What are the benefits of fostering interoperability within the country?
For Spain, interoperability plays a key role in ensuring that the obligations of public administrations met in the provision of digital public services accessible to all in an effective and efficient manner are met. The country has achieved a high level of cooperation among public administrations, citizens and businesses, which is essential for providing quality services and a pre-requisite for interoperability. This effort focuses on the interaction between the national legal framework and the governance of public administrations in order to build consensus on interoperability and reusable services.
How is interoperability concretely fostered in the frame of this concrete example/good practice?
Interoperability is fostered in Spain thanks to the result of a national commitment in alignment with European initiatives and policies. In this respect, the National Interoperability Framework of Spain (ENI) has been developed in line with the EIF, which was the reference for defining the principles, layers and conceptual model of interoperability. This is not a novel development. In fact, Spain had already aligned its previous ENI with the first version of the EIF and contributed to drafting the new EIF.
What are the measures put in place to ensure compliance with the EIF?
To ensure compliance of the ENI with the EIF, Spain implemented a gap analysis based on a traffic light system. The system shows the principles and recommendations that are aligned between the two frameworks in green, and the missing aspects, such as actions to be implemented and/or topics that deserve special attention in yellow or red.
What type of ISA² solutions or CEF building blocks have been reused or leveraged to implement this concrete example/good practice?
The main concrete solutions developed and implemented by Spain related to ISA actions and developed in line with the EIF are highlighted below:
- Data intermediation platform (PID): is a horizontal service that enables the "once only" principle. It simplifies administrative procedures, so that citizens or businesses do not have to deliver data or documents already held by public authorities, and to reduce fraud in applications and related procedures. (ISA2 Key and generic interoperability enablers)
- Interconnection Registry System (SIR) interconnects traditional face-to-face registry offices and electronic registries of different public administrations. The exchange of registry entries is based on a standard (SICRES 3.0) developed under the National Interoperability Framework (ISA2 Data Exchange)
- Administrative Information System (SIA) The SIA acts as a repository of information on administrative procedures and electronic services for public administration bodies (ISA2 Key and generic interoperability enablers).
- DIR3: The Common Directory (DIR3) is conceived as a repository of information on the organisational structure of public administration and its customer offices. It is a catalogue of public administration administrative units and bodies, administrative registry offices and citizen services offices (ISA2 Key and generic interoperability enablers).
- InSide and ARCHIVE produced a solution package to enable the management and archiving of electronic documents and files by Spanish public administrations. InSide is a system for managing electronic documents and electronic files that meet requirements so that they can be stored and retrieved according to the NIF. This solution allows for the management of live documents and files, prior to their final archiving in an interoperable format and permanent way. InSide acts as a point to allow the exchange of electronic documents between any units of any public administration in Spain. (ISA2 Key and generic interoperability enablers – interoperability agreements on electronic document and electronic file).
ARCHIVE is a web application for archiving documents and electronic files. ARCHIVE provides the following functionalities:
- Archive management;
- Management of different archive centres;
- Management of metadata according to the specifications of the interoperability standards of the NIF;
- Management of electronic files;
- Transfer of electronic files between archives;
- Resealing and massive conversion of electronic documents.
- Electronic Document (Documento ENI): Spain has the Resolution of 19 July 2011, of the Secretary of State for Public Function, which approves the Technical Standard for the interoperability of the Electronic Document. This resolution establishes the components of the electronic document, content, where appropriate, electronic signature and metadata, as well as the structure and format for its exchange (ISA2 Key and generic interoperability enablers – interoperability agreements on electronic document and electronic file).
- Electronic Archive: Makes it possible to store by electronic means all the documents used in administrative actions. These electronic archives, designed to cover the entire life cycle of electronic documents, are complementary to and equivalent to conventional archives. (ISA2 Key and generic interoperability enablers – interoperability agreements on electronic document and electronic file).
- What challenges emerged during the implementation of this concrete example/good practice? How did you overcome them?
Law 39/2015 of 1 October 2015, on the Public Administration Common Administrative Procedure, and Law 40/2015 of 1 October 2015 on the Legal Regime for the Public Sector were published with the goal of reforming the functioning of the government and implementing a fully electronic, interconnected, transparent administration with a clear and simple structure.
Main challenges emerged during the implementation are:
- A clear roadmap: The Spanish government has taken the first steps to achieve the digitisation of public administration with the creation of the Secretary of State for Digitisation and Artificial Intelligence and the Secretary of State for Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructures.
The Secretary of State for Digitisation and Artificial Intelligence aims to promote the digital transformation of society, in order to achieve a prosperous, safe, reliable, inclusive growth that respects the rights of citizens, as well as the digital transformation of public administrations through the General Secretary for Digital Administration.
Law 40/2015 regulates the implementation of the obligations set by the Spanish NIF and the Spanish Security Framework. One of the key functions of the "Sectorial Commission of Electronic Administration" is ensuring interoperability and cooperation in the delivery of public services. The General Secretary of Digital Administration chairs the commission, as well as it represents the national level and provides the link with the scope of the European Union in this context. Furthermore, the General State Administration has a governance structure with the participation of all ministries. The IT Strategy Commission is the main Committee and it is chaired by the Minister of Territorial Policy and Public Function. Also there are forums for public-private cooperation, open to the participation of society, that allow the management of complex issues for digital transformation with multiple stakeholders, under the leadership of the Public Administration. The General Secretary of Digital Administration, plays a key role in all the cooperation and governance structures.
Article 8 of Royal Decree 403/2020 includes the detailed functions and organisation of the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State fulfils the functions of promoting and regulating digital services and the digital economy and society, engaging in dialogue with the professional, industrial and academic sectors, encouraging the digitisation of the public sector, as well as coordinating and cooperating with ministries and other public administrations on these matters. In also fulfils the functions of Chief Data officer.
- More staff specialized in digitization – Digital skills: The lack of staff specialized in digitisation is a major barrier to developing eGovernment more efficiently. It is necessary to invest in training to help employees use these new digital tools.
The plan for Digital Skills was presented in January 2021 within the framework of the Digital Spain 2025 strategy. It develops components 19, 20 and 21 of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan and aims to achieve a level of digital training among Spanish citizens and workers, as a way to reduce unemployment by creating high-quality jobs while improving productivity, competitiveness and reducing social, geographical, and gender gaps, with a public investment of EUR 3 750 millions.
- Adoption of emerging technologies: there are currently numerous technologies that could help make public administration more agile, more intuitive and more useful for the user. Tools such as Artificial Intelligence could help automate certain tasks; thanks to biometrics or blockchain, it would be possible for users to identify themselves quickly and securely without the need for passwords that can be hacked or lost, or to commit to the use of the cloud to streamline administrative processes. The administration should also propose the necessary mechanisms and create specific teams to analyze the possible applications of this type of technology in administrative processes and the best ways to implement them.
- Improving the user experience: this is perhaps the most important aspect to take into account when tackling the digital transformation of the administration, at least from the point of view of what "digital bureaucracy" means for users. The citizen must be at the centre of the strategy, just as a customer is at the centre of a company. In this sense, the incorporation of digital natives as users of digital government is a challenge, as they are a generation accustomed to the immediacy and agility of other online services. Public administrations should invest in creating a unified experience that does not vary too much in interfaces or requirements from one autonomous community or institution to another, with the aim of facilitating procedures.
The modernisation of Public Administrations must involve and include citizens to use e-Government or e-Administration.
- What are the success factors of this concrete example/good practice?
The most important success factors in promoting interoperability in the country are the following:
- The continued effort to maintain momentum at the national level;
- The collective commitment of the different stakeholders; and
- The alignment with the EIF.
What are the key lessons learnt from this concrete example/good practice?
The examples and actions described in the previous points are part of the Plan Digital Spain 2025 and the Public Administration Digitisation Plan 2021-2025. The lesson learnt is that the benefits of the digital transition must reach the overall society. Digitisation reduces the digital gap between territories (especially rural and urban areas), reinforced the attractiveness of the Spain’s business, work and investment landscape, ease the transformation towards a data-base economy and ensures citizen’s rights in a digital area (strong data protection guarantees). Deploy leading digitisation projects in, for example, the areas of Health, Justice or Employment is one of the tree lines of action of the Public Administration Digitisation Plan 2021-2025.
Solutions developed makes it easier for citizens and companies to access the information and digital public services of the General State Administration, avoids the dispersion of information and reduces barriers to the consultation of information and the use of services, as well as promotes the efficiency of public administrations.
How did the implementation of this concrete example/good practice impact the level of interoperability in your country? Please provide concrete instances.
- Data intermediation platform (PID): With this interoperable data exchange platform, there has been a spectacular growth in the number and types of data enquiry and verification services that can be automatically accessed online by public authorities, including: unemployment situation and grants, cadastral information, checking of the fulfilment of tax and social security obligations, Civil Registry, etc. With an annual growth of data transmission above 20%, the service enables all public administrations, irrespective of their size or resources, to enforce the law and makes a significant contribution to social equity, reduction of administrative burden and to adequate, sustainable efficiency and effectiveness. Citizens can see their data exchanges through the one-stop-shop service called "Citizen's folder" thus providing transparency.
According to DATAOBSARE (eGovernment Observatory) actions related to Citizen’s folder has increased more than 60% since last year.
- Interconnection Registry System (SIR): In 2020, a total of nearly 11 million record exchanges between public administrations were registered, a 67% increase compared to 2019.
- Administrative Information System (SIA): The implementation of SIA made possible to have a single catalogue of information on administrative procedures, including administrative procedures and services for citizens. SIA serves two important objectives: firstly, being the repository of information means reinforcing legal certainty in the administration's actions, insofar as it incorporates the fundamental information on the different procedures.
Secondly, it meets the basic principles of effectiveness and efficiency, it aims to become a necessary tool for the provision of information and integrated services.
This objective is concretely embodied in the General Access Point (PAG), where information on the procedures of the Public Administrations is published. The General Access Point (PAG: http://administracion.gob.es) is the Spanish single point of contact of citizens and business with the public administration that acts as an Internet gateway to public services and information. PAG guides citizens in their relationships with the public administrations by offering the information and the services at their disposal from the perspective of life events and citizen needs. PAG fosters the use of online services through a classification and ordering by subject from a citizen perspective. Availability of mailboxes of suggestions and opinions, social media channels and other feedback mechanisms encourage the participation of users in the improvement of digital administration. PAG facilitates the communication of citizens and businesses with Public Administrations, the access to government information, the possibility of doing paperwork and knowing at any time the state of processing of their cases in accordance with Law 39/2015. Eugo.es is the Spanish single point of contact for business according to the EU framework.
According to DATAOBSARE (eGovernment Observatory) actions related to SIA has increased more than 7% last year and actions related to PAG has increased more than 45%.
- DIR3: The Common Directory (DIR3): The Common Directory provides a unified and common Inventory to the whole Administration of the organic units / public bodies, their associated offices and economic-budgetary management units, facilitating the distributed and co-responsible maintenance of the information. In order for FACe (General Entry Point for Electronic Invoices of the AGE) to be able to properly redirect invoices to the corresponding body, it is necessary for the administration to have their units registered in DIR3.
During 2020, around 12 million invoices for public administrations have been presented at FACe.
- InSide: InSide acts as a point to allow the exchange of electronic documents between any units of any administration body in Spain. The number of public bodies that use INSIDE increased from 1.371 to 1.703 during 2019.
- ARCHIVE provides the necessary tools for the creation by a super-administrator of a multi-departmental Archive Centre administration and management system, as well as the integration into Archive of the corresponding consumer applications and the management of the documents and electronic files submitted by them. The advantages of having a document management system:
- Digitisation of documents
- Central location
- Improve workflow
- Document sharing
- Document collaboration
- Version control.
- Electronic Document (Documento ENI): The Spanish NIF (ENI) enshrines interoperability across the public sector, from technical rules to tools for interoperability, also covering infrastructures and common services, reuse, recovery and preservation of electronic documents, and electronic signature. Spain has an Electronic Document NTI that establishes the minimum technical conditions necessary to enable the necessary to enable a standardised exchange of electronic documents.
As an example of the state of implementation of the electronic document, during the last year (according to the DATAOBSARE) there was a 200% increase in the number of electronic signatures made with centralised certificates (Cl@veFirma).
- The electronic archive is the fundamental element for the existence of the electronic document. In the archive, documents, management and personnel coincide. Without the electronic repository, document management is not possible, nor will the preservation of electronic documents and records be viable.
According to DATAOBSARE (eGovernment Observatory) actions related to e-register has increased more than 200% last year.
How it supports the implementation of the EIF recommendation(s)?
Principle 1 Subsidiarity and proportionality – Recommendation 1
The approach of Spain helps to define the overall state-of play of the country and provides policy makers with detailed information when defining the way forward for the country. In particular, it supports the implementation of Principle 1 of subsidiarity and proportionality of the EIF by ensuring that the NIF is aligned with the EIF and, if necessary, that refinements are made to the NIF to take into account the national context and needs.
The ISA solutions (classified by package) used by Spain for the development and implementation of measures and solutions to ensure compliance with the EIF are as follows ( https://ec.europa.eu/isa2/solutions_en):
Key and generic interoperability enablers:
- CPSV-AP: Spain participates with Portugal in piloting a federated catalogue of public services.
- E-Documents Reference Architecture: Spain promoted this solution and is following its evolution.
- TESTA: The Government of Spain signed the MoU with the European Commission. References, among others TESTA-SARA interconnection agreement.
- DCAT-AP: Open data initiatives in Spain use this vocabulary for interoperability purposes and the national portal, datos.gob.es, is actively participating in the dissemination of the contents and resources created to facilitate the implementation of DCAT-AP.
- Core Vocabularies: The Point of Single Contact as part of the EUGO network.
- ADMS: Implemented by CTT for the federation with JOINUP.
- Re3gistry: Used by the Spanish INSIPE Registry and the Cartographic and Geological Institute of Catalonia since 2016
e-Procurement / e-Invoicing:
- European Single Procurement Document (ESPD): ESPD for affidavits and also it is used by the Official Registry of Classified Tenderes and Companies for the public Sector (ROLECE).
- e-Certis: Castilla y Leon (Autonomous Community), Universities of Barcelona and Zaragoza.
Decision making and legislation:
- European Legislation Identifier (ELI): Implemented by Spanish Official Legislative Gazettes & Journals.
- LEOS: The Spanish Ministry of Presidency is studying the adaptation of LEOS to the particularities in Spain.
Supporting instrument for public administrations:
- EIRA: Piot of application of EIRA done with Carpeta Ciudadana
- Joinup: The Centro de Transferencia de Tecnología (CTT) and the Open Data Portal datos.gob.es are part of Joinup's collaborators network.
- NIFO: Since 2015, Spain is member of the NIFO community.
- EUPL: The NIF (ENI) recommends its priority use in the public sector and most of the reusable solutions offered by CTT and by other similar Spanish repositories are released under this licence. Some references: Spanish Electronic folder specification in CTT, INSIDE under EUPL, ARCHIVE under EUPL.
- EUSurvey: Used for collecting data from Spanish Public Administrations in order to elaborate reports on the evolution of Digital Administration in Spain (IRIA and CAE reports).
- CAMSS: The current CAMSS solution has been used by Spain for the assessment of the specification SHACL.
- OpenPM2: Association of Professional Project Managers (APGP)
- CIRCABC: Website hosted by the Ministry of Territorial Policy and Public Function for collaborative work of Committees and working groups. Spanish Centre of Communication and Information Resources for Citizens, Business and Administrations (Spanish CIRCABC). CTT Information sheet on Spanish CIRCABC (CIRCABC on CTT).
For the development of the pilots, resources and services of the Data Intermediation Platform (PID) are used, in addition to the SARA/TESTA network, the Cl@ve platform, the eIDAS node and the Citizens’ Folder. PID is related to ISA2 Key and generic interoperability enablers – Access to base registries and CPSV-AP.
The PID is compliant with the Data Mediation Protocol (SCSP), which is one of the NIF Technical Interoperability Standards. This specification applies to every web service provided by a Spanish intermediation platform and it has a common part along with a specific part defined by each base registry competent authority. The specific part establishes the specification of specific data to be exchanged and it is published in the Centre of Semantic Interoperability.
The Interconnection Registry System (SIR) interconnects traditional face-to-face registry offices and electronic registries of different public administration bodies. The exchange of registry entries is based on a standard (SICRES 3.0) developed under the National Interoperability Framework. Related Resources SICRES 3.0, CIR, ORVE, GEISER, REC.
SIA and DIR3 are related to ISA2 Key and generic interoperability enablers – Catalogue of services and solutions (CPSV-AP). According to the Spanish NIF and the Law 40/2015 on the Legal Regime of the Public Sector, every Spanish Administration has to publish their administrative procedure in the national Catalogue of Public Services (SIA) and their public units and organizations in the national Directory of Public Organizations (DIR3), as well as their reusable solutions in the national Technology Transfer Center (CTT) (https://administracionelectronica.gob.es/ctt).
InSide, ARCHIVE, electronic document and electronic archive are related to ISA2 Key and generic interoperability enablers – Interoperability agreements on electronics document and electronic file and also Supporting Instrument for Public Administration -EUPL.
How did the solution(s) contribute to the implementation of the concrete example/good practice?
The solutions used aim to promote the ICT-based modernisation of the public sector in Spain and to facilitate addressing the needs of businesses and citizens for cross-border and cross-sector digital public services via improved interoperability of European public administrations.
As an example, the Red SARA network, managed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, is Spain's government intranet. It interconnects all ministries, all autonomous communities (17) and autonomous cities (two), as well as over 4 000 local entities representing more than 90% of the Spanish population. The goals of Red SARA are to increase collaboration and interoperability among the information systems at the various levels of government. The network is designed with the latest VPLS (Virtual Private LAN Services) technology, thus providing high-capacity data transmission. It is also connected with the European TESTA network.
Spain uses the Trans European Services for Telematics between Administrations (TESTA) network as the main cross border infrastructure to communicate digitally among the EU agencies, institutions and Member States
What are the relevant components of the solution(s) reused in this concrete example/good practice?
Spain considers as a priority the reuse of elements that already exist both at European and national level and, when necessary, the development of new ones.
A relevant area within the eGovernment Portal is the Centre for Technology Transfer (CTT). It publishes a comprehensive directory of reusable applications and solutions to encourage the implementation of eGovernment at all administrative levels. CTT, for their part, is automatically federated with JOINUP by the implementation of the European standard ADMS.
The catalogue of eGovernment services offered by the General Secretary for Digital Administration is included in the website and describes the common services and infrastructures offered to public administrations (https://administracionelectronica.gob.es/ctt). This Catalogue is part of the effort to introduce rationality and economies of scale taking advantage of infrastructures and technological resources.
What was the impact of reusing this solution(s)?
Reusing solutions enables:
- Create a common repository of software and services for reuse in Public Administrations.
- Create a common knowledge base on the various technical solutions (regulations, services, semantic assets, infrastructure, developments, etc.) in the field of eGovernment.
- Create a space where experiences can be shared and cooperation in the field of eGovernment can take place.
- Enable public administrations, businesses and citizens in Europe to benefit from interoperable cross-border and cross-sector public services.
The General State Administration offers reusable services to all Public Administrations as a cloud service or as open source software, mostly in both ways in order to allow final users to choose the one that better fits in their organizations. Cloud technology is especially helpful because it enables the digital transformation of local entities and small entities with a minimum in investment in in-house IT resources. The reuse of eServices provided by CTT has allowed the Spanish public sector to invest more efficiently in IT developments.
Relevant related websites and documentation
For further information, you could consult:
PAe – National Interoperabiity – ENI – Portal de Administracion