eAdministration autonomous communities

The electronic administration of the autonomous communities

Digitally transforming any company is an arduous task that requires planning, resources and time. If it is a challenge for any private organization, it is even more so for public entities, which generally have a more complex organization. At what stage of the Digital Transformation are the Autonomous Communities? Let’s take a look at their current situation on the road to e-Government.

As we all know, the Spanish territory is politically and administratively divided into 16 Autonomous Communities, one Autonomous Community, such as Navarre, and the Autonomous Cities of Ceuta and Melilla. This decentralization of the State model means that coordination and collaboration between the autonomous and central administrations and between the Autonomous Communities themselves is a key element 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 aimed at implementing digital services that give shape to what is known as eGovernment or eAdministration.

How structures are organized for eAdministration

This aforementioned territorial division makes entities differ in how measures for a correct digital transformation should be implemented.

On the one hand, we can find the case of Cantabria, Navarra, Aragón, Castilla y León, Extremadura, Baleares and Andalucía. In all these regions there is a single internal department responsible for e-Government. For example, in Andalusia there is the General Directorate for Digital Transformation of the Andalusian Regional Government.

On the other hand, there are cases in which two internal departments will be in charge of 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 their implementation. This model can be seen in the Community of Madrid, the Community of Valencia and Murcia. As an example, 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 see situations in which several departments of the same regional administration coordinate to create a committee for digital transformation, as is the case in Asturias, the Basque Country, La Rioja, Castilla y la Mancha and the Canary Islands. The eGovernment plans of these communities tend to be more ambitious, as these committees have a larger structure that allows 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 Public Governance and Innovation (PEGIP 2020).

The CAE 2018 report

In order to monitor and promote the digitalization of the Autonomous Communities, the “Observatory, indicators and measures” working group, made up of all the autonomous communities and cities and the Ministry of Territorial Policy and Public Function, prepares the annual CAE Report.

It focuses on various aspects related to e-Government, which we will now break down.

Strategies for implementing eAdministration

This report shows that 10 Communities already have plans to go digital and, in addition, they have already organized themselves structurally so that the actions included in these plans are executed and supervised. These communities are: Aragon, Canary Islands, Cantabria, Castilla y la Mancha, Catalonia, Valencian Community, Galicia, Madrid, La Rioja and Basque Country.

The communities that are planning to draw up a digital transformation plan in the near future, such as Andalusia, Castile and Leon and the Region of Murcia, are also mentioned.

As regards the autonomous cities, Melilla has its digital plan in operation and Ceuta is in the process of preparing it.

The Autonomous Community of Navarre does not have a strategic plan at this time.

Services offered to citizens

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

  • Transport: 59.2%.
  • Culture: 52.2%.
  • Business: 46.3%.
  • Education: 42.1%.

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

E-government officials processing invoices

The drive for internal transformation

The eAdministration goes beyond those digital processes that facilitate the life of the population, but also affects the internal work procedures by the administrative officer.

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

The results show that Madrid, the Basque Country, Cantabria, Galicia, Catalonia, Ceuta and Melilla have a high level of electronic document and file management.

With regard to the preparation of personnel, 14 autonomous regions have a plan to train them in digital competencies. The exceptions are Castilla y León, Navarra and the Valencian Community, which do not have such a plan to date, and La Rioja, which does not provide any information in this regard.

Open Government Initiatives

What measures are taken by regional governments to promote transparency, citizen participation and the reuse of information? The CAE report attempts to answer this question.

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

If we focus our attention on the number of Open Data sets published by the different regional administrations, we see that Aragon (5,427), the Basque Country (1,651) and Navarre (583) are at the top of the list.

It is also worth noting that Andalusia is by far the region that receives the most requests for public information electronically, with 3,873, while Madrid, in second place, receives 956.

Another noteworthy fact 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 is essential and can be classified into 3 types:

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): contracted 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, some of them are already in use:

  • Big Data: Catalonia, Andalusia, Galicia, Aragon and Valencia.
  • Blockchain: Catalonia and Aragon.
  • Augmented reality: Andalusia, Cantabria and Galicia.

Practically all communities, to a greater or lesser extent, execute 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 Technologies was 670,120 thousand €. Although, we must consider that there are communities that have not provided this information.

ICT personnel working in these entities total 2,959 people, which represents 0.53% of the total number of regional public workers.

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

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

By employing different strategies and ways to face this change, the effort to adapt to new technologies and to facilitate information, procedures and participation on the part of the citizens, are a tangible reality for all sectors of society.


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