Implementing the Single Digital Gateway in Malta
Written by Adrian Camilleri
The Single Digital Gateway (SDG) is intended to facilitate online access to the information, procedures, and assistance services that citizens and businesses need to get active in another EU country. The MEI has requested MITA to help with the implementation of the SDG in Malta, and this has fitted well with our recently launched corporate strategy and our ambitious programmes for Digital Transformation.
The SDG envisages a once-only technical system will be set up for the transmission of the electronic evidence required for the fulfilment of procedures across borders. The principal benefit expected from the system is the authenticity of the evidence which will be provided by approved sources.
To illustrate the process, for an Italian citizen to access a cross-border service to register for a second degree offered by an education institute in Malta, she would first authenticate to the service with her Italian credentials using the eIDAS Node. Subsequently, the service would ask the Evidence Broker what type of evidence is required to fulfil the criterion for eligibility which in this case is the completion of a first degree. The broker would inform the service that the required evidence type is a first-degree certificate. The service would then ask the Data Services Directory from where to obtain such a certificate from Italy, and the directory would respond with the location of one or more data providers.
The service would then be required to ask the user for an explicit request to seek the evidence from the selected data providers. If such authorisation is granted by the user, the service would then use the eDelivery system to submit a request for evidence. Upon receiving the information, the service would be required to allow the user to preview the evidence prior to using this within the procedure.
It has been confirmed that the CEF eDelivery building block will be adopted as is in the SDG technical specifications. To de-risk the project, we have immediately set out to implement this part using our Cloud-based technologies. eDelivery uses a decentralised four-corner model messaging topology, allowing communication between different parties without setting up bilateral channels.
In conclusion, the SDG represents the biggest attempt made so far by Europe to achieve widespread cross-border digital connectivity and the project presents several interesting business-related, legal and technical challenges. MITA is very well positioned to facilitate this transformational journey in Malta by providing technical expertise and building the shared services required to achieve these objectives.