Interoperability data for Albania, 2012 Back to country selection

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1. Interoperability as a strategic goal
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This qualitative indicator examines whether Interoperability is recognized as a strategic priority, a fact which holds truth if the latter is explicitly mentioned in either one of the national e-Government, Interoperability, local e-Government, Digital Planning, IT or Information Society (etc.) strategies or other strategic framework of the country. In this case it is awarded the value “Yes”; otherwise the value “No”. In case there is no relevant information, the indicator is granted the value “Unknown”. A suitable justification is also provided depending on the case.

1.1. Strategic Priority on Interoperability Yes

Article 103 of the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) - the implementation of which targets the country’s integration into the European Union, and is supported by the National Strategy for Development and Integration (NSDI) (2007-2013) – addresses information society and the interoperability of networks and services, while Article 104 covers electronic communications networks and services [1].
Additionally, the National Information and Communication Technologies Strategy suggests the development of  “more effective, transparent, responsive government and public services”  through a process of coordination to assure the interoperability of independent information systems, as well as the building of an inexpensive, fast and secure country-wide ICT infrastructure providing internet coverage and interoperable and seamless access to data and services [2].
Finally, within the Cross-Cutting Strategy on Information Society [3, 4], the main purpose of which is the adoption of a Service Oriented Architecture for the Government of Albania, services interoperability and standard adoption by external service providers holds great importance in the context of the relevant policy on the “Development of Information Technology Infrastructure”.

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This indicator investigates the status of a National Interoperability Strategy. The latter may be absent, and thus “Not planned”, “Planned”, “Under development” or already “Published”. In case no information is available, the National Interoperability Strategy Status is attributed the value “Unknown”.

1.2. National Interoperability Strategy Status Not planned
2. National Interoperability Frameworks
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National Interoperability Frameworks prove that a country is interoperability-aware and pose as the cornerstone for the resolution of interoperability issues in the public sector and the provision of one-stop, fully electronic services to businesses and citizens. In this context, this indicator examines the status of a National Interoperability Framework by aggregating information on a series of relevant aspects, namely title, version, release date, focus/scope, audience, status and responsible agency.

2.1. National Interoperability Framework Status
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2.1.1. Title X-Road Albania
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2.1.2. Version Not applicable
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2.1.3. Release Date Not applicable
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2.1.4. Focus / Scope Unknown
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2.1.5. Audience Government sector
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2.1.6. Status Under development

Following the issuing of an RFP by UNDP Albania [1], e-Governance Academy (Estonia) will prepare a Feasibility Study on the development of an Interoperability Framework for the Government of Albania (X-Road Albania) [2].
This feasibility study will take into account the current and future possibilities in three main pillars (legal framework, organizational and technical areas) and will analyze, detail and present five components: legal framework, organizational setup, technical aspects, infrastructure components, fiscal aspect and implementation timeframe. The study will serve as the basis for setting up an interoperable e-Government system in Albania [2].

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2.1.7. Responsible Agency The Feasibility Study on Interoperability Framework for Albania will be prepared in very close cooperation and partnership with the National Agency for Information Society, which is the main beneficiary and also has authority within the Government to plan and implement such frameworks.
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This qualitative metric investigates whether a country’s National Interoperability Framework is harmonized with the European Interoperability Framework (EIF), that has been issued by the IDABC (“Interoperable Delivery of European e-Government Services to Public Administrations, Businesses and Citizens”) initiative, or not.
The indicator is applicable when a country’s NIF has already been published. In case the country’s NIF is in line with the European Interoperability Framework, the indicator is awarded the value ”Yes” ; otherwise the value “No”.  In case there is no relevant information, the indicator is granted the value “Unknown”. A suitable justification is also provided depending on the case.

2.2. Compatibility of National Interoperability Framework with the European Interoperability Framework Not applicable

(The Government is in the process of preparing the interoperability framework. X-Road project is ongoing and envisaged to establish an interoperability framework in line with EU practice.)

3. Interoperability Projects and Activities
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This indicator brings the evaluation of interoperability efforts down to the practical level and rates the National Interoperability-related Activity of a country by means of the number of relevant projects of national or local scope. These are mainly e-Government projects, where interconnection, integration or interoperability have a central role. Both ongoing and completed projects are taken into consideration. The indicator is measured in a qualitative four level scale including the levels “Non-existent”, “Low/limited”, “Moderate” and “High”. A quite descriptive but non-exhaustive list of national interoperability-related projects is also provided, in order to offer a more clear view on the relevant activities.Values:

  • Non-existent: no projects
  • Low: 1-5 projects
  • Moderate: 6-20 projects
  • High: over 20 projects
3.1. Number of interoperability-related projects of local or national scope Moderate

National-Public Administration Portal: -


E-Government Backbone:

  • X-Road Albania Project (Jul 2009 – Apr 2010), aiming at drafting a Feasibility Study on the development and implementation of an Interoperability Framework for Albania. This feasibility study will take into account the current and future possibilities in three main pillars (legal framework, organizational and technical areas) and will analyze, detail and present five components: legal framework, organizational setup, technical aspects, infrastructure components, fiscal aspect and implementation timeframe. The study will serve as the basis for setting up an interoperable e-Government system in Albania (Funded by UNDP) [2].
  • GovNet (Government Electronic Network) project (Sep 2004 – Feb 2006), to assist with the modernization of the public administration through the establishment of a modern, high-speed and reliable electronic network, to inter-connect central government institutions, provide some applications for those institutions and build an internal government capacity in ICT (Jointly funded by the European Commission and UNDP Albania) [3, 4].
  • GovNet - Phase II project (Jan 2007 – Aug 2009) on the enhancement of the Government Electronic Network, to improve the quality of  governance in Albania by speeding up the exchange of a wider range of information within government, and increasing public access to information (Co-funded by UNDP Albania) (http://govnet.undp.org.al/) [5].

 

Research & Education Network: -


Environmental Geoportal: -


Marine Data Management Infrastructure: EU-Funded


Legislation & e-Justice System: -


e-Health System: -


e-Tax Portal & Infrastructure:

  • One-Stop-Shop for business registration procedures, reducing to one day the time required to register new businesses and combining all registration steps, including tax registration, in a single procedure (http://www.qkr.gov.al/nrc/default.aspx) [10].

 

Other projects:

  • e-Accounting Pilot Project - as part of the 3-tier e-Accounting Programme – being a crucial milestone towards the full implementation of the Albanian e-Accounting system (http://eaccounting.undp.org.al/) (Funded by DGTF-UNDP & Italian Government) [6].
  • Ensuring Citizen Access to Public Information and E-services at the Regional Level – PAC (Apr 2003 – April 2005), to establish a network Public Access Centers (PACs) in five pilot regions of Albania and enhance the electronic exchange of information and services among central and local governments and communities (Funded by UNDP) [6].
  • Introducing ICT Applications at Local Level And Enhancing Citizens’ Participation (Apr 2010 - Nov 2011), to enable two municipalities to increasingly plan and carry out their business processes in an automated manner and enhance their interaction with citizens (Funded by UNDP)  [8].
  • "One-Stop Shop" Local Licensing – as part of the EC-funded project on “Technical Assistance and Training on Public Services Delivery to Local Government” - with the aim to facilitate the licensing procedures by local authorities by standardizing the forms, documents and overall procedures involved [9].
  • National Licensing Center, based on an IT system that automates the process of licensing and enables step by step tracking of the application progress making it easier for businesses to operate in Albania. The NLC’s (http://www.qkl.gov.al/) mission is to simplify the licensing, permit and authorization procedures and to support all public institutions in the decision making process in order to create a business friendly regulatory environment [11].
  • E-Procurement Platform, a web-based application, supporting the automation of all the Albanian contracting authorities. This system does enable secure transactions among Albanian public institutions and national and international business community [11].
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This metric captures the degree of a country’s engagement with EU research and development (R&D) activities, and provides therefore an indication of the number of EU-funded interoperability-related projects in which the country participates. Both ongoing and completed research projects are taken into consideration. The same four level qualitative scale is used in this case as well, while an indicative list of EU-funded projects is also included. Values:

  • Non-existent: no projects
  • Low: 1-5 projects
  • Medium: 6-20 projects
  • High: over 20 projects
3.2. Number of EU-funded interoperability-related projects Low
3.2.1. Indicative projects
  • SWEB (“Secure, interoperable cross-border m-services towards a trustful European cooperation with the non-EU member Western Balkan countries”) project to develop a secure, interoperable, open, affordable platform upon which secure cross border government services will be built (http://www.sweb-project.org/) [15].
  • SeaDataNet (Pan-European Infrastructure for Ocean and Marine Data Management, April 2006 – March 2011), aiming to develop an efficient distributed Pan-European Marine Data Management Infrastructure for managing large and diverse marine research data sets, and to network the existing professional data centers of 35 countries, active in data collection, and provide integrated databases of standardized quality on-line (http://www.seadatanet.org/) [16].
4. National Interoperability Practices
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This metric provides an indication of the number of interoperability cases with a good practice label that have been implemented by a country. These are projects and other activities that have resulted in the development of innovative, flexible and reconfigurable interoperability solutions with an appreciable impact in terms of users’ uptake, a series of articulated benefits (e.g. managerial, financial, cultural etc.), and a number of patterns and components that may be either reused in other activities within the country or in other countries, or that can be exploited for educational and/or benchmarking purposes. Values:

  • Non-existent: no cases
  • Low: 1-5 cases
  • Medium: 6-20 cases
  • High: over 20 cases
4.1. Number of Interoperability Cases with Good Practice Label Low
  • GovNet (Government Electronic Network) project (Sep 2004 – Feb 2006), to assist with the modernization of the public administration through the establishment of a modern, high-speed and reliable electronic network, to inter-connect central government institutions, provide some applications for those institutions and build an internal government capacity in ICT (Jointly funded by the European Commission and UNDP Albania) [3, 4].
  • "One-Stop Shop" Local Licensing, with the aim to facilitate the licensing procedures by local authorities by standardizing the forms, documents and overall procedures involved [9].
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In the frame of this indicator, one interoperability case with a good practice label is selected as the most important or indicative one and is described with regard to a series of aspects including title, status, interoperability aspects covered and impact.

4.2. Best Interoperability Practice
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4.2.1. Title GovNet (Government Electronic Network)
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4.2.2. Description

GovNet (Government Electronic Network) project (Sep 2004 – Feb 2006), to assist with the modernization of the public administration through the establishment of a modern, high-speed and reliable electronic network, to inter-connect central government institutions, provide some applications for those institutions and build an internal government capacity in ICT (Jointly funded by the European Commission and UNDP Albania).

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4.2.3. Status

The project was successfully completed and its objectives were met. The Government has taken over total ownership of the results of the project and is improving the network and running additional applications.

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4.2.4. Indicative interoperability aspects covered
  • Collaborative Networks
  • Information Exchange
  • Content Accessibility
  • Authentication and Security
  • etc.
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Brief description of benefits, reusable components, patterns and lessons learnt from the particular IOP case.

4.2.5. Impact

A high speed fiber optic network was established, connecting over 63 public institutions. Different applications were installed and are operational, such as an e-mail service, anti-virus service and VoIP. Over 50 IT specialists were trained and prepared to run the network. Accessibility to information and communications were dramatically improved.

 

Lessons Learnt – Success Factors:

The need for a project or initiative has to come from and be in support of the Government’s overall strategy for development. Accountability should not just be an issue that touches the project management but also the Government. Transparency and a good flow of information will ensure the smooth implementation of a project.

5. e-Government Interoperability
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This indicator reveals the degree of interoperability that reaches the final recipients of public services, aka citizens and businesses, in terms of fully automated and proactive service delivery. The indicator is based on the “Full Online Availability” benchmark introduced by Capgmenini to assess the 20 basic services (12 services for citizens and 8 services for businesses) against the fourth and fifth stages of the 5-stage maturity model, where stage 4 (transaction) corresponds to full electronic case handling, requiring no other formal procedure from the applicant via “paperwork”, and stage 5 (targetisation) provides an indication of the extent, by which front- and back-offices are integrated, data is reused and services are delivered proactively. The reference year is also provided.

5.1. Interoperability Level of core e-Government services to citizens / businesses 39.0%
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The term “Connected Government” is used in the e-Government Survey of the United Nations (2008) within the frame of the Web Measure Index in order to describe the situation in which governments transform themselves into a connected entity that responds to the needs of its citizens by developing an integrated back office infrastructure. In this context, the indicator “Connected Government Status” expresses the percentage of services, which are provided in Stage V “Connected”, based on the information on Service Delivery by Stages 2008, included in the e-Government Survey as well. The reference year is also provided.

5.2. Connected Government Status 3.4%
6. e-Business Interoperability
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Focusing on a typical aspect of the enterprise sector’s operation i.e. information sharing, this metric provides an indication of the intra-organizational integration level that characterizes the latter in terms of the percentage of enterprises in which information on sales or on purchases is shared electronically among the different internal functions (e.g. management of inventory levels, accounting, production or services management, distribution management etc.). All enterprises which use a computer with 10 or more persons employed are included (without financial sector). The year of the data is also provided.

6.1. Intra-organizational Integration Level Not available
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The cross-organization integration level of the enterprise sector is expressed as the percentage of enterprises that use automated data exchange between their own and other ICT systems outside the enterprise group. All enterprises which use a computer with 10 or more persons employed are included (without financial sector). The year of the data is also provided.

6.2. Cross-organization Integration Level Not available
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This indicator goes beyond the aspect of information exchange and investigates the cross-organization application-to-application integration level in the enterprise sector, based on the percentage of enterprises, whose business processes are automatically linked to those of their suppliers and/or customers. All enterprises which use a computer with 10 or more persons employed are included (without financial sector). The year of the data is also provided.

6.3. Cross-organization Application-to-Application Integration Level 4.0%
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Considering e-Invoicing as another aspect of e-Business Interoperability, this metric measures the percentage of enterprises that send and/or receive electronic invoices. All enterprises which use a computer with 10 or more persons employed are included (without financial sector). The year of the data is also provided.

6.4. e-Invoicing Status 4.0%
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This indicator examines the B2B data standards usage measuring the percentage of companies that use EDI-based, XML-based, propietary or other technical standards. The year of the data is also provided.

6.5. B2B Data Standards Usage
6.5.1. EDI-based standards Not available
6.5.2. XML-based standards Not available
6.5.3. Proprietary standards Not available
6.5.4. other technical standards Not available
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Interoperability awareness is examined in terms of the percentage of companies saying that interoperability is important for e-business within their sector, between sectors or for producing or providing products and services The year of the data is also provided.

6.6. Interoperability Awareness
6.6.1. Within their sector Not available
6.6.2. Between sectors Not available
6.6.3. For producing or providing products and services Not available