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FAQs
A constantly-updated section - We invite you to check this page often.

1 - What is the Three-Year Plan? What are its objectives?

The Three-Year Plan is the strategic and economic policy document that turns into action the Strategic Model for the evolution of the public administration information system (hereafter, “Strategic Model”).

Laid out in the AgID bylaws and by the 2016 Stability Law (28th December 2015, no. 208), the Plan was created to effectively guide the digital transformation of the Public Administration and becomes a reference for central and local administrations in the development of their own information systems. It defines the guidelines of the operational strategy for the development of public information technology, establishes the fundamental architectural principles, the rules of usability and interoperability, specifies the logic for classifying ICT expenses and clarifies the model for digital development.

The main objectives of the Three-Year Plan are:

  • to define the guidelines for the development and implementation of the Public Administration information system within an organic framework based on the objectives of the Italian Digital Agenda, and therefore of the Digital Growth Plan;
  • to rationalise, and therefore improve the quality of the ICT expenditure of the administrations, in line with the objectives of the 2016 Stability Law.

2 - What is the difference between the Digital Growth Strategy and the Three-Year Plan?

The Digital Growth Strategy - whose approval by the European Commission has allowed for the approval of the structural funds for Italy - is the Italian Digital Agenda, that is, the strategic document that describes how the relationship between the PA and the citizens must change through the identification of strategic projects; the Three-Year Plan is its operational and technical development.

Starting from the indications of the Digital Growth Strategy, AgID and the Digital Transformation Team have worked on setting up individual projects to elaborate an inclusive and competitive strategy that allows the country to move from a start-up phase to an industrial production of digital development.

3 - What the Three-Year Plan is not.

The Three-Year Plan is not a complete, specific and eternal set of instructions. Administrations will not find detailed investment planning for each individual and specific case of digital transformation of their services, nor all the answers to their questions. This is why we have planned a dynamic process of the Plan’s evolution, together with a support process that helps interpret the Plan and that incorporates the new updates into the next phase.

4 - Which professional figures within the administrations must read the Plan?

The Three-Year Plan is aimed both at the decision-making level of the administrations - to adapt the planning of the activities to the national strategy - and at the operational level, for the detailed planning of the solutions to be implemented.

5 - What are the most important innovations and changes contained in the Plan?

The innovation is the Plan itself: it is the first document containing actions, times and objectives for the Strategy’s implementation, providing clear indications to each Public Administration.

In addition, to broaden the possibilities for discussion and participation, collaboration tools typical of the developers’ world and aimed at disseminating technology projects are used: GitHub, ReadTheDocs and Discourse (see FAQ no. 15).

6 - What is the duration of the Three-Year Plan?

The Plan has an annual duration. The 2017 version defines the activities of 2018. By the end of September each year, an updated version will be issued that will direct the actions for the following year.

7 - Has the 2017 Three-Year Plan been shared with the recipient administrations?

The 2017 version has seen the collaboration of:

  • Sogei
  • CONSIP
  • the commissioner of the Spending Review
  • the central PAs, and in particular the Ministries, including all supervised entities
  • the tax agencies
  • the social security institutions
  • the regions
  • the Italian metropolitan cities
  • the provinces
  • the instrumental entities
  • ANCI

Starting from the drafting of the 2018 version, thanks also to the input coming from the technical collaboration tools (see FAQ no. 15), the collaboration and involvement of the administrations and the communities of reference will be extended.

8 - What information does the Three-Year Plan give to the Public Administrations to achieve the cost savings required by the Stability Law?

The Three-Year Plan provides useful indications to the Public Administrations on how to plan the technology investments for the next three years, allowing each individual administration to redefine expenditure and achieve savings in terms of the current expenditure, as established by the Stability Law for investments in innovation technology. The Stability Law no. 208 of 28th December 2015, paragraphs 512 and 514-bis, requires Public Administrations to save on annual expenditure, with a target to be achieved at the end of the 2016-2018 three-year period equal to 50 per cent of the average annual expenditure for the current management of the IT sector, excluding the fees for connectivity and expenditure services carried out through Consip SpA or aggregating subjects. It requires the Three-Year Plan to identify the expenditure components where such savings can be obtained, and those that must be excluded. Savings deriving from the implementation of these provisions can be used by the administrations, in accordance with the provisions of the law, primarily for investments in technological innovation.

9 - On what kind of information is the Three-Year Plan based?

For the first time, the Three-Year Plan provides a picture of the current situation regarding the type of administration and expenditure. The determinations made are based on the detailed analysis of a significant sample of PAs and on specific information relative to all the other administrations.

10 - How do you ensure that the administrations follow the Plan, and what happens if an administration does not follow the Plan?

The Law no. 208 of 28th December 2015 highlights the Three-Year Plan for the Public Administrations as an official document to be followed in order to plan ICT investments over the next three years. As indicated in the Plan and set out under Article 17 of the Digital Administration Code, each administration must appoint an internal Digital Transformation Manager who can be in constant communication with AgID and the Digital Transformation Team in order to implement the actions envisaged by the Plan itself. In the corrections to the Digital Administration Code, given the difficulty for each administration to find adequate professionals with specific technological skills, it is planned to allow administrations to share qualified human resources for this type of role. In order to provide structured support to the administrations, AgID and the Digital Transformation Team have also decided to share the Plan through modern collaboration tools, including GitHub, Docs, the new public document management system based on ReadTheDocs, and Forum, the discussion forum on public services.

AgID will activate a continuous monitoring process to receive feedback from the administrations on the implementation of the actions envisaged in the Plan and to provide any additional support with critical issues. The directions contained in the Plan aim at guiding Public Administration expenditure in the Digital Transformation and are therefore binding for the Administrations in planning their investments. In fact, the digital world is considered a fundamental resource for the country, leading to better spending and innovation. Any administration that delays its compliance with the actions described in the Three-Year Plan should be considered as an unnecessary cost to the State, which must be hindered by means of all the necessary tools available to control public spending.

11 - What happens if an Administration does not have the skills or resources to implement the Plan?

The Three-Year Plan describes the competences that must be identified and the purchasing tools necessary to plan investments aimed at implementing the technological choices contained in the Plan itself. As indicated in the Plan and set out under Article 17 of the Digital Administration Code, each administration must appoint an internal Digital Transformation Manager who can be in constant communication with AgID and the Digital Transformation Team in order to implement the actions envisaged by the Plan itself. In the corrections to the Digital Administration Code, given the difficulty for each administration to find adequate professionals with specific technological skills, it is planned to allow administrations to share qualified human resources for this type of role. In order to provide a structured support to administrations in the definition of their investments, AgID and the Digital Transformation Team have also decided to share the Plan through modern collaboration tools, including GitHub, Docs, the new public document management system based on ReadTheDocs, and Forum, the forum for discussions on public services. This support includes searching for and sharing the technological skills and support for the procurement of financial resources, including those relating to the Regional Operational Plans.

12 - Can an administration receive clarifications? How will the PA support phase be managed?

AgID will assist the PAs in the implementation of the Three-Year Plan also through collaboration with certain aggregator subjects that will be identified after an initial series of meetings that will be concluded by September 2017.

In order to involve developers and experts in the sector, collaboration tools typical of the developers’ world and aimed at disseminating technology projects are used: GitHub, ReadTheDocs and Discourse (see FAQ n. 15).

13 - How will the administrations be involved in drafting the next version of the Three-Year Plan?

Involvement will be through the work structured together with the entities (aggregators and others) that will collaborate with AgID and the Digital Team in the implementation of the Plan. Naturally, the involvement will also take place thanks to the suggestions that will emerge through the use of GitHub, ReadTheDocs and Discourse (see FAQ n.15).

14 - The Plan envisages the future creation of multiple guidelines that are not yet ready. What are they and how will their creation and publication be managed?

In order to efficiently implement the directions described in the Plan, AgID has decided to collate the technological specifications for different areas of application within guidelines. Some of the guidelines that will be released in the coming months are:

  • Guidelines for the rationalisation of the ICT assets of the Public Administrations (First release date: January 2018);
  • Guidelines for developing and maintaining applications for the PA’s cloud (release date: December 2017);
  • Guidelines for migrating legacy applications to the PA’s cloud environment (release date: June 2018);
  • Guidelines for the implementation of public Wi-Fi networks (release date: December 2017);
  • Guidelines for integration with the DAF (release date: TBD);
  • Open data guidelines (release date: July 2017);
  • Interoperability guidelines and rules (release date: June 2018);
  • Guidelines for transitioning to the new Interoperability Model (release date: May 2017);
  • Guidelines for the new Interoperability Model (release date: December 2017);
  • Guidelines for the architectural model of the critical service management (release date: June 2017)
  • Guidelines for the ICT security of Public Administrations (release date: June 2017).

The progressive drafting of the guidelines will be accompanied by communication through the newsletter dedicated to the Three-Year Plan. The draft of the guidelines will be made available to collect comments and suggestions that will be evaluated, discussed, and possibly integrated using GitHub and the Forum. Only when consensus is reached and a final version is created will the official publication take place, both on the website and in the official gazette.

15 - Why GitHub, Docs and Forum for communication about the Plan?

We want to be able to share the Plan also within the community of developers and experts in the sector, including those within the Public Administration. To achieve this goal, we want to use the tools for sharing and collaboration that are used by these communities to spread their technology projects: GitHub, ReadTheDocs (for the creation of a public document management system) and Discourse (for the creation of a discussion on public services). GitHub is a technological platform used to share text files and source code, and implements two very important features that are useful to share the Three-Year Plan by providing a dedicated support service:

  • issue: the function of opening an issue, accessible within the issue tab in each section of GitHub, dedicated to a part of the chapter of the Three-Year Plan by means of the green button at the top right - “New Issue”. This allows for the isolation of a specific element of a discussion to start a discourse and in-depth evaluation;
  • pull request: accessible through the pen icon in the GitHub header within each chapter or section of the Plan, this function allows users to make suggestions and recommend changes to parts of the text of the Plan itself.

Both functions are managed by maintainers belonging to AgID and the Digital Transformation Team, who evaluate the requests received and provide answers that support the administrations with regards to any problems, critical issues or points to be clarified. ReadTheDocs is a platform for sharing text documents in html, organised according to a classic division into chapters and sections and a lateral index to scroll through the chapters themselves, which allows the use of the document on every device in a fluid way and with an easy search function. Discourse is a technological platform that allows for the creation of a forum for discussing and sharing specific themes with the community and the request for support on particular aspects of the Three-Year Plan. Such collaboration platforms are used by developers to share technical documents and development code and to collect contributions, comments and suggestions in a simple and effective way. It is an easy and natural way to create a sharing environment while speaking a technological language.

16 - Why is the Three-Year Plan released in May 2017?

The draft has been completed at the end of March 2017, after the consolidation process of the document has finished, with the collaboration of the administrations involved. Afterwards, the procedure for official approval by the Council of Ministers was launched, together with the creation of the necessary tools for sharing and dissemination for the support of the Public Administrations.

17 - What comes after this version of the Plan?

The Three-Year Plan is a document in constant evolution, that will be adapted and updated over time, constituting a permanent guide for the Administrations. New versions of the Plan will thus be published by September each year, following approval of AgID’s proposal by the President of the Council of Ministers or by the Minister for Innovation, so as to gather and integrate the suggestions and recommendations that will come from GitHub and the Forum. Several guidelines will therefore emerge from the plan, which, as will be subsequently explained, will then be submitted to the community before being published. AgID and the Digital Transformation Team will also work to collect, construct and provide tools such as software, libraries, recommendations and procedures to facilitate Public Administrations in the implementation of the Plan, using the portal Developers Italia.

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