Coordinates: 46° 37' 16" N, 14° 16' 3" E
Description of the problem/need for IMC
IT systems are becoming ever more complex and are subject to increasing demands in terms of availability. The financial flexibility of municipalities is declining. Continuing developments in information technology will automate many administrative processes in the future (‘transparent municipalities’ available online 24 hours a day). However, conventional forms of access must be supported and maintained. Close inter-municipal cooperation will shape the future.
Description of the IMC practice
The Municipal IT Centre Carinthia is a joint initiative of the Federal Province of Carinthia, the Carinthian Association of Municipalities and the cities of Klagenfurt and Villach. It provides the Carinthian municipalities with advice and support on all IT matters to enable them to take a leading role in modern and efficient administrative management in Austria.
Establishment of the IMC practice
The State of Carinthia, the Carinthian Association of Municipalities and the cities of Klagenfurt and Villach (representing the Austrian Association of Cities and Towns) established the Municipal IT Centre Carinthia as ‘Gemeindeinformatikzentrum Kärnten GIZ-K GmbH’ in 2007 as associates with a common need. The four partners in the company are:
- 1/3 State of Carinthia
- 1/3 Carinthian Association of Municipalities
- 1/6 City of Klagenfurt
- 1/6 City of Villach
A brief overview of the current projects can be found on the website of the Municipal IT Centre Carinthia. Carinthian local authorities can find further details on the Extranet of the Municipal IT Centre Carinthia:
- Barrier-free municipal website: specifications for a modern, accessible municipality website.
- New municipal website: inter-municipal project to update the municipality websites
- Online forms: 70 online forms are available to Carinthian municipalities for integration into the individual municipality websites
- Resource optimisation: review and optimisation of IT equipment
- Mobile telephones: charge optimisation through new framework agreements
- VoIP telephony: cost savings, simple management and additional services
- Security: analysis of IT security
- Citizen cards: citizen card features on e-cards or official cards.
Benefits and shortcoming of the IMC practice
As the central contact for all Carinthian municipalities, Municipal IT Centre Carinthia is the first point of call for information technology and communication matters. In the two years since its establishment, the Municipal IT Centre Carinthia has already regularly proven itself to be a strong and important partner for the Carinthian municipalities. A great deal of information plus many concerns, requests and needs from the municipalities have now been recorded by the Municipal IT Centre Carinthia. This information helps to identify both strengths and areas with room for improvement in the IT landscapes of the municipalities in order to give these the appropriate consideration during individual projects of the Municipal IT Centre Carinthia. This newly created transparency not only provides inter-municipal assistance but also improves the position of municipalities in relation to their cooperation partners and IT service providers in the local economy.
Its size enables the Municipal IT Centre Carinthia to flexibly and non-bureaucratically respond to the municipalities’ concerns. The more municipalities (132 municipalities in Carinthia) use the services of the Municipal IT Centre Carinthia, the clearer it becomes that there is a lack of resources for future development, standardisation and long-term projects. In view of the above, it is necessary to react quickly and provide additional resources to maintain a broad range of services while still meeting the partners’ standardisation mandate.
Future plans for the development of the IMC practice
- IT security offensive: joint initiative of the Municipal IT Centre Carinthia and the Carinthian Economic Chamber established by the Municipal Department to improve IT security standards in the Carinthian municipalities due to increasing IT threats. An IT security recommendation was jointly developed with the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, which should be implemented in the municipalities in a three-step process.
- Online forms for the Carinthian municipalities: ubiquitous supply of standardised, premium quality forms drawn up in line with the style guide and tailored to the municipalities’ CIs. Support services for the municipalities to market the newly created offer of “Official channels around the clock”.
- Integrated e-government: within the scope of the key initiative for e-government reference towns and cities of the Association of Austrian Cities and Towns (ÖstB) a standardised architecture of e-government procedures should be developed over the next few years in selected municipalities, town and cities. This architecture will take into account the entire electronic procedure – from submission of applications (oral, written and electronic) to the seamless transfer of data from forms into the electronic file management system and the data’s continuous electronic processing in the back office, through to the electronic return transmission or notification of completion and the automated recording of return receipts in the back offices of the authorities.
- Expansion and continued development of the existing basic IT infrastructure (network of authorities in CNC municipalities): design and implementation of central services and standardised applications for the municipalities.
Main lessons learned on how to establish IMC and make it a success
- The package of measures for ‘barrier-free web access’ was awarded the special prize for 'Barrier-free access to IT' within the scope of the ‘ebiz egovernment Award Kärnten’.
- The Carinthian municipalities can use the services of Municipal IT Centre Carinthia as a platform for standardisation (e.g. Specifications of the Municipal IT Centre Carinthia), consultation (e.g. continuous information events) and coordination (e.g. for conducting intermunicipal cooperative projects) and can therefore choose to work with Municipal IT Centre Carinthia in various different ways.
Readiness to support other municipalities to establish IMC
Please do not hesitate to contact Manfred Wundara.
- Municipal IT Centre Carinthia website: http://www.giz-k.at/
- Extranet of the Municipal IT Centre Carinthia – knowledge platform for the Carinthian municipalities (protected area for CNC (Corporate Network Carinthia) participants only): http://wiki.giz-k.at