On 19 November 2013, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Policy revealed its decisions on the implementation of a national service architecture and the launch of plans for a national information agency. The moves are aimed at accelerating the digitalisation of society and improving the opportunities to generate new business in the field of e-services.
The service architecture creates a common platform and basic structure for the development of public sector e-services and data exchange among information systems, allowing the development of better services in less time and with less money.
A key component of the service architecture is a national data exchange layer. Implemented in close co-operation with Estonia, the layer is based on the concept and principles of the X-road solution. The data exchange layer is modelled on a standardised inter-organisational information transmission utilising open interfaces and an open source code. This provides small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with better opportunities to get involved in public procurement and speeds up development processes. The goal is to introduce the data exchange layer to citizens, businesses and the public sector gradually, starting at the beginning of 2015.
The service architecture also includes creating a new national e-identification scheme, for the verification of citizens’ electronic identity by the state. It also allows the market-driven production of the actual means of identification. The purpose is to guarantee the trustworthy provision of e-identification procedures, and to improve the functioning of the markets. To ensure personal data security, a service will be developed that allows people to browse and manage the transmission of all electronic information related to them, among various organisations.
”The data exchange layer will allow various types of information systems to “interact” with one another and reduce the storage of overlapping information in the databases of agencies by means of allowing information retrieval from the original source,” says Antti Kivelä of Sitra, who also explains that it will enable the provision of better services with improved flexibility.
Sitra’s projects are implemented to promote extensive co-operation within the private sector and public administration. Sitra specialists participate in the working groups of the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Finance.
Implementation of national service architecture begins (Ministry of Finance press release, in Finnish, published on 21 November 2013)
Timo Valli, CIO of Public Sector ICT, Director General, tel. +358 (0)2955 30340
Riku Jylhänkangas, Director of Public Sector ICT, tel. +358 (0)2955 30475
Elina Laavi, Special Adviser, tel. +358 (0)40 708 2121
ICT2015 (In Finnish)