France’s Ministries of Culture, Defence and Foreign Affairs have begun to design a new archive solution for their digital documents. They expect to publish the public tender for the building of the software this summer and aim to pilot the software in mid-2016. The design aims to facilitate re-use by any public administration.
Design and development will be pooled, but the solution itself can be implemented by each ministry independently.
The solution will provide indexing, metadata management, storage, and, of course, search functions, as well as ensuring the sustainability of the electronic files. The software design will allow integration with existing software solutions used by the ministries, including human resource and administrative systems.
The three ministries are together reserving EUR 15 million for the VITAM project (Valeurs Immatérielles Transmises aux Archives pour Mémoire / Intangible Values Transmitted to Memory Archives). The ministries expect to recover their investment in three years, writes the French portal for government modernisation.
The portal reported on the official start of the project on 9 March, involving Minister of Culture Fleur Pellerin and Thierry Mandon, Secretary of State for Administrative Reform and Simplification. The report quotes Minister Pellerin as saying that the state should "help public ecosystem actors to ensure the long term integrity, readability and comprehensibility of digital information in close cooperation with local authorities.”
The project team is to be managed by DISIC (Direction Interministérielle des Systèmes d'Information et de Communication / Inter-ministerial Directorate for Information and Communications Systems). “None of the ministries could single handedly finance such an archive tool by themselves”, explains DISIC director Jacques Marzin. “This is why we decided on a joint project, a first for the country.”
The software will be made available as open source.