Turku will be the first municipality in Finland to provide the open source code of its online service for public use with the original license. Correspondingly, the developers of the application will release the results of their own development work with the open source license. Opening the code has already generated interest in other municipalities as well. The goal is to have the code opened by the end of the year.

By sharing development results openly, municipalities facilitate goals related to digital development in cost-effective manners that are uniform to the customer. Turku.fi utilises numerous modules created by the Drupal community, so it is natural to release the results of the work for everyone to utilise.

“The website of the City of Turku, which was opened a year ago, was created with a unique multi-supplier model and the open source-based Drupal system, which provides a license-free and supplier-independent software alternative. With agile co-development with customers, the functionalities can be built in ways that best serve the users’ needs,” says Director Tuomas Heikkinen.

“A key part of the development of the City’s service production and multi-channel customer service is the resident’s right and opportunity to act independently digitally, regardless of time and place. In accordance with the city strategy of Turku, the services in Turku are customer-oriented and comprehensively available in a digital form,” Heikkinen continues.

Providing digital services is a strategic choice

The 2014 customership strategy for public administration states that a digital service channel must be made the most attractive option to the customer. Additionally, public authorities must support the customers’ ability to switch over to using digital services wherever possible.

All large municipalities have the same goal: to produce digital services for an online service and share information in a uniform manner. In accordance with the new legislation regarding joint support services for administrative electronic services, municipalities will join the compatible digital service infrastructure created by the National Architecture for Digital Services programme.

Espoo and Turku co-developing an integration platform

Espoo and Turku are involved in the Kuningas project funded by the Advisory Committee on Information Management in Public Administration (JUHTA), which will create a shared integration platform management model for large cities. The goal is to share these outputs for others to use.

“Espoo and Turku co-developed an information model for core data registers and an integration platform for conveying information between systems for everyone to use. Thanks to the integration platform, information related to municipal services can be centred and found in one place in the future,” Heikkinen says.

“Opening the source code of the shared integration platform, Turku.fi and the event calendar is precisely the kind of co-operation that is needed more in the municipal sector. Turku and Espoo are setting an example and doing important work that is especially beneficial to small and medium-sized municipalities that have less development resources than large municipalities,” says Kunta-KaPa project office leader Tommi Karttaavi of the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities.

The digital service development project of 2016‒2017 continues with the same open policy utilising open interfaces, information distribution and movement, so that internal work becomes more efficient as well and up-to-date information is more readily available to support management work.

Opening the online service source code this autumn will be the first step. In the near future, a multitude of new digital services will be created in Finland, and Turku wants to be actively involved in the development.

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