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Ministry of Justice of the Czech Republic – Project Unification of access to basic registries in a department of the Ministry of Justice

The introduction of basic registries in the public administration in 2011 unified the database that had hitherto been built by each institution separately. However, this raised a new problem: “How can this simple structure be connected with a very diverse set of agenda information systems using these data to support separate work processes?” In some institutions, these systems number in the hundreds and the technical means of their communication with individual records had hitherto been similarly diverse. How can all of these agenda systems be connected to the basic registries without increasing the already daunting complexity of the information system’s structure?

Client:

Ministerstvo spravedlnosti České republiky


Characteristics of the customer

One of the main bodies of the state administration of the Czech Republic is the Ministry of Justice, whose competencies include the nation’s courts, the prosecuting attorney’s office, Probation and Mediation Service, and the prison service.  The departmental organisation thus includes courts at all levels (Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, district and regional courts), public prosecutor’s office (Attorney’s General Office, High Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, district and regional prosecuting attorney’s offices), Probation and Mediation Service, Academy of Justice, Prison Service of the Czech Republic, and the Institute for Criminology and Social Prevention.

The justice department covers seven basic agendas:

• agenda of the Ministry of Justice
• probation and mediation agenda
• agenda of the criminal-records registry
• agenda of district courts
• agenda of regional courts
• agenda of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals
• agenda of all levels of the prosecuting attorney’s offices
• agenda of the prison service

Each of these agendas is supported by one or more agenda information systems, which require data from basic registries – civil registry, registry of legal entities, Czech Office of Surveying, Mapping and Cadastre, and the registry of rights and obligations.

The customer’s initial situation

The Ministry of Justice, like all other bodies of the state administration, was faced with the task of connecting all agenda information systems of all departmental organisations to the basic registry that was put into live operation on 1 July 2011. The department’s management required a solution that would minimise the costs of modifying these applications while being flexible enough to enable future modifications of individual agenda systems necessitated by legislative amendments without the necessity of constantly upgrading the software solution of the interface with the basic registries.

Complications of the project were the instability of the basic registries (several modifications of their web services were still ongoing in the second half of 2011) and, later, the necessity of cooperating with the large number of vendors of the departmental agenda information systems.

Our solution

A great advantage held by KOMIX over other vendors was the company’s demonstrable experience with a similar project for the same customer – three years prior, KOMIX resolved the issue of how to ensure and improve the communication of several agenda information systems with the central civil registry. The solution was built on the concept of a unified communication gateway as a single place for access to basic registries within the department. Together with this solution, the Ministry of Justice also additionally gained an overview of the scope and volume of communication of subordinate organisations, simplification of application management and assurance of access authorisation including a higher level of security.

KOMIX used the concept of a single communication gateway for the justice department also in this case. The necessity of modifying individual agenda information systems is thus minimised while also allowing maximum leeway for their further development. Furthermore, their dependence on possible changes in the basic registries (web services thereof) is also reduced – everything is handled only through modifications of the communication gateway.

The KMX_GTW communication gateway works on the principle of web services with a fixed interface structure defined from the side of the registries. Another principle of the gateway is unification of access-rights management, as individual applications no longer access the registries independently, but rather via this communication gateway.

The entire project was delivered in the necessary scope, in the required quality and by the stipulated deadline. The realisation part of the project was launched in February 2012, followed by pilot operation in June 2012. The project was completed in July 2012. 

Evaluation – benefit for the customer

Similarly as in the first project, the main advantages of this project proved to lie in the simple administration of the entire IT infrastructure (our solution strengthens individual elements in the department’s application environment), in higher security of access and in the possibility of the ministry to obtain an overview of communication between all departmental institutions (of which there are hundreds) and the basic registries.

The greatest advantage of this solution is its universality – the principle of the communication gateway between existing applications and basic registries can be used in various environments regardless of the amount and the material and technical character of the agenda information systems, i.e. it can be used in other institutions of the public administration. In comparison with seemingly more straightforward yet technically fundamentally more awkward adaptations of all individual applications for communication with the registries, this solution requires much less time and effort, thus also leading to reduced costs.