IT community to evaluate state projects

The experts are ready to monitor projects linked to state IT from the very beginning.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: SME)

The state is currently working on more than 30 IT projects, amounting to €500 million in total. In order to give more information about their quality, the experts from the Slovensko.Digital initiative want to collect the information and evaluate it using the Red Flags method.

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It is a simple way to point to the flaws in the projects and help the public learn more about state IT.

“Our aim is to inform about the projects at the time they are prepared,” Ján Hargaš of Slovensko.Digital told the press in mid-November. “If they are good, we will praise them and if there are serious mistakes, point them out and if they are really serious, give them a red light.”

Though the state invests hundreds of millions of euros annually in informatisation, the results are not positively perceived and the IT projects are accompanied by several problems. One such example is the problem with mail deliveries to the state e-letterboxes that occurred during the summer, another is the recent problem with the eID card certificates.

“As part of the IT community, we care about using the money from tax payers on better projects whose results will be more user-friendly and for normal prices,” Hargaš added.

How does it work?

The association has already started evaluating the projects, including those that are in the preparatory phases, with the aim of identifying problems at the very beginning. It will focus on 50 criteria that are divided into five stages that all state IT projects need to undergo.

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“We are focusing on criteria which are, from our experience, necessary for success,” added Ľubor Illek from Slovensko.Digital. “In the case that a project significantly lags behind in any criteria, it will receive a red flag and we will ask for the project to be halted and rewritten.”

Read also: State’s response to the eIDs problem not quick enough Read more 

The criteria concern the project’s transparency, contribution for citizens, and the effective use of money. IT experts who are members of Slovensko.Digital’s discussion platform assessed the projects, with the evaluation being approved by the association’s team under the supervision of an expert commission. Its members are various experts from informatisation, academia, and non-governmental organisations, as well as representatives of the future users.

“We are about the evaluation’s quality,” Hargaš said, adding that this is the reason why the control takes place in several stages.

The results will then be published on the Redflags.slovensko.digital website.

The best and the worst

The association has already evaluated 14 projects. The best evaluation went to the Register and Information System of Non-Governmental Organisations, the Managerial Information System to Support the Processes of the Office for the Regulation of the Organisations Running under the Health Ministry, and the Information System of the Legal Aid Centre.

They still lack feasibility studies however.

Of those with a feasibility study, the best evaluation went to the Information System of the Business Register and Data Integration, which follows the once is enough principle.

On the other hand, the experts gave the worst evaluation to the Edunet project (which is expected to provide internet to schools), the Construction Information System of the Transport Ministry, and the Waste Management Information System of the Environment Ministry.

Slovensko.Digital has already proposed that these projects be re-written.

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