Liechtenstein’s eleven municipalities want to cooperate even more in the IT sector in the future. A central coordination office will decide and prioritize projects – a good step into a more interconnected future.

Liechtenstein’s local municipalities are moving ahead in terms of digitalization. They want to foster cross-municipal cooperation in the IT sector and create a central coordination office.

The basis for this decision is an external analysis initiated by the municipalities last year that showed a need for action concerning the digital product portfolio in the public administrations. The analysis also identified a lack of cross-municipal cooperation as a bottleneck for digital projects.

The study identified 67 common IT topics that need more attention. Joint projects with the state administration were also identified. Eleven municipalities have decided to push ahead with basic projects that form a basis for future development projects to move faster and more efficiently. These include future software architecture and uniform security requirements.

More cross-municipal cooperation

It’s not like there isn’t any cooperation at all right now between the municipalities. Liechtenstein’s municipalities cooperate in a wide variety of areas, including IT. All eleven municipalities have worked with the same municipal software (Gesol) as their core application for about ten years. Ten municipalities have also been using the ELO business management program for digital file management for several years and are jointly driving its developments.

However, IT demands are evolving and increasing, especially due to the ongoing digitization efforts in Liechtenstein. The municipalities, therefore, want to intensify and better coordinate their existing cooperation to meet future challenges as jointly and uniformly as possible.

During their September meetings, the municipal councils of all municipalities approved a decision to establish a joint organizational structure with a central coordination office, as announced by the Conference of Principals.

A central planning committee

The joint coordination office’s main task will be to centrally coordinate all active projects, bring them together in an overall project portfolio, and monitor them.

Additionally, the introduction of a systematic change and release management, including a uniform test procedure, is necessary, as well as the establishment of a uniform process for recording requirements and setting up a decision-making body for prioritization.

Decisions and prioritization will, in the future, be the responsibility of the Conference of Principals. A steering committee consisting of two community leaders and an overall project manager steers and accompanies the projects. The steering committee regularly reports to the Conference of Principals on ongoing projects.

Budget approvals from year to year

The expenses for joint projects will change from year to year. Therefore, in the future, the proportionate financial expenditure will be included in the municipalities’ estimates during the regular budget process. The municipal councils thus approve the expected expenditure for IT cooperation each year.

Intensifying cross-municipal cooperation is a step toward a more interconnected and digital future. Digital infrastructure relies on a network. That can only work if the whole country pulls the same strings and works on the same IT infrastructure.

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