Sunday, September 28, 2003

Frustration Francais

Kablenet picks up on a memo sent by J-P Raffarin in France covering his dissatisfaction with progress on delivering e-government. J-P notes that he wants the administration to progress more rapidly, or risk being left behind. He also realises that things must change ... En effet, l'interopérabilité des solutions est la condition nécessaire pour la mise en place de véritables services innovants qui facilitent les échanges entre administrations et épargnent à l'usager les effets des cloisonnements administratifs. Par ailleurs, d'un point de vue budgétaire, la mutualisation des coûts, la réutilisation de solutions déjà expérimentées par d'autres administrations et le développement d'outils communs peuvent être source d'importantes économies. Par ailleurs, l'agence prendra en charge la réalisation d'un certain nombre de services à caractère interministériel, qu'il s'agisse de prestations offertes aux usagers (par exemple, un système en ligne permettant de réaliser facilement les démarches nécessaires en cas de changement d'adresse) That is that joined up solutions are fundamental for innovation, that reuse of what's already been done and collaborative development is essential and that some example projects will help get it kicked off - although, most worryingly, he's dwelling on the perennial and staggeringly hard change of address as his main example. So, what to do? - mise en oeuvre en priorité des projets et téléprocédures susceptibles d'une réalisation rapide ainsi que des mesures permettant de premières avancées sur la voie de la mutualisation ; - lancement en parallèle des travaux destinés à réduire l'hétérogénéité actuelle des systèmes d'information et à permettre la création de services communs à plusieurs administrations ; - convergence, à partir de 2006, des systèmes d'information vers des référentiels communs, afin d'assurer la capacité d'évolution de l'ensemble et d'enrichir la teneur des prestations offertes Kick off some fast moving projects that will demonstrate joined up-ness, figure out how to reduce the "heterogenous" nature of IT systems so that "building blocks" (my words, not his) can be used across agencies and, from 2006, common databases (or maybe just reference numbers) to give a way to present significantly richer services. What Raffarin is describing is the underpinnings of an Enterprise Architecture of course, but he's focused on the technology which may be a big weakness of his plan; perhaps elsewhere there are memos to the business heads saying that they'll have to align their processes or he'll start banging some heads together (hard). I do like the fact that the memo is public - it's a direct call to action where he recognises things aren't happening and sets out what he'd like to see done. Not bad at all, and certainly embracing the principles of online government. Fascinating to see how this will evolve. And even more fascinating to see a variety of countries aligning at the start line for the next stage of online government. Most have been through the "websites at any cost" stage, journeyed through "quick, get me some interactivity" and many are seeing relatively high volume usage and now they're lining up for the big jump: joined up services, harmonisation of IT strategies, realignment of business processes and delivery of real value to the citizen. Great.

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