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ICT Interoperability

​The objective of this section is to provide resources and guidance for Interoperability related ICT activities within the Government of Malta. It is our intention to provide relevant publications for “real life” challenges, and a means to keep up to date with recent developments in the fields of Interoperability and Open Standards.

More specifically, it is our intention to improve the implementation of technical solutions, to facilitate the informational and organisational challenges involved in delivering Public services to citizens, the business community and European member state administrations.

  
What is Interoperability?
 
The European Interoperability Framework (EIF) defines Interoperability as follows:
 
"Interoperability, within the context of European public service delivery, is the ability of disparate and diverse organisations to interact towards mutually beneficial and agreed common goals, involving the sharing of information and knowledge between the organisations, through the business processes they support, by means of the exchange of data between their respective ICT systems."
 
As its name denotes the EIF was developed with the intention of providing interoperability guidelines to EU member states. It specifies how public administrations, businesses and citizens can achieve better communication in the various layers of interoperability such as political, legal, business, semantics and technical.
 
Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA) slightly modified this definition to retain its pragmatic view, while focusing on the delivery of public services published by Malta’s public sector.  To this extent, the National ICT Interoperability Framework (NIF) revises the definition as follows:
 
"Interoperability, within the context of Public services delivery, is the ability of disparate and diverse organisations to interact towards mutually beneficial and agreed common goals, involving the sharing of information and knowledge between the organisations, through the business processes they support, by means of the exchange of data between their respective ICT systems."
 
When exploring deeper or specific levels of interoperability (example: exchange of data between relevant parties) contextualisation needs to be applied by the relevant stakeholders to ensure a cohesive understanding and agreement.
 
What is a Framework? 

A framework is a structure that provides a set of guidelines aimed to facilitate the production of projects which need to comply with core principles.

What is an Interoperability Framework? 

As defined in the EIF version 2.0:
"An interoperability framework is an agreed approach to interoperability for organisations that wish to work together towards the joint delivery of public services. Within its scope of applicability, it specifies a set of common elements: vocabulary, concepts, principles, policies, guidelines, recommendations, and practices".

Malta's National ICT Interoperability Framework 
 
In essence the National ICT Interoperability Framework (NIF) intention is to guide the public sector in maximising the benefits and reducing the cost burden derived from all technology investments by introducing ICT resources that are flexible, reusable and interoperable.
We are pleased to announce that the first iteration of the NIF is currently published on the MITA portal. We urge everyone with an interest in the development of interoperable public services to let use this document as a guidance instrument.
 
The NIF takes into account the European context by, among other things, adopting the definitions and introducing the principles and recommendations issued by the European Interoperability Framework (EIF) as directed by the European Interoperability Strategy (EIS).
 
The building blocks envisaged by this and similar initiatives are based on international best practice and technical experience acquired from MITA’s 20 years of continuous ICT investment.
 
For more information please follow this link