Lithuania's State Information Resources Interoperability Platform (SIRIP)
The Republic of Lithuania's State Information Resources Interoperability Platform (SIRIP) provides centralised access to public services. The platform offers an easy way for public authorities to design, manage and deliver e-services through the eGovernment Gateway. The emergence of cloud computing and the results of a 2010 audit triggered the need for the development of innovative SIRIP functionalities. In response to this need, the Information Society Development Committee under the Ministry of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Lithuania set up the project ‘Development of the Interoperability (interface) system safety and functionality of the Information Systems of Public administration institutions’. This project aimed at expanding SIRIP functionality, enabling all public and administrative service providers and users to use them in a secure environment. The project also aimed at improving the architecture.
The operational team is composed of six people from the Information Society Development Committee under the Ministry of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Lithuania. Some activities are outsourced: to four people for project maintenance and to approximately 30 people in the solution development team from the IT Company that is delivering the solution.
The SIRIP is part of the legal framework covered by the Law on the Management of Government Information Resources.
The SIRIP development project is funded by the EU. Maintenance is funded by the Lithuanian state.
Description of target users and groups
Target users are public authorities (as eService providers and SIRIP service users), citizens and business entities (as eService users).
Description of the way to implement the initiative
The project aims at enhancing SIRIP functionality, making the system more attractive for use by public administrations providing eServices and users of these eServices.
eService design is carried out using the SIRIP tools, which include forms, data structures, processes and an integration interface. The system now also provides eService monitoring, auditing and administration functions. Simplified contracting procedures and service level management also streamline and clarify usage of the platform.
Data exchange among public authorities is centralised and secured by an enterprise service bus. The system additionally provides national and cross-border identification and authentication for citizens, business entities and civil servants. It supports online payment both directly and via a payment broker.
A new dedicated cloud environment provides backup of databases, dedicated and virtual servers, a testing environment and centralised document and web content management systems as well as other systems. Currently, over 2500 out of 3500 institutions have no access to a document management system. SIRIP’s new solution offers a centralised eDMS which is expected to trigger the use of eDocuments and, more generally, of eServices.
By the end of August 2015, the design of the eGovernment Gateway will be based on a Responsive Web Design (RWD) approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones). Moreover, a new mobile application EGOV-LT offers a one-stop-shop mPortal for all Lithuanian mServices, including: secure identification based on mSignature, real time notifications about the eServices executed, new/uncompleted task reminders, and use of mobile functionality in eServices, such as GPS. All new mobile functionality is being integrated with SIRIP’s eService delivery tools so that once eService is delivered using SIRIP tools, it will be automatically accessible via portal and mobile applications, without the need to create a separate mobile application for each eService.
Using SIRIP components and tools to deliver eServices is free of charge for public authorities. However, resources are required to build an eService and to analyse and design it using SIRIP tools. Once the eService is built, public authorities are able to make small changes in real time (for example, changing the names of labels). Public authorities usually collaborate with each other to ensure better development. A good example of this would be the implementation of the projects ‘Centralised transfer of municipal services into the electronic space’ and ‘Transfer of administrative procedures relating to the issue of permits by state and local authorities to the electronic medium’. During the implementation of these projects using the SIRIP infrastructure, more than 130 eServices provided by 59 municipalities and 15 institutions are being developed and tested in a small pilot circle of municipalities and institutions. These will subsequently be disseminated to all municipalities and institutions in the country. Larger projects sometimes trigger improvement in the SIRIP tools. Once the changes are made, all the new functionality can be applied to existing and new eServices.
Loose coupling: Communication between SIRIP's components using web services and open standard technologies (XML for data structures, WS-S for data security, XML Signature for data integrity). Each SIRIP logical component may be deployed and scaled independently.
Off-the-shelf solutions for generic functions: ESB, BPEL, DBMS functionality is implemented using Oracle products - OSB, SOA Suite, DBMS.
Open frameworks: Apache Tomcat web application container, ZKoss enterprise web application framework.
Virtualisation: SIRIP - virtualised platform. Each component may be scaled when needed. Different resources may be allocated to ESB, BPEL, Portal, Payment broker and authentication service of the platform. Virtualisation using VMWare solutions.
Hosting in a public cloud service.Technology choice: Proprietary technology, Standards-based technology, Open source software
Main results, benefits and impacts
In two years (between 2012 and 2014), SIRIP has enlarged its user base by a factor of 15, reached 20% more government institutions, seen payment transactions made via SIRIP multiplied by 7. The System provided access (in 2014) to more than 528 eServices, versus 280 in 2012; over 130 of these services were created using the SIRIP tools.
Track record of sharing
- Centralised solutions help save a lot of money for the government.
- Reusing results from other projects helps build faster and better quality solutions at a lower cost.
- The involvement of major public institutions (pilot institutions) in development helps avoid the risk of overlooking any significant necessary functionality.
Before developing a solution for eService delivery, one should consider:
- Needs analysis
- Changes in legislation in order to create more efficient and user-friendly eServices. Lithuania has been facing a number of problems restricting better quality eService design. For instance, because of legislation, institutions are unwilling to provide the data for eService design for free, or to change the service procedure. In some cases, a service user is asked to fill out information using an eForm even if the data can be loaded automatically. All these problems can be solved by changing the legislation.
- Collecting user feedback and continuously improving eServices accordingly.
- Meeting standards, methodologies and recommendations.