From E-Government to E-Governance in a Wide Metropolitan Area

Countries

Italy

Policy areas

Organisation name Municipality of Bari

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Contact person: Cantatore Antonio

a.cantatore@comune.bari.it

The Metropolitan Area of Bari is a wide territorial area that includes 41 municipalities with more than one million citizens. The traditional and bureaucratic public administration does not have the ability to effectively meet citizens’ needs, so there is a need for a more efficient, qualitative and effective provision of public services. This has led the search for new methods of structuring, operating and monitoring public services.

Our project presents an e-government framework for application cooperation of public administrations in the Metropolitan City of Bari. The framework provides new services tailored to citizens and business needs, and can be used for monitoring the urban context.

The main idea of the project is to develop a network across the municipalities of the Metropolitan Area of Bari with the target to share standards, technological infrastructures and digital services as the basic requirements for the public services realisation. Additionally, this project aims to analyse territorial dynamics by processing and modelling huge amounts of data in a distributed and heterogeneous content environment.

The project‘s overall goal is to improve the digital level of the municipalities through the simplification and digitisation of the administrative procedures, mainly following the AGID (Agenzia per lˈItalia Digitale – Agency for Digital Italy) guidelines and current laws, such as the adoption of Sistema Pubblico di Identità Digitale (SPID), the Italian public system for digital identity designed in compliance with eIDAS (electronic identity authentication and signature), PagoPA (the Italian e-payment platform for public administration), SPCoop (public system for application cooperation), with legally compliant archiving and digital signatures.

Starting from the previous guidelines, the proposed solution describes a general framework where the added value is the provisioning and integration of the following modules:

  • A citizen-centric e-government web platform supplies on-demand services (such as real-time certificate or procedure deliveries) and receives applications and declarations from citizens (for example for the civil registry, local taxes, construction, and industry and commerce permits). The platform does not engage citizens in long-winded, time-consuming and frustrating procedures, but offers them the convenience of meeting their needs in one stop, in a single window and in a timely manner. (Project E-Government Wide Area – Metropolitan Area of Bari, funded by the Operational Programme European Regional Development Fund 2007/2013.)
  • The BaRisolve platform is a problem-solving mobile app for smartphones to receive warnings and notifications from the users about the territory.
  • An open data portal returns data and information to the citizenship.
  • An innovative platform of urban monitoring (Urban Control Centre) is part of a larger strategy this municipality launched in a Bari Smart City context to increase flexibility, interoperability and connectivity of the urban environment. It improves governance processes for economic and social development and enhances communication opportunities with citizens (project: M.U.S.I.C.A. – Monitoraggio Urbano attraverso Soluzioni Innovative per Città Agili (Urban Monitoring Through Innovative Solutions for Agile Cities), funded by the Operational Programme European Regional Development Fund 2007/2013).

The use of the e-government web platform, as well as the BaRisolve app and the consumption of the public services, contribute to feed the Urban Control Centre which, with the information of other integrated heterogeneous data sources (so-called big data), analyses and processes data, and returns indicators to the policymakers, giving them the opportunity to have a deepest overview of the urban context and make more appropriate decisions. The Urban Control Centre thus provides a monitoring system, able to process information transformation from raw data to analytical and aggregated indicators, facing the challenges of modernisation of local governance, accountability of the public sector and digital transformation with new technologies.

More information about the project is available here: www.comune.bari.it

Positive results and feedback received about the project are the basis for further improvements of the e-government system in the future, allowing it to be sustained beyond the initial period of the realisation of its objectives and activities.

Functionally, the e-government solution has been developed to be transferable and adaptable by design, in terms of an easy reuse of the solution from all the municipalities of the Metropolitan Area of Bari, making the platform usable from all the citizens of the territory.

Important lessons learned to be shared with other local governments are about critical aspects that arose during project development, such as a low knowledge in basic potentiality and the organisational change needed, resistance of middle management to change, people cultures based on old custom models of work, lack of incentive to use it, difficult integration with legacy information systems and old custom applications. From a technological point of view, the architecture is based on a cloud infrastructure of virtual machines, all deployed according to an open standard, so easily transferable from one cloud environment to another. Moreover, the software has been released with open-source licences, so highly reusable from other vendors or other public administrations in future maintenance projects.

One of the critical issues that arose during the project realisation was to find an efficient way of designing and developing integrated-based systems, moving beyond the basic point-to-point web services communications to a broader application cooperation with enterprise level processes.

The framework of the e-government web platform shares the same web interface, the same public on-demand services and the same business process for every municipality in the Metropolitan Area.

Online services have been developed to fully automate the municipalities’ front offices for civil registry, local taxes, construction permits, industry and commerce permits, city planning and urban function certification based on territorial information systems (sistema informativo territoriale – SIT) and e-payments.

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