The Philippine e-Government Interoperability Framework (PeGIF)

 

Preface

Interoperability is a key in realizing our goals of improving the effectiveness and efficiency of national government agencies, creating a positive business environment and enhancing good governance and broadening public participation.

The Philippine eGovernment Interoperability Framework (PeGIF) seeks to enable data exchange and reuse among national government agencies. This specific document is about technical interoperability or matters relating to linking ICT systems and services, including interfaces, interconnection, data integration, data exchange, security, and presentation.

The PeGIF was developed by a special working group composed of members from the government and private sector. In producing the document, several consultation workshops with different stakeholders were also conducted. The ICT Office of the Department of Science and Technology is tasked with managing and monitoring the implementation of the PeGIF.

The PeGIF is one of the policy tools needed to implement seamless and effective technology-enabled governance. The ICT Office shall also work on a high-level government-as-a-whole architecture. With these policy tools, we hope to take a major stride toward effective, efficient, and empowering eGovernment in the Philippines.

 

1. Introduction

The Philippine eGovernment Interoperability Framework (PeGIF) defines a common language, principles, and standards that national government agencies should use in the design of data and information systems to enable data exchange and reuse.

   1.1. Desired Outcomes

          Interoperability is a tool to achieve the following:

      1.1.1. Increased Efficiency of Government Services. The PeGIF will enable the government to design efficient and integrated services that are responsive to citizens’ needs. Integration will reduce redundancies and inefficiencies in existing government processes. Through the PeGIF, agencies will be able to better collaborate in developing public policy and services.

This outcome will be achieved when the increased number of interagency systems leads to new ICT-enabled public services that better meet citizens' needs and hasten socio-economic growth.

      1.1.2. Improved Decision-Making in Government. The PeGIF will improve decision-making through easier access to consolidated and processed data and information across government. This outcome will be achieved when all NGAs use and rely on ICT-enabled decision support and business intelligence systems to deliver their mandate.

      1.1.3. Reduced Costs and Increased Savings for Government. The PeGIF will allow information systems across agencies to exchange data seamlessly and reduce, if not remove, the need for middleware. The PeGIF will also prevent single-vendor lock-in, which can lead to cost-savings or more value gains for the same price.

The above would then lead to:

      1.1.4. Increased Citizen Satisfaction in Transacting with Government. The PeGIF will help create interoperable eGovernment systems that would make possible trustworthy transactions with government anytime, anywhere.

This outcome will be achieved when secure government services are fully or partially delivered electronically and traditional service delivery channels (e.g., over the counter, mail, and telephone) are enhanced by the use of ICT.

      1.1.5. Enhanced Ability to Interoperate With Other Nations. The PeGIF will enable exchange of data and information across national boundaries.

This outcome will be achieved when national government agencies regularly exchange and reuse data from their counterparts in other countries to protect and promote each government's national interest.

      1.1.6. Better Informed and Active Citizenry. The PeGIF will help produce an informed and active citizenry by providing reliable and readily available government data and information as well as new electronic channels for citizen participation in governance.

This outcome will be achieved when government data and information are readily available to all citizens via an Open Data portal and all national government agencies are able to provide electronic participation channels. These will enable Filipinos to participate in policy development and in the design and delivery of public services.

      1.1.7. Improved Ecosystem for Competition and Innovation Among ICT Service Providers. The PeGIF will contribute to the improvement of market competition among ICT service providers by defining and sharing the standards for different providers competing for government accounts. This outcome will be achieved when a diverse set of players in the market arise to compete for government accounts.

   1.2. Definition

EGovernment Interoperability is defined as the ability to exchange and reuse government data and information in a uniform and efficient manner across multiple government ICT systems and agencies.

    Interoperability has three domains.

      1.2.1. Technical interoperability – All matters relating to linking ICT systems and services, including interfaces, interconnection, data integration, data exchange, security, and presentation.

      1.2.2. Information interoperability – All matters relating to a common methodology, definition, and structure of information, along with shared services for its retrieval.

      1.2.3. Business-process interoperability – All matters that deal with the common methods, processes, and shared services for collaboration, including workflow, decision-making, and business transactions.

    Cross-cutting these three domains are:

      1.2.4. Security - All aspects related to defining, achieving, and maintaining confidentiality, integrity, availability, non-repudiation, accountability, authenticity, and reliability of a system.

      1.2.5. Best Practice - Aspects related to demonstrating the best uses of standards in the public and private sectors to achieve technical, information, and business process interoperability.

This document is limited to Technical Interoperability. Information Interoperability Framework shall be covered by another document.

   1.3. Coverage

The use of PeGIF is mandatory for the Executive branch of government, including the National Government Agencies, Bureaus, and Offices (NGAs), Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs), Government Financial Institutions (GFIs), and State Universities and Colleges (SUCs).

PeGIF implementation shall be forward-looking. It shall guide the design, development, procurement, implementation, and evaluation of all new ICT systems (both software and hardware) in government. It shall also be used as ICT systems reach the end of their life cycles or as existing ICT systems are upgraded.

PeGIF shall be used in reviewing agency ICT spending proposals by the appropriate authorities. Unless there are compelling security, health, and other reasons, ICT projects not complying with the PeGIF shall not be funded by government nor shall they be eligible for foreign funding.

Procurement shall be used as a tool to ensure PeGIF compliance. Upon its adoption, all government ICT suppliers or service providers shall be required to submit a Declaration of Conformity with PeGIF when they bid for ICT projects.

As the benefits of the PeGIF are not limited to the Executive branch of government, the Legislature, Judiciary, and other Constitutional bodies are invited to consider adopting the PeGIF. Likewise, Local Government Units (LGUs) are encouraged to adopt the PeGIF. The PeGIF is also open to use by:

      1.3.1. non-government organizations

      1.3.2. the private sector (business community)

      1.3.3. the academe

      1.3.4. the public.

   1.4. Tenets

    The following tenets govern the PeGIF:

      1.4.1. Openness and citizen engagement. The PeGIF facilitates transparency in government and enables citizen participation in governance.

      1.4.2. Collaboration. The PeGIF allows national government agencies to work together to deliver better, more efficient public services.

      1.4.3. Alignment with existing standards. The PeGIF draws from established international, regional, and national standards and notes opportunities from current industry developments.

      1.4.4. Preference for open standards. The PeGIF is based on open standards. All PeGIF standards and guidelines must conform with open standard definitions, unless there are specific and compelling reasons against its use in specific agencies.

An open standard is a set of technical specifications that are usually published by formal standard-setting organizations, using an open decision-making process. These standards are generally available to the public on royalty-free terms without restrictions as to its use or redistribution of any of its implementations. The actual written specifications must be available for free or for a nominal fee.

      1.4.5. Trust and security. The PeGIF will promote safety, resiliency, and confidence in eGovernment systems.

      1.4.6. Inclusiveness. The PeGIF requires agencies to closely work with relevant sectors and communities of interest to define their interoperability needs.

2. Key Technical Policies

   2.1 The following key policies are adopted:

      2.1.1. Alignment with the Internet: the universal adoption of common specifications used on the Internet and World Wide Web for all public sector information systems.

      2.1.2. Adoption of the browser as the key interface: all public sector information systems are to be accessible through browser-based technology; other interfaces are permitted but only in addition to browser-based ones. Browsers will not have active content so that users are not forced to reduce the browser’s security settings.

      2.1.3. Addition of metadata to government information resources.

   2.2. Standard Selection

    The technical specifications adopted in the PeGIF are those that:

      2.2.1. Enhance data/information exchange – Specifically, standards that are relevant to systems’ interconnectivity, data integration, presentation and interface, e-services access, and content management metadata.

      2.2.2. Promote openness – Specifications that comply with the definition of open standards used in this document and contribute to open systems.

      2.2.3. Conform with international practices – Preference will be given to standards with the widest applicability. When appropriate, international standards will take precedence over regional and national standards.

      2.2.4. Adapt easily to scale – The standard should satisfy changed demands made on the system, such as changes in data volumes, number of transactions or number of users. 2.2.5. Have existing market base – The specifications selected are widely supported by the market and leads to reduction of costs and risk for the government information system.

   2.3. Sectoral Standards

    The PeGIF recognizes the possible need for sectoral standards. These sectoral standards, however, should only be developed and adopted if existing national standards, identified in the standards catalogue, inhibit information exchange within the sector. Furthermore, sectoral standards should not prevent data and information exchange between sectors. Finally, sectoral standards should be selected using the PeGIF principles and selection process.

3. Managing the PeGIF

   3.1. Development

The ICT Office, through the iGovPhil Project, managed the development and issuance of the PeGIF. A PeGIF Task Group was organized to draft the PeGIF. The PeGIF Task Group was composed of ICT experts from government, private (business) sector, civil society and non-government organizations, and academe. The draft PeGIF underwent a multi-channel national consultation involving stakeholders before it was finalized and adopted.

   3.2. Implementation

An appropriate order shall be drafted and issued by ICT Office to adopt and implement the PeGIF. The Office of the Deputy Executive Director for eGovernment of ICT Office shall be responsible for the overall implementation of the PeGIF, including the development of the implementation plan and mechanisms and the integration of the PeGIF in all national government plans and processes (e.g. PDP, GPPB). The Office of the Deputy Executive Director for eGovernment shall be assisted by a multi-stakeholder PeGIF Advisory Committee. The National ICT Governance Service of ICT Office shall assist the Deputy Executive Director for eGovernment in PeGIF implementation.

   3.3. Monitoring and Evaluation

The ICT Office shall develop tools to monitor PeGIF implementation. The ICT Office, with the assistance of technical experts, shall issue yearly evaluation report of PeGIF implementation. These reports shall serve as inputs in updating the PeGIF.

   3.4. Policy Updating

The PeGIF is a living document and will adapt to changing requirements over time and will be maintained at a strategic level. The PeGIF shall be reviewed a year after its implementation. Subsequent reviews shall be biennial. Specific standards in the catalog, however, can be updated after a Change Request, including use-case report, is submitted and accepted by ICT Office.

   3.5. Role of Agencies

Interoperability requires a culture of collaboration and consistent use of the agreed standards between national government agencies.

Government Chief Information Officers (GCIOs), of NGAs, GFIs, GOCCs, and SUCs, or their equivalent, are primarily responsible for the success of the PeGIF. GCIOs shall ensure the adoption of the PeGIF as an agency policy and ensure that it is referenced in their ICT plans and procurement. GCIOs shall also raise awareness of the PeGIF within the agency and create an environment for officials to raise and act on interoperability issues.

GCIOs are encouraged to use the adoption of the PeGIF as an opportunity to reduce spending while improving the quality of services offered by their agencies.

 

Signed Policies

1. Memorandum Circular No. 2014-09001 (Approval of the Philippine Electronic Government Interoperability Framework (PeGIF) Version 1.0 for Implementation by Government Agencies)

2. Memorandum Circular No. 2015-003  (Approval of the Philippine Electronic Government Interoperability Framework (PeGIF) Part 2, Otherwise Known as the Information Interoperability Framework (IIF), for Implementation by the Government Agencies)