Digital administration requires an organizational and operational structure that supports the increased utilization of IT, data and transformation of processes in government operations. Similarly, the legal framework needs to support digital administration.
Good digital legislation reduces bureaucracy by simplifying current legislation and integrating processes and technology. Current legislation can be complicated and too detailed on older models of services. Any new legislation should be easily understood and compatible with a digital reality.
The OECD and the European Union have issued handy guidelines on criteria that good and effective digital legislation and governance should follow.
Hybrid IT operations
Centralized operations of IT are economical. In a decentralized arrangement, each institution is fully responsible for its own IT operations, and therefore imposing higher costs than in a more centrally operated IT. Neither fully centralized nor decentralized IT operations are desirable. A hybrid structure is more relevant for the state. In a fully centralized arrangement, one operational entity is responsible, usually resulting in less innovation and development. In a fully decentralized arrangement, each government entity is in charge for its own operations, usually resulting in higher costs and less coordination. In a hybrid environment, solutions common to most or all government entities are centrally operated while more specific IT operations are better operated by the responsible institution. Examples of services well suited for central operations are common licensing agreements such as Microsoft Office 365 and Digital Iceland’s core digital services.
Iceland uses the X-Road® for data exchange. X-Road® is a data exchange layer software that facilitates secure data exchange between information systems, and a technical and organisational ecosystem. X-Road® simplifies communications between information systems nation-wide, available to both public and private parties. X-Road® standardises the communication process between system and, at the same time, streamlines the installation and operation of the system connections and is available to both public and private parties.