Digitization of administrative procedures of the public administration drastically and positively impacts the operation of registry offices, the centers of public services, and the overall interaction of citizens and businesses with their government. However, developing a National Registry of Administrative Procedures is a huge challenge for all governments that want to systematize and simplify their processes. The Greek Registry of Administrative Procedures and Services, also known as MITOS overcame this challenge. MITOS is an informational platform, which provides all necessary information to citizens and end-users about administrative processes, governmental services, applicable regulations and rules, and competent authorities. It automatically generates a visualization of each procedure using widely adopted standards. By doing so, it sets the grounds for procedures' simplification and digitalisation and provides a tool for citizens that consume public services.
The development of a National Registry of Administrative Procedures is a huge challenge for all governments that want to systematize and simplify their processes in order to digitize all the operations of public administration. This digitization drastically and positively affects the operation of registry offices and centers of public services, as well as the overall interaction of citizens and businesses with the public authorities. The European Commission has developed resources, data models, and standards to facilitate the systematic description of public services, thus allowing public bodies to describe the public services only once, using an expandable and machine-readable vocabulary of terms, making these descriptions reusable on many different government web portals including EU’s Single Digital Gateway and Your Europe portal.
The Greek Registry of Administrative Procedures and Services, also known as MITOS, is currently being populated with detailed descriptions of public services and internal procedures adopting well-known vocabularies of terms and standards (CPSV-AP, CPOV, BPMN), and a flexible editing model that is based on controlled crowdsourcing in order to accelerate the registration process and keep completeness and quality at a high level. The registry combines rich metadata, which is human and machine-readable and constitutes a valuable knowledge base for public administration processes. The project follows a vertical registration model, similar to hierarchical management, which comprises (a) several hundred editors, state employees from different ministries, who are responsible for registering and keeping track of a specific set of administrative procedures each; (b) supervisors at each ministry who guarantee the content quality and validity; and (c) a group of administrators from the Ministry of Digital Governance, who supervise the whole project. Editors and administrators are trained using an asynchronous training platform and a support forum.
MITOS is an informational platform, which provides all necessary information to citizens and end-users about administrative processes, governmental services, applicable regulations and rules (to some extent, as the full scope of applicable law and technical rules is beyond the scope of any given portal, at least at present), and competent authorities. At the moment, MITOS contains more than 2200 fully described services and procedures, another 2300 that are under processing. It is expected to collect about 5000 procedures and services in total, which are provisioned by the law for the public administration. The implementation pursues the following objectives:
- Make available to the public reliable and up-to-date information on the obligations and due actions, relevant legislation, application forms, supporting documents, and steps of each public administrative procedure – from a single reference point
- Ensure the standardization, uniformity and consistency of the presentation and delivery of procedures to all citizens
- Facilitate the review and analysis of administrative procedures and identify areas for further simplification
- Allow citizens to report outdated or unregistered procedures
MITOS core is based on a MediaWiki installation, the open source software used by Wikipedia. Building on MediaWiki and its extensions, MITOS stores its data in a relational database and employs the Semantic MediaWiki in order to allow queries on the well structured information of the Registry. Following the effort of the European Commission that developed standards and core vocabularies to facilitate the systematic description of public services, the MITOS API allows to share content with other applications and supports send and receive requests in the form of JSON or XML documents. The BPMN generation module automatically creates a simplified BPMN diagram of the procedure from the described execution steps.
MITOS is one of the three pillars of the National Policy for Administrative Procedures, along with the Observatory for the measurement of executional and administrative burdens and the National Framework for Process Simplification. MITOS' data are consumed by the new EUGO portal, which takes advantage of the BPMN diagrams registered in MITOS, and interoperabilities to other systems as building blocks, in order to deploy all EUGO services as executable BPMN flows on a single open-source BPMN engine. In addition, the interoperability with the new backoffice of Citizens’ Service Office (KEP) and the governmental portal of digital services gov.gr is under development. In this way, MITOS is the cornerstone of the envisioned «Ecosystem of public administrative procedures», ensuring the avoidance of duplicating the relevant information stored across the public administration and also providing the opportunity to third parties (e.g. public bodies and/or the companies supporting them) to build on that and offer added-value services and systems.
What Makes Your Project Innovative?
Among the innovations of MITOS is the management model it employs for its population with procedures' metadata. This controlled crowdsourcing model allows to quickly engage and orchestrate more than 800 human editors and about 200 administrators. Each editor is assigned the task to register and update a small number (i.e. 5-7) of procedures, which are assigned by an administrator. The administrator supervises a small number (i.e. 3-5) of editors, checks and approves all the changes regarding MITOS' procedures.
The use of MediaWiki allows to keep control of all versions and changes, to go back with the click of a button and to make content publicly available in human and machine readable formats. With the use of the Semantic MediaWiki plugin it was also possible to create new, previously undocumented, knowledge about procedures (e.g. which are the procedures of each Ministry, which are the most popular evidences etc.), that can be used for further optimizing public procedures.
What is the current status of your innovation?
MITOS has successfully completed its first implementation phase and established as the main platform for procedures, and their metadata, for the Greek Public Administration. It is now open to the public, having recorded almost half of the provisioned procedures. Following the principles of agile project development, the development team keeps updating the platform, adding new features that facilitate all stakeholders and strengthen their engagement with the platform. The first analytic dashboard has already been made available to the ministries so that they can get an idea of the progress of populating MITOS. Doing our due diligence we detected weaknesses and threats and turned them into opportunities, by designing new solutions for MITOS. For example, the risk of inconsistent metadata, especially in the many free-text fields, led us to the creation of controlled vocabularies and side registries around MITOS such as the Registry of Evidences, Registry of Points of (citizens') Service, etc.
Collaborations & Partnerships
The design of MITOS platform promoted the actual end-user engagement, through service design sessions and piloting of new features. Public administrators brought the need for documenting the internal process of the service execution, and the requirement for dashboards. Citizens brought the need for rationalization of evidences and their association with service pre-requisites. Companies that automate public services brought requirements for the MITOS API and the information it provides.
Users, Stakeholders & Beneficiaries
The main stakeholders are the government officials who will benefit from the analysis of information collected in the registry. They will be able to decide on the processes to optimize, the evidences to digitize and the interoperabilities to develop. IT companies are also benefited from MITOS, since they can start new process automation and digitization projects with the government agencies, based on the analysis done in the registry and develop innovative services for the sake of citizens.
Results, Outcomes & Impacts
1600 procedures have been published and another 660 are fully described and ready to be published. More than 400 editors and 100 administrators have enrolled to MITOS and have received the synchronous and asynchronous training. MITOS has received more than 242,000 pageviews and 34,000 visits on a monthly basis. For measuring the impact to the economy, the environment and society, we use a combination of tools and practices from popular methodologies including TIMM from PwC, Four pillars by NPC, Theory of Change, etc. The key impact objectives have been transformed to quantifiable targets and indicators, which are either visualized on MITOS dashboard, or depicted on the monthly reports we create for the Ministry of Digital Governance. The goal is to have all ~5000 administrative procedures and engage all editors and administrators, as well as to quadruple the daily views and visits by citizens.
Challenges and Failures
The biggest challenge in the implementation of MITOS was the engagement of all ministries in the process of populating the registry. Some ministries have already described their procedures in other platforms, using custom tools and standards. The MITOS team developed several data migration strategies in order to support the smooth transition to MITOS and organized training sessions to introduce editors to the new platform. Another challenges is related to the management of changes in procedures when a new law is issued. These changes must be depicted to MITOS within a short period and we still lack of a mechanism that early notifies the editor for upcoming or established changes. This has been partially tackled by the law publishing office (www.et.gr), which before publishing a law asks which are the procedures that it affects. A provision is also taken in the Regulatory Impact Assessment platform that we are developing to interact with MITOS and provide an early notification.
Conditions for Success
The main condition for the success of MITOS is the optimization of the legal and regulatory framework in order to facilitate the population and maintenance of the registry. The major steps have already been done, and this partially explains the success of MITOS. Apart from this, it is important to ensure the human and financial resources that are needed for the maintenance of the content and the infrastructure, but also for the expansion of MITOS with new services that will add value to the collected knowledge. The Ministry of Digital Governance has provided the necessary resources for the development of MITOS, and is constantly caring about supporting its expansion. The leadership and guidance of the project is also critical and in this direction the management team of MITOS is in close collaboration with domain experts from the academia, the industry and the public governance in order to select and adopt the best practices, following an agile development methodology.
The success of MITOS has created an asset for the Greek Ministry and GRNET which can easily be replicated in other domains or countries. Already, banks in Greece have expressed their interest to use the platform for registering their procedures. Universities, hospitals and other big companies and organisations are within our scope. We are also in contact with the World Bank and OECD in order to disseminate our results and find more domains of application, as well as more governments world-wide, that will be interested in using our platform to organize their registry of procedures.
Start small, make sure that you engage your core group of users, gradually evaluate and develop new solutions and services.
MITOS started small, with a minimum functionality, in an attempt to engage more and more users (citizens and public administrators) and gradually shape its services. The MITOS team combines multi-disciplinary skills and knowledge which allows to quickly adapt to the requirements we get and the landscape we discover as we grow bigger. The supporting community of practice, comprising editors, administrators and citizens, in close collaboration with the MITOS team are examining issues and prioritize solutions. A small but attractive feature of MITOS is its ability to automatically generate BPMN diagrams from the procedure metadata, which help everyone to have a quick visualisation of every procedure and its internal steps.
- Evaluation - understanding whether the innovative initiative has delivered what was needed
4 August 2023