it is language independent).
  • API and operating systems services access on Microsoft Operating Systems.
  • Advanced interoperability features to create and manage web services through SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol).

2.Interoperability technologies

Interoperability between domains is essential to realize interconnection between public administrations and information exchange between systems structured in federated domains.

Interoperability takes place in a standard channel based on open standards (Web Services, XML and SOAP) that promote messages exchange between domains. Using the Public Interoperability System, every domain in the network communicates with others through an interface infrastructure component called "Porta di dominio" (domain port) that executes input barrier functions to authorize the access to network application resources and translates messages coming from other domains.

This component can perform Application Port functions to make services and data available to other domains or Delegate Port to request for data and services from other domains. Each Domain Port should cover security levels defined by CNIPA (National Centre for Information Technology in Public Administration)technical specifications, defined collaboration profiles and compliant to message format standards(e-Government envelope), verify received documents integrity and correspondent digital signature attached and finally check the source of electronic certificates.

The e-Government envelope is a logic and functional model to implement a message used to request or transfer information and data through the Public Connectivity System following interoperability paradigm.

Technology choice: Mainly (or only) open standards

Main results, benefits and impacts

Main results obtained in the execution of the LABOR project have been given by the integrated modules developed, that affect the following subjects:

  • Citizens.
  • Companies.
  • Institutions.

Development of web oriented applications and interoperability will give citizens the following advantages:

  • Improvement of the quality of the offered services -> better opportunities to get a job.
  • Unique entry point for data search.
  • Better services accessibility and territory distributed access: completely web-based architecture grant services access to each client with a standard Internet browser.
  • Set-up, maintenance, upgrade costs are irrelevant.
  • User-friendly web interfaces.

In the same way, institutions will benefit of the following advantages:

  • Continuous connection easily usable from all system users.
  • Reception of a constant information flow that allows monitoring the labour market with real data.
  • Quality, efficiency and effectiveness oriented services.
  • Overcome the regional and provincial barrier in order to create a single view of the labour market facilitating citizen mobility and increasing job opportunities.

Web based technologies grant to companies:

  • Distributed access on territory: completely web-based architecture grant services access to each client with a standard Internet browser.
  • Set-up, maintenance, upgrade costs are almost null.
  • Easy to use web interfaces.

Most significant results concerns the institutions that, with the creation of a network of subjects involved in the Labour Market, take advantage from data exchange to create a new, better welfare management and consolidation of local economic industry. "Make network" mean knowing the territory and promoting governance, essential requirement to understand demands and give the right answers.

Line of action number 5 of LABOR project allowed the development of innovative applications for of territory and support to active government actions. Two main features of such applications are: scientific-technologic and applicative. Considering scientific-technological feature, innovation is implemented by integrating in existent systems using web technologies and distributing capillary services on territory centralizing and structuring data.

Applications and applicative support will allow creating an integrated monitoring and evaluation system supplied by involved institutions to strengthen and optimize the activities of the Employment Centers. Results will allow to have a comprehensive, flexible system that operates either in the analysis stage (monitoring) and active government actions, focusing results with subjects that allow to calibrate actions of Labour politic, from training to guidance, in an uniform way.

The main benefits of the project can be outlined in the following list:

  • Optimization of exchange of information between involved institutions.
  • Definition of a reliable model to estimate the human capital within the whole labour market system, focusing on disadvantaged categories. Specifically, the human capital analysis could be focused on, dependency relationships, from education to professional career, finding out implications on regional government actions on the labour market, professional re-development, companies organization models.
  • Database alignment and synchronization through the creation of a knowledge base coming from the integration of different data sources analyzed to define key indicators to support decisions and to define responses.
  • Paperwork burden reduction.

Reduction of the citizens personal data duplication due to multiple institutional sources.

Return on investment

Return on investment: Not applicable / Not available

Track record of sharing

The main innovation introduced by the Labor project is the interaction among the different administrations. The first score of the described activities is the empowerment of the Province of Teramo as a main actor leading the local labour market governance throughout the project and the coordination of labour service network, but also supplying more accurate on line services. These services are supplied through an open and spread architecture, based on

  • the re-use of software among public administrations.
  • Interoperability among different applications.
  • Use of classification standard among all different subjects belonging to the labour service network.

Labor has all the potentials for the realization of an effective management, monitoring and forecasting tool of the labour market and it has been taken as a good practice example to apply to other public administration sectors.

The experiences acquired by the Province of Teramo for the project realization has been shared with other provinces and territorial organizations to cut administrative costs.

The Province of Teramo has signed  a  bilateral agreements to ri-use the software developed with other public administration involved in the Labor project. Every subscriber has received personal log in credentials and can use the Labor application.. Public administration subscribers are:

  1. Provinces: Ascoli Piceno, Avellino, Benevento,Campobasso, Chieti, Cosenza,Crotone, Frosinone, Matera, Potenza, Rieti, Viterbo, Lecce, Pisa, Sassari, Carbonia, Nuoro, Oristano, Padova,Pesaro/Urbino, Prato, Olbia/Tempio.
  2. Local public institutions:
  • 30 Training Center.
  • 19 High Schools.
  • 47Municipalities.

The project has been, moreover, subject of seminars, technical studies and meetings with Provinces, Municipalities, Schools, Training Centers, trade unions and more generally with all the main actors of the labour market.

Lessons learnt

The main aim of the Labour project was the development of the FACILE province system through the realization of a software based on interoperability and able to technically support an active labour policy; the obtained results allow us to state that the system:

  • Constitutes a good informatics support for the operators of the employment centres and allows facilitating and speeding up all the administrative activities.
  • It provides services aiming to prevent the unemployment, with a special attention to the population at risk.
  • Promotes and eases on line services for citizens, companies, schools, training boards, it reduces the involvement of human resources in the offices and the paper work, saving time and cutting the costs.
  • Allows decentralizing the services offered by the Province through the opening of decentralized communal front offices.
  • Offers the users highest security user friendliness and easy accessibility.
  • It is based on a unique and centralized data base.
  • It allows the data exchange with the National Labour Exchange office, INPS, INAIL, Labour Ministry andinteracts with other informatics systems of other provinces and regions.
  • It allows to monitor the labour market and to plan proper responses.
  • It creates a virtual community among the subjects involved in the management of the labour market, facilitating the communication and the cooperation among the parts.

The activities of action line five, based on experiences matured by the attending provincial administrations, who have developed new informatics modules and integrated them with those provided by  the Labour Ministry - allows  the administrations to repeat what already realized by the Province of Teramo:

  • the creation of a network involving the provinces, and other territorial Institutions (municipalities, schools,training boards) and an efficient sharing of information;
  • the diffusion of applications able to act as a central point the unemployed citizens and the companies, with focus on the disadvantages workers, who do not receive state support.

The applied methodology will combine social, labour and local development policies with the support of a technological platform, with the aim to promote and develop the occupation.

Scope: Local (city or municipality), National, Regional (sub-national)