Open standards and the compatibility of data and IT systems are two of the core themes of a network of municipalities, founded last week Thursday. The new organisation is called Linked Organisation of Local Authority ICT Societies (LOLA). It is the international version of national networks of local administrations in Canada, New Zealand, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States, the Netherlands and Belgium.
LOLA was created on Thursday 21 February as a foundation under Belgian law, reports Victor, an ICT network of Flemish public administrations and one of the members. "The Belgian law is well-established and has proven its virtue for cross-border non-profit organisations", the Flemish IT news site Datanews quotes Eddy Van der Stock, chairman of both LOLA and Victor.
The new organisation will focus on in total five core themes. Next to open standards and interoperability, these are broadband technology, shared services and open data.
Datanews writes that LOLA will organise workshops and conferences around the five themes. According to Van der Stock, the organisation plans to get involved in the European standardisation efforts, to help solve issues faced by local administrations.
The new network announced two projects last week Thursday, 'Citadel on the Move' and 'Apps for Europe'. The first aims to convince public administrations to make available their governmental data in open formats and to allow software developers to use the data for innovative applications. 'Apps for Europe' is to become a series of competitions around open data. This should help make open data applications popular and help prove their value to society and the economy.
LOLA also announced its first conference, to take place this fall.