The current CPSV-AP model foresees a mandatory identifier for the class ‘Public Service’. However, the present text is not very informative concerning the nature of such identifier, since it just says “This property represents a formally-issued Identifier of the Public Service”. To understand what the identifier is supposed to identify, the only possibility is to look at the present definition:
“A Public Service is a mandatory or discretionary set of acts performed, or able to be performed, by or on behalf of a public organisation. Services may be for the benefit of an individual, a business, or other public authority, or groups of any of them.”
Unfortunately, this definition leaves open whether the single acts belonging to the set that characterises a public service concern a single service provision, for the benefit of a single customer, or rather a single service offering, addressed to multiple customers. Consider for instance a public nursery service: each service provision addressed to a parent or a family consists of a sequence of acts performed by a public organisation for the benefit of an individual, or a group of individuals (the family). In this case, a plausible service identifier may be the registration number formally issued once the nursery request is processed.
On the other hand, a single service provision is probably not the kind of ‘Public service’ we have in mind: indeed, especially from the point of view of a service catalog, what we need is being able to list public services described by a single service offering, addressed to multiple customers. Again, each of such services may be seen as a (large) set of acts performed by a public organisation for the benefit of an individual, with the difference that, in this case, acts belonging to different individual provisions may be part of the same service, whose identifier should be somehow attached to the service offering.
How to solve this ambiguity concerning service identifiers? A document analysing this issue and proposing a conservative solution is attached.
[Note: this issue is a radical reformulation of a similar issue raised in June, which has been deeply revised in order to find a solution with a minimal impact on the present scheme]