By Chariclia Olymbiou, Project Manager & Theodoros Demetriades, Standards Lead
Framework for the Digital Transformation of Government Services
The Digital Services Factory is one of the main Strategic Initiatives of the Cyprus Digital Strategy which aligns with the overall vision of the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy to accelerate digital transformation in Cyprus.
The Framework for the Digital Transformation of Government Services is one of the main pillars of the Digital Services Factory and aims at creating a flexible and responsive digital marketplace for the government. It allows for a diverse range of suppliers to participate in mini-competitions for (a) proposing innovative solutions that meet the specific needs of government departments and ministries, from initial investigations to an end-to-end service delivery (Lot 1), or (b) providing user research studios and participants (Lot 2).
The pool of suppliers is expected to provide teams for research, test, design, build, release, iterate, or support a digital service according to the Service Standard (a set of principles and guidelines that ensure all digital services provided through the framework meet a high standard of quality, usability, and accessibility for users).
The Framework agreement is in place and the first mini-competitions are expected to run in May 2023. The aim is to deliver up to 150 high-priority public user-facing services across a range of departments and ministries, up to the year 2026.
Suppliers that have successfully been onboarded to the Framework, are eligible to participate in mini-competitions. These competitions specify one or more services that need to be developed, in an outcome-based way, and suppliers are invited to propose their solutions based on their experience and capabilities, taking advantage of modern and emerging technology practices and working in an agile way.
The Framework allows for multiple services to be included in a mini-competition; up to five services can comprise what is called a “Bucket of Services”. The aim is to encourage suppliers to propose innovative solutions that are tailored to the specific needs of the government department or ministry in question.
First Mini-Competitions and Future Plans
The first mini-competitions are expected to run in May 2023. The first buckets of services that will run through mini-competitions have already been defined, one for the Civil and Migration Department of the Ministry of Interior, one for the Educational Service and another one for the Ministry of Defence.
The Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation, and Digital Policy, with the Department of Information Technology Services, is currently assessing additional buckets with services that fall under the same business category to be delivered through future mini-competitions. The aim is to ensure that a diverse range of suppliers and services are available to meet the needs of the government.
Moreover, other services following the Service Standard guidance and principles are already being developed and are expected to be released by the end of 2023 through existing contracts.