The eAdministration in the Spanish autonomous communities

Digitally transforming any company is an arduous task that requires planning, means and time. If for any private organization it is a challenge, it is of a greater degree when we refer to public entities, which are generally more complex in terms of organization. At what stage of the Digital Transformation are the Autonomous Communities? Let’s make an analysis of the current situation on the road to eAdministration.

As we know, the Spanish territory is divided politically and administratively into 16 Autonomous Communities, a Regional Community, such as Navarra and the Autonomous Cities of Ceuta and Melilla. This decentralization of the State model makes coordination and collaboration between the Autonomous and Central Administration and between the Autonomous Communities themselves a key piece for the proper functioning of the institutions.

In order to streamline these institutional relationships, as well as with citizens, for years the autonomous public entities have established processes that have as their goal the implementation of digital services that shape what is known as electronic administration or eAdministration.

How the structures for the digitalization of the Administration are organized

This aforementioned territorial division means that there is considerable diversity in the way in which the structures and organizations responsible for implementing digitalization measures in their respective Administrations.

On the one hand we can find the case of Cantabria, Navarra, Aragon, Castilla y Leon, Extremadura, Baleares and Andalusia. In all these communities it is a single internal department responsible for executing the digital transformation policies. For example, in Andalusia there is the General Directorate of Digital Transformation of the Junta de Andalucía.

On the other hand, there are cases in which the internal departments will be responsible for this task. In general, one of them, of a more political nature, will be dedicated to the design of actions and the other, more technical, to its implementation. This model can be seen in the Community of Madrid, the Valencian Community and Murcia. As shown, the Community of Madrid has the Agency for Digital Administration of the Community of Madrid, under the Ministry of Economy, Employment and Finance.

We can also appreciate situations in which several departments of the same regional administration coordinate to give rise to a committee for digital transformation, as occurs in Asturias, the Basque Country, La Rioja, Castilla and La Mancha and the Canary Islands. The plans for the eAdministration of these communities tend to be more ambitious, since these committees have a larger structure that allows a greater scope for action. One of these cases is the Interdepartmental Commission for Governance, Transparency and Citizen Participation of the Basque Government, which prepares the Strategic Plan for Governance and Public Innovation (PEGIP 2020, by its initials in Spanish).

The CAE 2018 report

In order to monitor and promote the digitalization of the Autonomous Administrations, the “Observatory, indicators and procedures” working group, made up of all the autonomous communities and cities and the Ministry of Territorial Policy and Public Function, annually prepares the CAE Report. This fixes its attention on various aspects related to eAdministration, which we will break down.

Strategies to implement eAdministration

This report shows that 10 Autonomous Communities already have digital transformation plans and, in addition, they have already been structurally organized so that the actions included in these plans are executed and supervised. These communities are: Aragón, Canarias, Cantabria, Castilla y La Mancha, Catalonia, Valencian Community, Galicia, Madrid, La Rioja and the Basque Country.

There is also talk of the communities that have planned the drafting of a digital transformation plan in the near future, such as Andalusia, Castilla y León and the Region of Murcia.

With regard to the autonomous cities, Melilla has its digitalization plan in operation and Ceuta has it in the process of being developed.

The Foral Community of Navarra does not have, until now, a strategic plan.

Services offered to the citizen

The CAE Report analyzes the services of which citizens make more use electronically, with the following results:

  • Transportation: 59.2%.
  • Culture: 52.2%.
  • Companies: 46.3%.
  • Education: 42.1%.

As regards electronic contracting, we can highlight that all communities, except Extremadura and the Region of Murcia, electronically process more than 80% of their invoices.

eAdministración autonomías

The impulse of internal transformation

The eAdministration goes beyond those digital processes that facilitate the life of the population, but also affects internal work procedures by the official that makes it up.

The degree of impulse in the automation of administrative actions and the level of preparation of public workers has also been analyzed in the CAE report.

From this it is extracted that 5 communities (Madrid, Basque Country, Cantabria, Galicia and Catalonia) and the two autonomous cities have a high or very high level in the management of electronic documents and records.

As for the preparation of staff, it is contemplated that 14 autonomies have a plan to train them in digital skills. With the exceptions of Castilla y León, Navarra and the Valencian Community, which do not currently have it, and La Rioja, which does not provide information in this regard.

Open Government Initiatives

What actions do autonomous governments take to promote transparency, public participation and the reuse of information? To this question, try to answer the CAE report.

As far as Open Government is concerned, practically all Autonomous Communities have a website on transparency.

If we focus our attention on the number of Open Data sets published by the different Autonomous Administrations, we see how Aragón (5,427), Basque Country (1,651) and Navarra (583) are at the top.

We can also highlight that Andalusia is, by far, the community that receives more public information requests electronically, with 3,873, while Madrid, in second position, receives 956.

Another highlight is that 84% of the Autonomous Communities (16) have undertaken public consultations on regulations; and 79% (15) on programs or plans.

Technologies used

The use of cloud technology seems essential for eAdministration, and can be classified into 3 types:

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): hired by Cantabria, the two Castillas, Murcia and Galicia.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS): used by Castilla-La Mancha, Catalonia and La Rioja.
  • Software as a Service (SaaS): used by Cantabria, Castilla y León, Andalucía and Ceuta.

As for the most innovative technological solutions, you can see how some of them are already used:

  • Big Data: Catalonia, Andalusia, Galicia, Aragon and the Valencian Community.
  • Blockchain: Catalonia and Aragon.
  • Augmented reality: Andalusia, Cantabria and Galicia.

Virtually all communities, to a greater or lesser extent, carry out actions aimed at implementing cybersecurity in their digital actions, measures focused on the protection of user data.

ICT and personnel expenses

The report reveals that the expenditure on Information Technology was € 670,120 thousand, although we must consider that there are communities that have not provided this information.

The ICT staff working in the participating Autonomous Communities totals 2,959 people, which represents 0.53% of the total autonomous public workers.

In view of the results obtained, it can be deduced that the Autonomous Communities are mostly making a considerable effort to digitize.

From Viafirma we collaborate in the use of digital solutions for the Autonomous Administration through our Digital Signature and Open Government solutions. As proof of this we can take the implementation of Viafirma Documents in the Port Authority of the Balearic Islands.

Using different strategies and ways of dealing with this change, the effort to adapt to new technologies and to provide information, procedures and participation by citizens, confirms a tangible reality for all sectors of society.