Barcelona City Council Digital Plan

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* Policy Plan: A government measure for open digitisation: free software and agile development of public administration services. The Open Digitisation Programme from Barcelona City Council’s Office for Technology and Digital Innovation.


This Guide was prepared by a team led by Francesca Bria, the Commissioner for Technology and Digital Innovation.

Executive Summary

"In September 2016, Barcelona City Council embarked on an important digital transformation process announcing that public services must be provided through digital channels from the outset, following new guidelines oriented towards citizens and the use of open standards and open software and in accordance with an ethical data strategy that puts privacy, transparency and digital rights at the forefront.

The decision taken by the city government is based on the Barcelona Digital City Plan, a government measure approved in October 2016 and new Spanish Law 39/2015 on Common Administrative Procedures for Public Authorities. This Law states that by 2020, digital channels must take priority in the provision of public services in the Spanish State. The Barcelona Digital City Plan establishes a radical improvement in digital public services as one of its main objectives, with the aim of providing services to citizens on a 24/7 basis that are of higher quality and better adapted to their needs.

The Municipal Institute of Information Technology (IMI) is instrumental in enabling this transformation to be carried out. In 2016, Barcelona City Council created a Digital Transformation Committee, and the IMI put together a group for the promotion of Digital Transformation made up of professionals from various technological areas. Both of these mechanisms were set up to drive and govern this important process.

The Open Digitisation Programme: Free Software and Agile Development of Services, created by the Commissioner and the IMI in October 2016, following the launch of the Digital Transformation Plan, is the impetus behind technical innovation and excellence focused on the delivery of results.

In addition, this programme promotes a culture of innovation, transparency and continuous development throughout the whole of the City Council, emphasising:

· The promotion of the development and delivery of agile, open and ethical digital services. · The promotion of the development of internal design skills and capabilities focusing on users and agile methodologies, for the purposes of regaining control of digital services. · Opening up public procurement, making it more transparent, simple and objective, while reducing the bureaucracy involved. Innovation in the procurement processes will also enable diversification in technology providers. · The creation, through a digital market platform, of a diversified group made up of expert local providers. · The promotion of the use of agile methodologies in digital services, both internally and in provider relations. · The revision of procurement procedures for technology assets and services to reinforce technological and data sovereignty. · The use of free and open source software in municipal systems, except in exceptional and justified circumstances. · The establishment of technological practices based on open architectures and standards.

This government measure provides an overview of the transformation programme and the proposed incremental changes. It sets forth the structure how the transformation will be governed, its eminently practical orientation, based on establishing clear measures and specific deliverables, and provides a shared roadmap.

The measure will provide savings in resources and more efficiency through the implementation of agile processes, while providing citizens with the tools they need to interact with the local authority more efficiently. Through open data management and the use of free software tools, we will be guaranteeing universal access, improvements in transparency and laying the foundations for new initiatives based on harnessing data and creating a network of open source experts that will make the local authority more resilient and independent.

This measure focuses on the delivery of agile digital services, the process for accomplishing technological sovereignty and the migration to free and open software and open standards.

The annexes to this government measure contain documents that define the main standards and give guidelines for the core areas in the programme.

These documents include:

• The Digital Services Standard. • The Code of Technological Practices. • Agile Methodologies of Barcelona City Council. • Technological Sovereignty Guide. • Details of the Migration Plan to Open Source. • Public Procurement of Technology Guide.

The responsible and ethical use of data is a key element within Barcelona City Council’s Digital Transformation Plan, especially the Open Data and Data Commons strategies, “Data Driven” projects and interoperability based on open data formats. The corresponding directives and their implementation will be developed in a new government measure on the Strategy for Responsible and Ethical Use of Data in Barcelona City Council, where its technical details, processes and responsibilities will be detailed.

This government measure also explains how agile development methodologies will be applied in Barcelona City Council, by transforming vertical product teams into agile service-orientated work groups through flagship projects. That is why the IMI is putting an Agile Technical Office and an agile projects team into operation.

From a purely technological perspective, the objective is to create a public and open ecosystem and infrastructure composed of interoperable and reusable applications and services. So, the way in which the public authority operates must be changed through the use of open standards and free and open source software, by implementing open, public and well-documented application-programming interfaces (APIs) that provide access to the City Council’s open data for the purposes of enabling the ICT sector, and even other authorities, to collaborate with the City Council to deliver agile, open and ethical applications and digital services.

The services which will be first to benefit from these changes include: the new citizen help and information portal, mobile phone services for citizens, the new calendar of events and facilities in the city, the open city dashboard for citizens, the technology providers portal and the new mobile digital identity service. The formation of new agile teams will enable us to acquire the capabilities we need and to develop a recruitment plan and an internal-skills creation programme for promoting this transformation. At the same time, internal capabilities will be complemented with skills and services provided by the most innovative companies in the sector, brought in by the City Council, through innovative procurement and the creation of a digital procurement platform. Digital transformation and innovation are not a destination or point of arrival but rather a journey, an endless process, where steps are repeated one after the other until the desired result is reached. Digital products and services and their interfaces are evolving, like a living organism, in accordance with the needs of citizens and changes in technology.

The Agile Transformation Programme itself is continuously evolving and our ambition is to go ahead and do far more than what this government measure states, as it only establishes the bases for a process of continuous improvement." (