NIF: National ICT Interoperability Framework



Republic of Malta


Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA)

Short Description

In essence the National ICT Interoperability Framework (NIF) intention is to guide the public sector in maximising the benefits and reducing the cost burden derived from all technology investments by introducing ICT resources that are flexible, reusable and interoperable.

The NIF is driven by the following objectives depicting the desired state of play of interoperable Public services:

1.    Shared and reusable ICT assets owned by the Public Sector are discoverable and can be used by Public services with minimal effort;

2.    Public services are deployed on a flexible architecture centred on business needs and provided through standardised approaches and capabilities so as to reduce dependencies on specific vendors, technologies and practices. In turn this promotes:

-         a level playing field so that multiple vendors can fairly compete on the feature set and performance levels of their products;

-         a wider selection during the acquisition process which may allow for improved business continuity and exit strategy scenarios whilst keeping in view of the required performance levels and functional capabilities;

-         the ability to take advantage of pre-established international best practices that have already been applied by other EU Member States; 

3.    Public services mediate business processes by offering user-centric and one-stop shop services;

4.    Inter-connectivity and information sharing between solution constituents, Public services and EU-wide implementations is transparent, secure and trustworthy;

5.    Citizens can, at any point in time, request and make use of public information.

It is structured as follows:

Chapter 1: Introduces the purpose, objectives and key principles for the NIF, and defines the main definitions used throughout;

Chapter 2: Draws a conceptual model of an Interoperability Architecture that identifies key interoperability agreements across the public sector to reduce the interoperability gap in a connected Government paradigm. This chapter sets the scene for more in depth organisational (business processes), data (semantic) and technical discussions in the next chapters;

Chapter 3: Presents a number of organisational interoperability principles and recommends service attributes which contribute in designing interoperable business processes;

Chapter 4: Introduces concepts of semantic interoperability and identifies steps towards the standardisation of Government’s data assets in this context. This includes the relevant consideration for evolving data into meaningful and reusable information;

External links and documents

The NIF (document):

The NIF (MITA webpage):


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