Digitaliza-T encourages innovation and interdepartmental interoperability in the Spanish public sector (¡Digitalíza-t!)

Digitaliza-T intends to help public administrations comply with Spain’s digital administration policies. Digitaliza-T is primarily a guide and a catalogue of shared resources (portals, applications and backends) that allow local authorities to start providing electronic services to citizens and comply with current legislation with as little overhead as possible.

Policy Context

Some areas within Spain have often been slow to update and move services online across all departments and regions. Rural and underfunded areas have been especially slow in this respect, due to lack of resources.

In other cases, regional public administrations have suffered from fragmentation across different departments where digital services are concerned. Regional governments and municipalities have often developed and implemented software solutions that are incompatible with those of other regions, or even the central government, leading to a proliferation of non-interoperable solutions.

This has hindered the development of efficient, unified public-facing services, and has often led to cumbersome proceedings, redundant requirements, and slow responses. Together, these problems inconvenience citizens wishing to interact with the administration electronically.

The Digitaliza-T guide intends to help public administrations to comply with laws 39/2015 and 40/2015, both published on October 1, 2015. Law 39/2015 covers the Common Administrative Procedure of Public Administrations, that is, the procedures public administrations are required to follow when serving citizens and processing their data.

Law 40/2015 covers​ the legal regime under which the public sector operates. It details how different public administrations should interact with each other, and how information and citizens’ data should be safeguarded and relayed securely between different departments or organisations.

Both laws lay out in detail how electronic transactions should be handled between citizens and the public administration, and between different organisations within the Spanish public sector.

Digitaliza-T offers public organisations a practical guide that allows them to check whether they are in compliance. If they are not, it gives them the resources to quickly satisfy both the needs of the citizens and the requirements laid out in the two laws referred to above.

Description of target users and groups

Digitaliza-T is targeted at managers, CIOs, technical staff and civil servants of public administration organisations that have yet to implement all or part the technological framework for electronic services and interoperability infrastructures for the transfer of information.

Description of the way to implement the initiative

The Digitaliza-T guide comes in the form of an interactive PDF with a live clickable index and clickable links to external resources. It details the catalogue of applications that public entities (regional governments, town halls, etc.) can use or interface to.

The Digitaliza-T guide provides descriptions, examples, and links to the following resources:

  • Punto de Acceso General (General Access Point) is a portal that serves as a single entry point for citizens who need to access public services on the Internet. Nearly all the user-facing services described in the guide can be accessed from here.
  • Carpeta Ciudadana (Citizen’s Folder) is a one-stop service where a user can access and browse all the information the administration possesses about him or her, including open proceedings and registry entries, across all public organisations. A user can, for example, check the state of their tax returns or find out whether they have any pending traffic fines.
  • Cl@ve (“Key”) is a system that unifies the identification and authentication methods used to access electronic services from public administrations. You can read more about Cl@ve in our case study posted here.
  • @podera (“@uthorise”) is an online electronic registry for powers of attorney and other forms of representation. It allows citizens to authorise third parties to act in their name, online or offline, in public administrative proceedings.
  • Habilit@ ("En@ble") is a registry of civil servants with authority to issue certified copies of documents and present requests online on behalf of users who are not required to do so personally.
  • Geiser, Orve and SIR are the three applications that allow public organisations to enable an online registry. Geiser is an integrated solution that allows any organisation to implement a cloud-based registry office to store and process documents and registry entries. ORVE (Oficina de Registro Virtual – Virtual Registry Office) is a cloud-based application that allows bricks-and-mortar registry offices to digitise and upload users’ documentation to the online Geiser registry. SIR (Sistema de Interconexión de Registros – Registry Interconnection System) is the transport layer that ensures documents and registry entries are transferred securely in an interoperable format.
  • InSide and Archive are two application used for electronic processing of official documentation. InSide is a document management system for documentation that is currently being processed. InSide, which complies with Spain’s National Scheme for Interoperability, is the first stop before proceedings are completed and the documentation is archived. Archive, on the other hand, is a web application that serves as a front end to the final storage of documentation in the administration’s cloud.
  • The Data Intermediary Platform is a framework that allows public administration organisations to exchange user data with one another. This frees users from the need to present the same data twice to two different departments or organisations. If a user has already presented data to one organisation, another organisation will be able to access it through the platform.
  • The Notific@ ("Notify") platform receives notifications from the sending organisations and delivers them to the user via her Carpeta Ciudadana.
  • SIA or Sistema de Información Administrativa (Administrative Information System) is an application that provides a catalogue of information on administrative affairs, including both internal proceedings and services used by citizens. SIA allows authorised civil servants to look up, initiate and cancel proceedings and services; manage users; generate reports; export data in PDF or spreadsheet formats; and manage organisational changes.
  • The Centro de Transferencia de Tecnología (Centre for Technological Transfer) is a portal where users or organisations can download the software solutions developed within public sector organisations. The aim of this repository is to encourage reuse of existing software. More about this repository below.

Technology solution

Technology choice: Standards-based technology

Main results, benefits and impacts

Although there are still no figures on Digitaliza-T’s impact, the Guide does include data on the progress of most of the tools and services it covers. For instance, the Punto de Acceso General – the single entry point and hub for many other user-accessible services – started in 2014 and had reached three million visitors as of 2015.

Carpeta Ciudadana, probably the most used of all the services on offer, was accessed over 10,000 times between its initial deployment at the end of February 2016 and June 2016, despite the fact that it had not been publicised.

Growth of Carpeta Ciudadana.

Cl@ve, the unified identification and authentication system, started in 2014 and now has more than three million users.

Growth of Cl@ve

In general, all the services have grown across the board, proving that there was a need for such services and applications even before the guide was published.

Track record of sharing

The Centro de Transferencia de Tecnología, as explained above, is a repository for all the software designed and developed by the public administration, including the frameworks and applications described in Digitaliza-T. The repository contains compiled and source code versions of the software, descriptions, handbooks, specifications, and regulations controlling the use of the software.

This repository exists to encourage public administrations to reuse existing solutions and share their own solutions. Another important aim is to ensure compliance with legislation laid out in Law 40/2015, which requires public administrations to share the software they develop and ensure that it is interoperable with other solutions with associated functionalities.

The portal also has links to a GitHub repository for organisations that wish to build a developer community around the solutions they store in the Centro de Transferencia.

The repository currently contains around 350 projects, and links to approximately another 250 from other sources. Most of the software stored in the repositories is distributed under free licenses, EUPL being the preferred choice.

Lessons learnt

In many ways, the Digitaliza-T guide is itself the result of lessons learnt. As mentioned above, for many years, regional and local governments in Spain developed their own solutions to cater for citizens’ demands to interact electronically with the public administration.

Short-term solutions, however, later became long-term problems when each administration developed portals, applications and back-ends that were incompatible with those of other regions or with those of the central government.

The Digitaliza-T guide not only aims to equip public administrations lacking services required by the new legislation, but also requires different public administrations to standardise their procedures to resolve this fragmentation.

Scope: National


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