Main eGovernment infrastructure components
Last updated: November 2011
The Public Administration Portal, initially developed and administered by the Ministry of Informatics (replaced by the Ministry of the Interior), was created by Act No. 365/2000 Coll. on the public administration information systems. It serves as an official single electronic gateway of the Czech Republic for citizens, businesses and institutions, enabling them to communicate with Public Administration (PA) entities. The portal gathers all the necessary information on central and local Government authorities in one location, ensuring remote and free access to up-to-date information and services of the PA bodies, including electronic transactions.
In line with EU programmes and objectives concerning eGovernment, the aims of the portal are to help simplify the administration, facilitate the communication of citizens or entrepreneurs with PA entities, ensure a simple and remotely accessible exchange of information and extend the transparency of the PA. The informational section of the portal comprises: a complete PA directory; links to both Czech and European legislation; a detailed database of recommended solutions for more than 468 specific life situations; the electronic Commercial Register; a facility for viewing parts of the Land Register; a public procurement overview; and news from individual Government bodies.
The map services give a different dimension to the information capacity of the portal by extending the directory to display authorities on a map. The main objective of the map services is to provide citizens with access to as much information as possible on a territory of interest while using the maximum amount and type of map data produced by the Government.
The ePUSA is an information system that contains an up-to-date database of self-government entities in the territory of the Czech Republic. The system enables the selection of required data according to different criteria. The main objective is to satisfy the need for communication between the Public Administration and citizens while creating and operating a current repository of the Regional and Municipal Authorities and other administrative bodies (e.g., organisations established by these authorities). The Ministry of the Interior operates ePUSA.
The TCOP is a nationwide tele-democracy website, which supports electronic information exchange between local governments and Czech citizens. It is administered in cooperation with the Union of Towns and Municipalities of the Czech Republic. The overall mission is to progressively develop user-friendly eServices in order to support digital communication between Public Administration and citizens. It engages citizens in the decision-making process via the use of various multimedia. The TCOP provides a complete list of Czech municipalities and a free database-driven homepage to each Czech Council.
The portal was launched in June 2011 to provide a more comprehensive service to users of Data Boxes, which serve as a secure repository of official electronic communications with public authorities. The new portal provides, in one place, comprehensive information on, and the services for the information system of Data Boxes (ISDS). In addition, the portal provides users with several secure ways to login, and also makes available interactive electronic forms. These changes are expected to significantly streamline the communication of citizens with the state.
The KIVS enables the interconnection of all Public Administration (PA) bodies (e.g. ministries, central administrations, regional authorities, municipal offices, labour offices, revenue authorities and public libraries), ensures secure and cost-efficient data and voice communications, as well as access to central information resources. Telefonica O2 and GTS Novera have been commissioned to provide the communications services infrastructure. Government bodies that are connected to the countrywide private network gain access to a number of services, including secure and reliable Internet access, a protected email system and the secure exchange of data. All public sector bodies connected to the network can access the same services under the same terms and conditions. Savings have exceeded CZK 250 million (approx. € 10.4 million). A PA digital map is currently being prepared for integration into the KIVS. The project is managed and coordinated by the Ministry of the Interior.
Czech POINT is a network of one-stop access points to eGovernment services intended to prevent citizens from visiting several offices, thus significantly reducing excessive administrative burden. Through these one-stop points, the general public is able to access all public records and to obtain transcripts/extracts, as well as information statements from the national registers.
The Czech Points are primarily located at post offices, municipal authority offices, registry offices and Czech embassies. As of April 2011, the network is comprised of 6 606 physical contact points and is continuously being extended. An interactive map on the website serves as a Czech Point location finder. Up until mid-April 2011, 4.9 million public register extract printouts – criminal record extracts – have been released by Czech POINT network terminals.
In the future, the accessibility of Czech POINT remotely via the Internet is expected to enable citizens to locate required documents from their home. In this light, the Act on Electronic Actions and Authorised Document Conversion, which gives electronic documents the same legal status as traditional stamped hardcopy equivalents, will have significant impact on the effectiveness of the network. Since July 2009, Czech Points have been in charge of converting paper-based administrative documents into electronic form, processing applications for the establishment of personal Data Boxes and terminating/re-creating these Boxes, when needed and upon request.
The identification of persons, the authentication of documents in the Internet and access to several transactional electronic public services are based on electronic signatures. Currently, there are three certification service providers (First Certification Authority, Czech Post and eIdentity) accredited by the Government to issue eSignatures (qualified certificates, qualified system certificates and qualified time stamps) valid for communicating and transacting with the Public Administration (PA). Their qualified certificates can be used for online transactions. eSignatures based on non-qualified certificates issued by other businesses can only be used for commercial services.
As the PA’s central body competent for eSignatures, the Ministry of the Interior conducts regulatory, supervisory and accreditation activities with regard to electronic signature products and providers in the Czech Republic. On 17 June 2011, the Ministry of the Interior published an opinion on the making of copies of personal documents for issuing qualified certificates. The opinion is published on the grounds that in some cases, applicants are qualified to issue the certificate object to make copies of personal documents and require to take only extract data from these documents. The qualified provider of certification services is required, before issuing a qualified certificate, to securely verify the identity of the signing or designating person.
Following a testing period, Czech authorities launched a first version of the Czech electronic passport at full scale in September 2006. On 1 April 2009, authorities started rolling out new electronic passports which featured a chip that contained two biometric identifiers. Issued in compliance with the requirements laid down in the European Union regulation regarding passport security and biometrics, the passports include new security features such as intricate designs and complex watermarks, as well as a chip and an antenna. The chip stores the electronic facial scan of the holder, in addition to personal details. Facial recognition maps various features. The addition of fingerprint details on the chip is being planned to take place at a later stage.
This is a public Certification Authority that meets the need for securing control systems accessing sensitive personal data on stored documents with biometric data. The aim of the CVCA is to provide certification services for public entities administering sets of inspection systems. The CVCA certificate policy stipulates the requirements relating to the activities, obligations and commitments of all participating parties that, directly or indirectly, come to contact with certification services or are dependent on them.
According to the European Commission's report 'Digitising Public Services in Europe: Putting ambition into action - 9th Benchmark Measurement', the Czech Republic has a centralised eProcurement system based on a national platform managed by the Public Procurement and Public Private Partnership Department of the Ministry for Regional Development. Contracting authorities are required to publish tender notices above the national threshold of € 76 000. The national platform is also mandatory for the ICT commodities and services purchases.
The public procurement legislation requires all public tenders and awards to be published on the free-of-charge eTenders and eAuctions portals. This obligation concerns State bodies as well as regional and municipal authorities. Information to be published on the portal includes public tender announcements, publication, results and cancellations of public tenders and price differences between received offers.
The procedures for the notification and publication of these public tenders have been automated to a large extent. Beyond this eTendering portal, the Government intends to automate ordering and invoicing procedures. The objective is to build an integrated eProcurement system to be used for repeated and bulk purchases across the entire Public Administration.
The Public Procurement and Public Private Partnership Department of the Ministry for Regional Development has designed a portal where comprehensive and well-organised information relating to public procurement can be found. A user is provided with an opportunity to be orientated in national and European laws, regulations and administrative provisions concerning public contracts and concessions. Supply of information on eProcurement at both national and European levels is an innovative feature.
The Ministry of the Interior began implementing a project to create digital government maps (DMVS). The digital map of Public Administration unifies data from various geographic information systems in one application. The project aims to facilitate the exercise of public administration and accessibility of spatial data for the authorities and the public in line with the Smart Administration, promoting efficient and user-friendly public administration, and development of eGovernment in the country.
A 'Data Box' is an electronic storage site intended for delivery of official documents and for communication with public authorities. It is not obligatory for citizens and private individuals who carry out business activities; however, its establishment is obligatory for legal entities and public bodies (Public Administration). A document (data message) which is sent to a Data Box is delivered at the moment the authorised individual logs in. Delivery of the document has the same legal provisions as personal delivery. A Data Box is not an email box; it cannot be used to communicate directly with individual public sector clerks, only with an entire office, nor can it be used to communicate with another private individual, a private individual carrying out business activities and/or a legal entity.
With regards to natural persons (citizens), they are able to open their Data Box on a voluntary basis and use the contained documents in their dealings with public authorities. Citizens can access their Data Box at the Czech POINT network's one-stop contact points.
As of 1 November 2009, every Czech public body and legal entity registered in the Commercial Register is required to use Data Boxes in place of the traditional paper form. The Data Boxes information system is currently operational for other types of communication, namely C2C (citizen to citizen), C2B (citizen to business) and B2B (business to business) communications. To date, there are 405 993 accessible Data Boxes, which are broken down as follows:
The Ministry of the Interior provides development, construction and methodical management of ISVS, which are designed to serve the public administration. The project aims at reducing the risk of duplication in the operation of public administration. Furthermore, it provides real requirements for drawing funds from public budgets for ICT and prepares technical conditions for the effective exercise of public power.