Interoperability data for Malta, 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

The anticipated developments with regard to interoperability are driven by the comprehensive Maltese e-Government IT strategy, titled The Smart Island 2008-2010, which emphasizes the need to “establish a rigorous enterprise interoperability framework to be adopted as a standard requirement to be adhered to across all systems deployment in government.” 

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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 available
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 e-Government Interoperability Framework
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2.1.2. Version 1.0
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2.1.3. Release Date July 2002
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2.1.4. Focus / Scope Conception, Implementation
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2.1.5. Audience Government sector
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2.1.6. Status Under development

(The old version of the NIF is available (Scope, Last Version and Release Date refer to the old version). Currently the NIF is being revisited as part of overall 4-year eGovernment Strategy.)

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2.1.7. Responsible Agency Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA) http://www.mita.gov.mt
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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 Yes

“Malta is increasing its presence in Interoperability related Expert Groups and Working Parties across the EU Commission initiatives managed by IDABC and now by the ISA program. This is an indication of Malta’s interest in addressing the increasing requirements for promoting both internal and Pan European interoperability”.

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:

  • Malta's e-Government services portal, relying on the e-ID (the single most trusted authentication mechanism) to provide a one-stop-shop for all eGovernment services. The portal allows the management of the user’s e-ID profile which contains personal details as well as functions for assignment and delegation. Citizens may “delegate” their eServices to other citizens (who have an e-ID) or to registered organisations. Through www.mygov.mt, the e-ID may also be used by organisations (e.g. businesses and administrations) which may “assign” the management of the eServices to an “Organisation Manager” who has an e-ID. (www.mygov.mt) [1].
  • Next Generation e-Government Platform (launched November 2011), is considered to be the evolution of Government’s electronic services with the main aim of promoting citizen centricity. The platform intends to give citizens and businesses greater transparency, more personalised services, more influence over service design and delivery and a greater level of trust. Along with the platform, the Government also launches 55 new services, which combine with the 93 electronic services available to date. A total of 150 services will be launched by mid-2012 and 350 services by the end of 2012 (https://forms.mygov.mt/) [2].

 

E-Government Backbone: -

 

Research & Education Network: -

 

Environmental Geoportal: EU-Funded

 

Marine Data Management Infrastructure: EU-Funded

 

Legislation & e-Justice System: -

 

e-Health System: EU-Funded

 

e-Tax Portal & Infrastructure:

  • e-IRDMT (Inland Revenue Services On-Line), aiming to re-engineer the information processing of its high volume transactions and simplify compliance to provide better customer services to Taxpayers and reduce operational costs (http://www.ird.gov.mt/) [3].

Other projects:

  • CCS (Customer Care System), aiming to provide the general public a facility to log complaints, make a suggestion and/or request information (hereafter referred to as ‘incidents’) and track the processing status of the former. (http://www.servizz.gov.mt) [4].
  • eReg-ADT (Motor Vehicle Registration & Licensing Malta) providing  all motor vehicle agents, auto dealers as well as the general public the facility to register vehicles online directly with the Licensing and Testing Directorate (LTD) within the Malta Transport Authority (MTA), obtain the Registration Value (RV) of a used Private Motor Vehicle including the amount of Registration Tax which considers specific variables like CO2, length, and particulate matter (for diesel powered vehicles only) in line with the Motor Vehicle Registration Tax Act, acquire and book a personalised number plate online, allow owners of vehicles registered in 2008 to check on credit rebates and optionally migrate from the 2008 registration tax regime to the new regime                                (https://secure2.gov.mt/vehicleregistration/home) [5].
  • Electronic Public Procurement System (published October 2011), which, with the inclusion of e-Tenders will fully modernize and simplify the way in which public procurement is carried out. The new e-Tendering system will assist prospective tenderers in compiling their offer, which will reduce to a great extent the risk of incorrect or missing information [2].

 

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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 Moderate
3.2.1. Indicative projects
  • NET-EUCEN (European Network for Enhanced User Centricity in eGovernment) aiming to create, animate and manage a working network of stakeholders in the Governance and Policy Modelling domains belonging to all European countries, with relevant knowledge of massive on-line service fruition, eInclusion policies and interests, thus covering the whole supply chain of the Service for Users (S4U) (http://www.net-eucen.org) [8].
  • Plan4all (Plan4all geoportal) focusing on the harmonization of spatial planning data based on the existing best practices in EU regions and municipalities and on the base of results of current research project (http://www.plan4all.eu/) [9].
  • CALLIOPE: "CALL for InterOPErability" is a network of collaborating organisations mandated with the planning and implementation of eHealth (http://www.calliope-network.eu/) [10].
  • 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/) [11].
  • SeaDataNet II (Pan-European infrastructure for ocean and marine data management, Oct 2011- Sept 2015) aiming to upgrade the present SeaDataNet infrastructure into an operationally robust and state-of-the-art Pan-European infrastructure for providing up-to-date and high quality access to ocean and marine metadata, data and data products originating from data acquisition activities by all engaged coastal states, by setting, adopting and promoting common data management standards and by realising technical and semantic interoperability with other relevant data management systems and initiatives on behalf of science, environmental management, policy making, and economy (http://www.seadatanet.org/) [12].
  • TRANSFORM (Translational research and patient safety in Europe, March 2010 – Feb 2015), aiming to develop rigorous, generic methods for the integration of Primary Care clinical and research activities, to support patient safety and clinical research (http://www.transformproject.eu/) [13].
  • CLARIN (Common language resources and technology infrastructure, Jan 2008 – June 2011), with the goal to develop and operate a shared distributed infrastructure, making available language resources and technology to the humanities and social sciences research communities, based on data and interoperability standards (http://www.clarin.eu/external/) [14].
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
  • CCS (Customer Care System) - a web-based service owned, managed and maintained by the Charter Support Unit within the Office of the Prime Minister, being in use for over 7 years. The main purpose of the service is to provide the general public a facility to log complaints, make a suggestion and/or request information (hereafter referred to as ‘incidents’) and track the processing status of the former. These incidents vary significantly in type and urgency and require the attention of officials) within one or more Public Sector entities (http://www.servizz.gov.mt) [4]. (ePractice Good Practice Label 2009)
  • eReg-ADT (Motor Vehicle Registration & Licensing Malta) providing  all motor vehicle agents, auto dealers as well as the general public the facility to register vehicles online directly with the Licensing and Testing Directorate (LTD) within the Malta Transport Authority (MTA), obtain the Registration Value (RV) of a used Private Motor Vehicle including the amount of Registration Tax which considers specific variables like CO2, length, and particulate matter (for diesel powered vehicles only) in line with the Motor Vehicle Registration Tax Act, acquire and book a personalized number plate online, allow owners of vehicles registered in 2008 to check on credit rebates and optionally migrate from the 2008 registration tax regime to the new regime (https://secure2.gov.mt/vehicleregistration/home) [5].
    (ePractice Good Practice Label 2009)
  • e-IRDMT (Inland Revenue Services On-Line), aiming to re-engineer the information processing of its high volume transactions and simplify compliance to provide better customer services to Taxpayers and reduce operational costs (http://www.ird.gov.mt/) [3, 6].
    (European eGovernment Awards Finalist 2009, Capgemini Good Practice Label)
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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 Customer Care System (CCS)
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4.2.2. Description

Customer Care System (CCS) - a web-based service owned, managed and maintained by the Charter Support Unit within the Office of the Prime Minister, being in use for over 7 years. The main purpose of the service is to provide the general public a facility to log complaints, make a suggestion and/or request information (hereafter referred to as ‘incidents’) and track the processing status of the former. These incidents vary significantly in type and urgency and require the attention of officials (within one or more Public Sector entities.

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4.2.3. Status

Project ongoing since June 2001. Operational since July 2002.

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4.2.4. Indicative interoperability aspects covered
  • Service Portals
  • Identification
  • Security and Authentication
  • Information Management
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Brief description of benefits, reusable components, patterns and lessons learnt from the particular IOP case.

4.2.5. Impact

Benefits:

  • CCS provides full accountability. All incidents can be tracked at all times and customers can view information including where their incident has been sent and who (users) is responsible for resolution.
  • Incident resolution deadlines (set according to incident nature) are most likely to be adhered to since system issues automated reminders if deadlines are passed without action.
  • The entire system is more efficient since submissions can be both accessed and transmitted far more quickly than would be the case for a paper-based system.
  • The benefits for citizens with CCS are 24/7 access to their incidents and the ease with which they can track progress.

 

Lessons Learnt:

  • Strong political drive: The Minister responsible for IT and Communications has been a vocal and visible eGovernment champion, driving forward - for example - a commitment to having 90% of Government services available online. This drive, combined with his parallel push to delegate more functions to local Government, was the key foundation for the Customer Care System (CCS).
  • Strong ICT infrastructure: The Maltese Government made an early commitment to a pervasive and robust ICT infrastructure in the form of the Malta Government Network (MAGNET), a metropolitan area network that links all Government entities. Without such a foundation, e-Transparency applications like CCS would have been much harder to implement.
  • Common web standards: Although not essential to e-Transparency applications, the decision to adopt a common Web framework and common Web development standards (including 'look and feel' elements) across all eGovernment applications, helped to streamline the CCS development process and to shorten the delivery timescales.
  • Digital divide: Until a few years back, Malta had a strong digital divide which held back the viability and value of e-Transparency applications. Although Internet access is not as limited as it was up to a few years back, access issues, though, do still remain - they are seen to particularly affect the older members of the Maltese population, of whom around 20% are of retirement age; and to relate to skills, awareness and attitudes perhaps more than to physical access. The Government's Ministry responsible for IT and Communications had initiated a number of nation-wide projects aimed at increasing Internet use which were a huge success.
  • Design must be citizen-centered, not Government-centered: Screens and messages for e-Transparency systems must be designed in a way that the citizen understands, rather than designed from the 'insider' perspective of the public servant.
  • E-Transparency can drive an information society: There is a mutual relationship between Internet access rates and e-Transparency applications; access rates must rise above a certain level before eTransparency becomes genuinely viable. Equally, though, e-Transparency applications like CCS drive up Internet access rates, and help push a country more quickly towards becoming an information society.
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 100.0%
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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 5.5%
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 57.0%
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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 42.0%
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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 21.0%
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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 39.0%
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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