Well-established groups of public administrations working together on ICT solutions continue to attract new members, and new groups continue to form. These joint projects help to reduce IT costs and increase efficiency.
In Denmark, Vesthimmerlands Kommune and Furesø Kommune are the two most recent municipalities to join OS2, in January 2017 and October 2016 respectively. OS2 is a public community that specifies, develops and governs ICT solutions by and for municipalities. The group favours using shorter ICT development cycles, avoiding IT vendor lock-in, and fostering sharing and reuse. In just four years, the association grew to include 58 of the country’s 98 municipalities.
Another well-established example is Belgium’s IMIO (Intercommunale de Mutualisation Informatique et Organisationnelle). This IT service provider, set up in 2011 by the Walloon government, offers centrally managed services and solutions to 75% of municipalities in the Walloon region. With the city of Waterloo the latest to join this summer, IMIO now helps 262 cities, towns, villages and other public administrations.
A new joint initiative has just been announced in Italy. In July, municipalities in the Puglia and the Campania regions have joined hands to test cloud-based solutions to streamline their operations, and to work on the provisioning of eGovernment services. The project will involve five municipalities in Puglia and Consorzio Sannio, a public-owned eGovernment service organisation working for 52 small municipalities and other public-sector organisations in Campania.
The above examples can inspire others to reuse, share or jointly develop IT solutions that meet their common requirements. To help other local, regional, national and EU administrations take this step, the European Commission is promoting “The Sharing and Reuse Framework for IT Solutions”, which details recommendations and includes concrete measures.
“By promoting the sharing and reuse of IT solutions, public administrations and central bodies improve the interoperability of their IT systems and services, which saves money and increases the quality of eGovernment service”, the EC writes in the document. “All of this contributes to the development of the EU Digital Single Market and strengthens the EU’s position as a world leader in the digital economy.”